If you are a United States citizen engaged to a non-citizen, you may apply for a K-1 visa for their entry into the United States. The purpose of the visa is to become married and then for them to reside here. If your fiancé is granted a K-1 visa, you will need to marry within 90 days of entry or they will need to leave the United States within 30 days. Once married, your new spouse can apply to adjust their status to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The K-1 visa leads to important immigration benefits and is often processed by the Immigrant Visa Section of United States embassies and consulates around the world. Many fiancé visa requests are approved.
A couple must have met at least within two years prior to the filing. You will need to provide evidence of having met in person with your petition. Such evidence could be photographs together, copies of correspondence, evidence of financial support, phone records, etc. Failure to provide evidence will prevent the petition from being approved. An attorney can complete all of the paperwork and attach evidence as well as submit the petition on your behalf. Background checks are conducted on applicants and are comprised of name and fingerprint checks.
The background checks determine whether an applicant has a criminal record. Although certain crimes can prevent issuance of a visa, not all crimes will prevent it. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will not automatically deny an application if there is a minor crime that you have been fined for or served jail time for. This is particularly the case if your offense was many years ago and you have not committed any other crimes since then. If you applied for expungement, you may choose to run a background check on yourself to determine what information is available about a criminal background.
Petitioners may be asked to provide additional evidence documenting the relationship. Additionally income evidence is evaluated to ensure that the petitioner meets minimum income requirements and can support the parties. The petitioner’s income must meet or exceed 100% of the US poverty guidelines. Approval of the petition does not guarantee that the visa will be granted. Once the petition is approved the fiancée must still undergo a medical examination and interview. The total time from filing the initial petition to the actual issuance of a visa can vary but recently has been around eight months or so. Visa petitioners can avoid unnecessary delays by ensuring that their applications are complete and accurate and by scheduling necessary appointments as soon as eligible.
Contact Our New York City Immigration Lawyers
Our law firm can explain all the opportunities associated with fiancé visas and help you through the entire procedure, as well as discussing whether this is a good option. For an initial consultation with a skilled immigration lawyer, contact the Law Office of Cheryl R. David in New York.