What you need to know about the K-1 fiance(e) visa

If you’re a New Jersey resident who is engaged to a foreigner, you will want to bring them into the country as soon as possible. You will have to obtain a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for your fiance(e). In order to get that visa, you will have to get married within 90 days of them coming into the United States. There is a lot you need to know about the K-1 visa.

Who is eligible for the K-1 visa?

The family immigration K-1 visa is also known as the “fiance(e) visa” and is intended to allow a nonimmigrant engaged to an American citizen to come into the U.S. In order to be eligible for this visa, you must meet certain criteria, including the following:

• You must be a citizen of the U.S.
• You and your fiance(e) must plan on getting married within 90 days of their entrance into the country with the visa.
• You and your fiance(e) are legally able to get married.
• You and your fiance(e) must have met in person at least once within the two years prior to filing a petition for the visa. However, this may be waived if you can demonstrate that meeting in person would either violate your fiance(e)’s culture or social practice customs or cause extreme hardship to you.

How do you bring your fiance(e) into the country?

Through family immigration, there’s a certain process to bring your fiance(e) into the country. The USCIS, Department of State and Customs, and Border Protection are involved. Background checks are performed on you and your fiance(e) using names, biometrics, and fingerprints. It includes the following:

Petition for fiance(e) through USCIS: File form I-129F and closely follow the instructions. This form is filed with USCIS as a way for your relationship to be recognized. Once the form is filed, it’s reviewed. You may receive a request for evidence if more documentation is needed. Your form is then either approved or denied. If approved, your form is sent to the Department of State or DOS National Visa Center or NVC.
Apply for a visa through DOS: Your approved form I-129F goes to the consulate or embassy where your fiance(e) can apply for the K-1 visa. You are later notified of a date for a visa interview and your fiance(e) can apply and bring additional supporting documents. The DOS will then determine whether they qualify. If so, the visa is valid for six months on a single entry into the US. If not, the visa isn’t extended, but you can file a new application.
Inspection at the port of entry through CBP: A CBP officer decides whether your fiance(e) should be admitted into the country.
Marriage: If you receive the visa, you and your fiance(e) must marry within 90 days.
Adjustment of status through USCIS: If you get married, your spouse can apply for their Green Card through Form I-485. The form is reviewed and there may be a request for additional supporting documentation. You and your spouse will be scheduled to attend an interview. If your marriage occurred less than two years from the approval of the form, your spouse will be granted permanent resident status and be given a green card. There’s a two-year requirement to remove conditions on residence through the filing of Form I-751, which must be done at least within 90 days of the green card’s expiration.

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