The world has never been smaller, and it’s never been easier for people from different countries to meet and fall in love. If you’ve given your heart to a foreign national, you can also bestow the benefits of legal permanent resident (LPR) status. The K-1 visa application is for American citizens who wish to bring a noncitizen to the U.S. for the purpose of a legal marriage. Citizens who plan to marry outside the U.S., or whose intended spouse is already in the country, need not apply for a K-1. To petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must meet the following requirements:
Petitioners file a Form I-129F for the fiancé(e), naming all of the fiancé(e)’s children under 21 whether they plan to enter the U.S. or not under a K-2 nonimmigrant visa. Those children who are 21 may enter on a K-2 up to a year after the principal beneficiary has entered the U.S., even if the principal has adjusted his or her status already.
Once your spouse has the K-1 visa, he or she may enter the U.S. for 90 days so the wedding ceremony can take place. After the wedding, the foreign national spouse can apply for legal permanent resident (LPR) status and receive a green card. The foreign national spouse is free to remain in the U.S. while U.S. Citizenship and Immigration processes the request. If the beneficiary does not marry the petitioner within 90 days, he or she may do so at a later date so long as it is a marriage to the original petitioner and no one else.
The application process is a very hopeful time for petitioners and their fiancé(e)s, but while the parties are anxious for the many benefits, they must also be mindful of pitfalls. Here are a few brief points to understand:
As you look forward to a happy union, you want to avoid any frustration, delays and unnecessary expenses. To deal with the complexities of the process, consult a knowledgeable attorney at Bretz & Coven, LLP. Call us at 212-267-2555 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.