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Immigration 101 - Getting a fiancé(e) visa

Your engaged!  Congratulations!  Now, add to your list of already overwhelming wedding planning details the all important immigration issue - how does my foreign-citizen fiance get into the United States for our wedding day?  Well, the simple answer is a K-1 nonimmigrant visa (A.K.A. the fiance visa).  

The foreign-citizen fiance of a United States citizen is eligible for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa  which permits the foreign-citizen fiance to travel to the United States and marry his/her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival.  Obtaining a K-1 visa involves several steps that can take months to complete. This process can be further delayed if mistakes are made in the documentation submitted to the government.  A K-1 visa attorney can assist in streamling the process and avoiding unnecessary delays.  

The basic steps of the process are as follows:

  1. After retaining counsel, the U.S. citizen sponsor will file a Petition for Alien Fiance along with supporting documentation.  Your attorney will assist in the completion of the petition and the gathering of any required documentation.
  2. Once the petition is approved, it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) where it will be assigned a case number before being forwarded to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where the K-1 visa beneficiary (foreign-citizen fiance) lives.  The Consulate will contact the K-1 visa beneficiary to schedule an interview.  However, before the interview can be scheduled, the K-1 visa beneficiary must provide all required documentation and forms to the Consulate.  Any delay in the submission of documents will result in a delay of the interview.  A K-1 visa attorney can assist in the gathering and production of all required forms and documents, as well as, the preparation for the interview.
  3. Once all required documentation is submitted, the K-1 beneficiary will attend an interview with the Consultate.  Following the interview, the K-1 visa beneficiary will recieve his/her passport containing the K-1 visa and a sealed packet of documents.  Upon entry to the United States, the K-1 visa beneficiary must be prepared to present his/her passport containing the visa and the unopened sealed packet provided by the Consulate.
  4. Following the date of entry, the U.S. citizen sponsor and the K-1 visa beneficiary will have 90 days to marry.  Once married, the K-1 visa beneficiary must adjust his/her status to a legal permanent resident.  He/she can then obtain both travel and work authorizations.

Contact Diana Beard Moore at the Rowe Law Firm by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 225-293-8787 to assist you with your  K-1 visa application.

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