Getting married is exciting, but it often involves a lot of planning. A marriage requires even more planning when you, or your fiancé, do not have U.S. Citizenship. Entering the United States can be a complicated process. That is why it is important to do your research, educate yourself, and speak with an immigration attorney. Read on to learn more about fiancé visas and the process of entering the U.S. to get married.

What is a K-1 Visa?

A K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa, is used when one person in a couple is not a U.S. citizen. This person cannot enter the country simply because he or she is engaged, but instead must go through a process in order to get married, and live, in the United States.

K-1 Visa Requirements

To file for a K-1 visa, you must meet a certain set of requirements:

  • The couple must have met at least two years prior to filing for the visa. This will require proof. Proof can include photographs of the couple together, phone records, copies of correspondence, etc.
  • The couple must provide income evidence. The petitioner’s income must meet or exceed 100% of the US poverty guidelines. This is examined to ensure that the petitioner can support both parties.

Once the petition is approved, the fiancé must go through a background check, medical examination, and interview.

Background Checks

A background check will be used to determine whether the applicant has a criminal record. A crime on one’s record may not prevent or delay the visa process, especially if it was a minor crime committed many years ago.

Interview Process

An interview will be conducted to determine the legitimacy of the relationship, and whether the fiancé can be allowed into the country. The interview will be used to determine the fiancé’s knowledge of his or her partner. This may include answering questions regarding a partner’s family, previous relationships, employment, etc. The interview will also be used to determine the fiancé’s interest in marriage and the severity of the relationship. Additionally, the interview will help evaluate the fiance’s moral character.

Entering the Country

Once the fiancé is granted a K-1 visa, the couple will need to get married within 90 days of entering the country. If this is not accomplished, the fiancé must leave within 30 days. After the marriage, the new spouse may adjust his or her immigration status in order to become a permanent resident.

If you wish to enter the country in order to get married, it is important to retain a skilled and knowledgeable immigration attorney.

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 discuss 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.