Do You Qualify for a K-1 Visa?

A K-1 visa is issued to the fiancée of a citizen of the United States. This visa permits the fiancée to enter the United States, but only under certain conditions. After you’ve entered the U.S. and gotten married, you’re able to apply to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Legal permanent residence allows you to legally live and work within the United States.

Requirements for A K-1 Visa

In order to obtain and keep a K-1 visa, you and your spouse need to abide by a thorough set of requirements.

1. State of Residency

The K-1 visa requires that both fiancées are eligible to be lawfully married in the state of residence of the petitioner. For example, both you and your partner must be of legal age and not already married to other people.

This also means that people who have committed crimes of moral turpitude, those who are addicted to drugs, or people who were previously removed from the United States cannot obtain an immigration visa.

2. Fiancées Need to See Each Other

It’s also a requirement that both you and your fiancée have met in person at least once within a two-year period, prior to filing for the K-1 visa. This can be waived by the Department of Homeland Security, but is only normally the case where strong cultural or religious traditions need to be met.

In cases where you’re required to have met, it’s important you can provide documentary evidence of this meeting. Failure to provide the evidence when requested can result in the process taking longer – a Request for Evidence (RFE) will slow proceedings considerably.

3. Financial evidence

In financial terms, you need to provide supporting evidence that shows your fiancée won’t become a public charge to the United States. You’ll need to display that you have an income which is above the ‘poverty line’ to be able to properly support your fiancée upon arrival to the United States.

Both you and your partner are also required to submit suitable documentation in support of your application for a K-1 visa. Examples of suitable credentials may be ID documentation such as birth certificates, as well as divorce decrees to show that you’re eligible to marry. These documents will be set by the embassy in the country of origin.

Additional Immigration Details

If you have unmarried children under the age of 21, they may also be able to accompany you to the USA. These derivative applications are known as the K-2 visa and are issued to children who derive their immigration status from their parents or guardians.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding K-1 Visa, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.