U.S citizens can sponsor their foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to enter the US on a Fiancé(e) Visa (K-1). The K-1 visa allows couples just ninety days to tie the knot once the alien spouse enters the country. After the wedding, the foreign spouse is now eligible to remain in the U.S. and gain permanent residency status.
In this blog post, our Phoenix immigration attorneys will provide answers to some common questions about the K-1 visa in Arizona—including requirements, timeframe, and how an immigration lawyer can help guide you along the way.
What is a Fiancé(e) Visa?
So, what is a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa? A K-1 visa or Fiancé(e) Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US citizens to sponsor a foreign-citizen fiancé(e) for marriage, allowing them to gain entry into the United States. To get a K-1 visa, the US citizen and their foreign-born fiancé(e) must plan to wed within ninety days following the foreign fiancé(e)’s arrival in the United States.
The marriage must be legal and bona fide, meaning in good faith and not for the purpose of gaining an immigration benefit. Simply put, marriage should not be pursued for the sole purpose of entering and remaining in the United States. This would be marriage fraud, which can result in deportation, prison time and hefty fines.
After you and your foreign fiancé(e) have made your union legal, your foreign spouse may then apply to change status to a permanent resident. This marks the beginning of the process of gaining permanent residency through marriage and obtaining a green card. If the marriage is less than 2 years in duration at the time the green card is approved, the beneficiary spouse will first receive a conditional 2-year green card. The beneficiary spouse should file 90 days before the 2-year expiration date to remove the conditional status and receive a 10-year green card.
Eligibility Requirements for K-1 Visa
Only US citizens can apply for a K-1 Fiancé(e) visa. Legal permanent residents are not eligible to petition. Below are the eligibility requirements for the K-1 visa:
- The petitioner must be a US citizen.
- You and your foreign-born fiancé(e) (e)’s must plan to get married within 90 days after your fiancé(e) arrives in the United States.
- Both parties must be legally permitted to marry in the US.
- You and your foreign-born fiancé(e) must have met at least once within two years before filing a K-1 visa application (exceptions may apply)
But how long does it take to get a Fiancé(e) Visa? Keep reading to find out.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Fiancé(e) Visa?
The timeline to obtain a Fiancé(e) Visa can be anywhere between 9 to 13 months, on average. Wait times are published by USCIS based on a 6-month processing time average. The wait times can change anytime throughout your K-1 visa process. Approval of your petition is just the first step. After USCIS approves your petition, your case is transferred to the National Visa Center for additional processing before an interview for your foreign fiancé(e) is scheduled at the consulate or embassy in their home country.
Working with an experienced immigration lawyer to ensure an efficient process can make a difference in your case. Errors on an application can also cause delays in obtaining a fiancé(e) visa. To avoid any delays, it’s important to ensure that all of your details are accurate before submitting any paperwork. Some petitions require further scrutiny, which can take more time following your interview.
Call an Immigration Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ
Partnering with a skilled immigration lawyer in Arizona will increase the odds of your fiancé(e) visa approval but will also minimize the odds of having your application rejected. That’s where our team at the Milovic Law Firm comes in.
Our experienced immigration attorney can help you file and obtain your K-1 visa. We will help you file your application based on the USCIS fiancé(e) visa eligibility requirements and ensure that the process is correctly done in a timely manner.
You can trust us to help you and your foreign-born fiancé(e) get married and live together in the United States. Contact our legal team today to schedule a free consultation.