Frequently Asked Questions: The Beginner's Guide to the K-1 Visa

Applying for a K-1 visa is a stressful process that takes months. If your loved one is moving to the United States on a so-called "fiancé visa," these questions and answers may be of value to you.

What is the purpose of a K-1 visa?

The K-1 visa is designed to allow a foreigner to marry a citizen of the United States. The catch is that the marriage must take place within 90 days of the fiancé's entrance into the United States. If the couple chooses not to marry, the foreign citizen must leave the country within the next 30 days. Once you have married, the foreign citizen may apply for a green card and become a resident of the United States.

Can my fiancé obtain a K-1 visa if I have been married before?

Generally, yes. You must simply prove that you are no longer married and are legally allowed to remarry in the United States. You may have to provide divorce documents.

What are the requirements for obtaining a K-1 visa?

The first requirement of entering the United States with a K-1 visa is that the foreign citizen must intend to marry an American. In the United States, the two individuals must have seen each other in person in the two years prior to filing for the visa. For this reason, evidence of the meeting is essential. Additionally, both parties need to prove that they are eligible to be married.

The requirement for the couple to have seen each other within two years is waived in rare occasions, typically when it is based on a cultural or religious circumstance that the couple not meet before marriage.

Do I need an attorney to file for a K-1 visa?

While you do not need an attorney to file for or receive a K-1 visa, it certainly helps. Some people do choose to have an attorney handle all the paperwork involved in the process. This can streamline paperwork and ensure that you meet all the requirements the first time you apply.

Is it possible to speed up the process of obtaining a visa?

One can receive a visa more quickly than the fiancé visa if they have potential for employment in the United States, have other family members who are American citizens, or are facing persecution in their home country.

Do you still have questions about applying for a K-1 visa for yourself or your fiancé? Speaking to an immigration lawyer may be your best course of action. This will help you work out the details of marriage and immigration.

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I never even dreamed that I would be accused of a crime that I did not commit. I mean, stuff like that only happens on TV right? Well, at least that's what I thought until it actually happened to me. After being falsely identified by a witness, I found myself standing trial for a crime that I was truly innocent of. It was only with the help of my lawyer that I was able to prove my innocence and ultimately get back my good name. Watching my lawyer present my case to the jury, I must admit that I was impressed. It was in this moment that I knew just how special the legal system truly is. Today, I write this blog as a way of honoring the system that worked for me and to ensure that everyone has someplace to turn when dealing with legal issues of their own.