If you are wishing to bring a fiancé to the United States for marriage, you must be a U.S citizen and sponsor their K-1 visa application. Visa sponsors are financially responsible for their sponsee, but once they are in the United States with their K-1 status, she or he is eligible to apply for permission to work in the country. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you are not eligible to sponsor a K-1 fiancé visa, but your fiancé may be eligible to enter the country through another visa status. It is imperative that you consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before applying for any visa.
If you are planning to bring your fiancé to the United States to get married, you should contact an experienced and knowledgeable Houston immigration lawyer at The Gonzalez Law Group. Our attorneys understand the stringent requirements involved in K-1 visa applications and will strive to achieve a successful outcome. Call us today at (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in our online form for a free case consultation.
Overview of Fiancé Visa (K-1) in Houston, TX
What is a K-1 Visa?
A K-1 fiancé visa is considered a nonimmigrant visa and the United States requires it for U.S citizens who are planning to marry a foreign citizen. A fiancé visa allows for a foreign citizen, the fiancé, to travel to the United States and marry his to her U.S citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. A K-1 visa does not grant the fiancé the right to permanent citizenship, but once married, the visa holder can proceed to apply for legal permanent resident status (LPR).
Sometimes, a K-1 visa holder may have children that will accompany them to the United States. If so, the unmarried children under 21 can be issued K-2 visas. This will allow them to accompany the K-1 holder to the United States and apply for LPR once the K-1 holder is married
Who is Eligible for a K-1 Visa?
This visa is not for those who are thinking about getting married, but for those who are planning to within 90 days of the visa holder entering the country. There are five requirements needed in order to petition for a fiancé visa. These requirements include:
The Sponsor is a US Citizen
The sponsor must prove they’re a citizen of the United States. Green card holders are not eligible to sponsor a K-1 visa, however, they are eligible for a CR1 visa.
He or She is Legally Free to Marry
The sponsor must be legally able to marry. If they have been married in the past, he or she must prove the marriage was legally terminated through divorce, death or annulment. This can usually be proven with a divorce decree or death certificate.
The Couple Intends to Marry Within 90 Days
This is to avoid scammers from marrying U.S citizens from the purpose of immigration. The sponsor must convince the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) the relationship is sincere and they truly intend to marry. Proof the couple is planning to wed will need to be shown.
The Couple has Physically met within Two Years
The couple must prove they have physically met in person at least once within the last two years. Skype does not count. This doesn’t mean the couple needs to know each other longer than two years.
The Sponsor Meets the Income Requirements
The amount depends on a number of factors such as U.S based earnings. If the sponsor doesn’t meet the minimum requirements they may be able to use assets or a joint sponsor.
How do I Apply for K-1 Visa?
Bringing a fiancé to the United States will involve the USCIS, U.S Department of State (DOS) and the U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Listed below are the steps involved in bringing a fiancé to the United States:
Step 1: Petition for Fiancé- USCIS
- File Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé based on the instructions. The form will ask the USCIS to recognize the relationship between the sponsor and the fiancé.
- The USCIS will review the form and submitted documents
- If eligibility is established, the USCIS will approve Form I-129F and recognize the relationship.
- The approved form will be sent to the DOS National Visa Center for the next step.
Step 2: Visa Application- DOS
- The National Visa Center will forward the approved Form I-129F to the U.S Embassy or consulate where the fiancé will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
- The U.S Embassy or consulate will notify the sponsor when the fiancé’s visa interview is scheduled
- The fiancé will apply for the K-1 visa and bring the required forms and documents to the interview
- The DOS will determine if the fiancé qualifies for the K-1 visa
Step 3: Inspection at Port of Entry –CBP
If the fiancé is granted a K-1 visa, they will travel to the United States while the visa is valid. Like other visas, a K-1 does not guarantee admission into the United States.
Step 4: Marriage and Applying for LPR
If the fiancé is admitted into the county as a K-1 nonimmigrant, the sponsor and fiancé will have 90 days to marry. Once married, the spouse may apply for citizenship.
At each stage in the process, security and background checks may be conducted on both the sponsor and the fiancé. This can include criminal history, national security and other information about the sponsor and fiancé. These checks are usually done using names, fingerprints and other biographic or biometric information.
Additional Fiancé Visa (K-1) Resources in Houston, TX
Visas for Fiancé of U.S Citizens- U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services– Follow this link to the USCIS website to learn more about K-1 visas. The site includes information about who is eligible for a fiancé visa, bringing the fiancés children into the U.S and failure to marry within 90 days. The USCIS is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security that oversees the countries immigration system.
U.S Department of State- Fiancé K-1 Visa– For more information regarding K-1 fiancé visas follow the link to the U.S Department of State website. The page features information such as how long the process can take, how much the visa will cost and how to apply for a social security number.
Lawyer for Fiancé Visa (K-1) in Houston, TX
The Gonzalez Law Group is here to assist U.S citizens who are seeking to bring their fiancé into the country. Our attorneys are experienced with immigration and provide efficient guidance for those going through the K-1 visa process.
Call The Gonzalez Law Group today at (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in our online form for a free case consultation. We represent clients in communities throughout greater Harris County that include Pearland, Baytown, Seabrook, La Porte, Pasadena, Galena Park, Friendswood and numerous others.