If you want to bring a fiancé to the United States for marriage, you must be a U.S. citizen and sponsor your fiancé’s K-1 visa application. Visa sponsors are financially responsible for their spouses, but once the fiancé arrives in the U.S., they are eligible to apply for permission to work.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are not eligible to sponsor your fiancé with a K-1 visa. However, your fiancé may be eligible to enter the U.S. with another type of visa. It is important that you consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before applying for any visa.
WHAT IS A K-1 VISA?
A K-1 fiancé visa is a non immigrant visa and it is required for U.S citizens who plan to marry a foreign citizen. A K-1 fiancé visa permits a foreign citizen fiancé to travel to the U.S to marry the U.S citizen sponsor within 90 days of arriving. A K-1 visa does not grant the fiancé the right to permanent citizenship, but once married, the foreign citizen can apply to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR).
Often, a K-1 visa holder may have children that will accompany them to the U.S. Any unmarried children under 21 can be issued K-2 visas. This will allow them to accompany the K-1 visa holder to the U.S. and apply for LPR status once the K-1 visa holder is married
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A K-1 VISA?
This visa is for couples who are planning to marry within 90 days of the K-1 visa holder’s entrance into the country. The following are five requirements needed in order to petition for a K-1 fiancé visa:
- The sponsor is a U.S. citizen
- The sponsor must be legally able to marry. If they have been married in the past, they must prove the marriage was legally terminated through divorce, death or annulment
- The couple must intend to marry within 90 days. Proof that the couple is planning to wed will need to be shown
- The couple has physically met within the last two years. You will need to prove this. Video chatting does not qualify. (This does not mean that the couple had to have known each other for at least two years)
- The sponsor must meet the income requirements. The amount of the sponsor’s income depends on several factors. If the sponsor does not meet the income requirements, they may be able to report assets to qualify or introduce a cosponsor
Contact Schober Law, PLLC at 212-457-1253 to inquire further about K-1 visas in New York or anywhere in the United States