K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Lawyers in Houston
Helping You Bring Your Future Spouse to the United States
The difference between immigrant visas and nonimmigrant visas is usually straightforward: immigrant visas provide lawful permanent residence, while nonimmigrant visas only allow for a temporary stay.
The K-1 fiancé(e) nonimmigrant visa, however, is unique. It grants just 90 days of temporary status to the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen, but, if the couple marries in the U.S. during this 90-day period, the K-1 visa holder can then adjust their status to lawful permanent residence. If they don’t marry within 90 days of entering the U.S., the visa will expire, and the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will begin to accumulate unlawful presence. Avoiding this issue is critical, as unlawful presence can prevent you from qualifying for another visa in the future.
At Baker Donelson, our K-1 fiancé(e) visa attorneys can help you navigate all the complexities of this nonimmigrant category. Every type of marriage-based visa undergoes intense scrutiny, as the U.S. government is greatly concerned about marriage fraud (i.e. when a foreign citizen marries a U.S. citizen solely for a green card).
Let our Houston K-1 visa attorneys help you bring your fiancé(e) to the United States. Call t (713) 286-7182 or send us an online message to get started with a free consultation—services in English and Spanish.
How to Obtain a K-1 Visa
To obtain a K-1 visa for your fiancé(e), you both will need to convince the adjudicating officers that your relationship is bona fide (not based solely on the desire to immigrate).
The K-1 visa also requires the following:
- You must be a U.S. citizen (not a lawful permanent resident or nonimmigrant);
- You both intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s entry into the United States;
- You are both legally free to marry (i.e. 18 or older, not in any existing marriages, etc.); and
- You have met each other at least once within the last two years (unless meeting would violate the strict customs of your fiancé(e)’s culture).
The process begins when you file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). If this petition is approved, your fiancé(e) will apply for a visa through consular processing. Once they obtain the visa, they will need to pass through inspection at a U.S. port of entry. If all goes according to plan, CBP will grant your fiancé(e) 90 days of temporary status so they can marry you and obtain a green card. If your fiancé(e) has children, they will likely be able to obtain K-2 status, as well.
During this process, both of you will likely need to go through background/security checks and interviews. An immigration agency may send a request for additional evidence. Navigating these complex procedures can be extraordinarily difficult without professional assistance, which is why we urge you to get in touch with us here at Baker Donelson at the beginning of your process. We can help you maximize your odds of success.
For assistance with the K-1 visa application process, give us a call at (713) 286-7182 or reach out to us online. We look forward to putting our 40+ years of experience to work for you and your partner.
Like other visas based on new marriages (specifically, marriages that are less than two years old), the adjustment of status process for K-1 visa holders results in a conditional green card.
A conditional green card is only valid for two years, rather than the typical ten. At the end of this two-year period, the conditional green card holder will need to apply to remove conditions on their permanent residence. This is a different form and process than simply replacing an expiring green card. USCIS will assess the situation and check for signs of marriage fraud before removing conditions and granting a regular green card.
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At Baker Donelson, we don’t simply provide counsel and representation. We help our clients understand their rights, overcome challenges throughout their immigration journey, and take steps toward achieving their long-term legal and personal goals. With decades of experience, we are proud to serve as a wealth of knowledge for our clients.
Get started on your learning process by getting in touch with us today.
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