If you are a United States citizen with a fiancé(e) overseas, you may be able to bring him/her to the United States with a K-1 visa. You and your fiancé(e) must then marry each other within 90 days of his/her arrival, and your fiancé(e) must apply to adjust status to that of a permanent resident within the 90 day period.
In order to qualify for a K-1 visa, you and your fiancé(e) must have met in person within the past two years, and your fiancé(e) must intend to marry you within 90 days of his/her arrival in the U.S.
The first step in the process is to file a K-1 visa petition (form I-129F) with United States Customs and Immigration (USCIS). Once your petition is approved, your file will be forwarded to the United States Consulate in your fiancé(e)’s home country, where he/she will have to attend an interview before being granted a visa. Once your fiancé(e) arrives in the United States, he/she must marry you within 90 days and apply for adjustment of status by filing form I-485 with USCIS. You and your fiancé will then need to attend an interview at your local USCIS field office before he/she will be granted a green card.
There are several important factors to discuss with an attorney:
- When evaluating your K-1 petition, the government will be looking for any “red flags” to indicate a lack of true intent to marry. Likewise, when evaluating your application for adjustment of status, they will be searching for anything that indicates that your marriage is not “bona fide.” This can be something as simple as a large age gap or language/cultural barrier between you and your fiancé(e). Failure to present adequate evidence can result in at best a delay, and at worst a denial. Working with a knowledgable attorney will go a long way in avoiding these pitfalls.
- In order to sponsor your fiancé(e) for a K-1 visa, as well as for adjustment of status, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient income to support him/her. Generally you must have income equal to 125% of the federal poverty level for your family size. If you do not have adequate income, you may be able to use a co-sponsor (usually a family member or close friend) to qualify.
- Your fiancé(e)’s eligibility for a visa or to adjust status may be affected by numerous other factors, including having a criminal record or prior unlawful presence in the U.S.
My office can assist you with both your K-1 visa petition and your application for adjustment of status. Contact us today to set up a consultation.
The above information is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.