K1 Status for Fiances of US Citizens
Key Features of K1 Visa
- Six-Month Processing (approx.)
- Six months to Enter US After Visa Issuance
- Immediate Eligibility for Work Permit
The Immigration and Nationality Act provides for K-1 nonimmigrant status for the alien fiance of a US citizen who seeks to enter the US solely to complete a valid marriage within 90 days after such entry. K-1 visas are only permitted where the petitioner is a US citizen -- not a US permanent resident. K-2 status may also be granted to the dependent minor children of an alien fiance who are accompanying or following to join that fiance.
This category is used where the alien intends to remain in the US after the marriage until his or her status is adjusted to that of permanent residence. Because it is clear that the fiance intends to remain permanently in the United States, there is no requirement that he or she maintain "an unrelinquished residence abroad".
Both the US citizen petitioner and the alien beneficiary must have a intention to marry and be legally free to marry during the entire 90-day period following the beneficiary's admission to the United States. The petitioner must also establish that the petitioner and beneficiary have met in person within the 2 years immediately preceding the filing of the petition, although an exemption from this requirement may be obtained if compliance would result in extreme hardship or would violate long-established customs of the beneficiary's foreign culture or social practice. If the fiance does not marry the petitioner within the 90 day period, he or she must depart from the United States.
An alien admitted to the United States as a fiance, is authorized to be employed in the United States for the duration of the visa without any restrictions as to the type of employment or location of that employment. However, it is necessary to apply for an EAD Card, or employment authorization document. Although US Citizenship and Immigration Services used to place an EAD stamp in the fiance's passport at the time of admission, many ports of entry no longer provide this stamp. If the fiance does not receive an EAD stamp at the time of admission, he or she will have to apply at the district office.
Once the alien fiance is married, he or she, and any dependents, usually applies for permanent residency. The alien should refrain from travel outside the United States while the residency application is pending, unless he or she has obtained a travel documents known as "advance parole".
For additional information or to discuss the specifics of your case, please contact Ortega-Medina & Associates.
Business, Investor and Employer
- I would like to Set Up or Expand a Business in the United States
- I would like to Sponsor a Foreign Worker
Special Issues or Concerns
- H-1B Visa - Do I Qualify?
- Past Criminal Convictions
- Physical or Mental Disorders
- Name Checks and Special Registration
- Export License Controls Affecting Foreign Nationals
Professionals and Workers Seeking Sponsorship
- Professionals Under NAFTA (Special Visas for Canadian and Mexican Professionals)
- I would like to Work Temporarily in the United States, and I have a US job offer
- I would like to Work in the United States, but I do not have a US job offer
- I am interested in Employment-Based Immigration to the United States