Attorneys Obtaining Nonimmigrant Visas for People Engaged to Citizens in NYC
Enabling you to be married in the United States
Many people are aware that spouses of U.S. citizens enjoy special privileges when applying for a visa or green card. The problem for many, however, is that these privileges do not attach until the marriage has taken place. This means that if you plan to be married in the United States, you must get travel authorization from U.S. immigration authorities to do so. The K visa program was designed to bridge this gap by allowing those betrothed to U.S. citizens and their families temporarily to enter the United States to be married and then to apply for permanent residency based on that marriage once it has occurred. Our attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP are proud to assist couples taking the next step in life and making their marital home in NYC or anywhere in the United States.
How do you go from betrothed to lawful permanent resident?
The K visa program includes several types of visas designed to allow fiancés and fiancées to enter and remain in the United States until they can obtain lawful permanent residency:
- K-1 visas — The K-1 visa allows the fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States. Both spouses-to-be must be legally free to marry and must marry within 90 days of arrival. To prevent fraud, U.S. immigration law also requires that the parties have met in person at least once in the two years preceding his or her K visa application, unless this would violate his or her cultural traditions or otherwise cause extreme hardship.
- K-2 visas — K-2 visas may be issued to the children of a K-1 visa applicant as long as they are unmarried and under the age of 21. Similar terms and conditions apply.
- K-3 visas — Once the marriage has been made official, the noncitizen spouse may apply for both permanent residency and a K-3 nonimmigrant visa. The K-3 allows that spouse to enter and live in the United States while the application for lawful permanent residency is being processed. This visa becomes invalid in 30 days if that application is denied or if the marriage is terminated.
- K-4 visas — The K-4 visa is available to the unmarried children under the age of 21 of a K-3 visa applicant. K-4 visas expire when the holder turns 21 unless that person has a green card application pending.
While K visas do not in themselves provide work authorization, K visa holders can separately apply for authorization to work in the United States.
K visas are also available to same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage is legal in the United States. However, it is not legal in most countries. Fortunately, a U.S. citizen can apply for a K visa for his or her foreign born same-sex fiancé or fiancée who is living abroad. Once in the United States, they can marry anywhere in the country in order to become eligible to apply for a greencard.
Contact us for help with getting married in the United States
Over more than 20 years of practice in NYC, our attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP have helped new families establish permanent roots in the United States through the K visa program. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at 1 (212) 267-2555 or online for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems. For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.