If you’re a United States citizen and your fiancé is from another country, you may be able to use the K-1 visa program to bring him or her here to get married. However, your fiancé can’t petition for him- or herself; instead, you have to file the right form for your future spouse. For many people, the best way to work through this situation is to get help from a Milwaukee immigration attorney. An attorney can make sure you follow the correct K-1 visa process, file your paperwork for you, and help you and your fiancé understand how the entire application process works.
What is the K-1 Visa Process?
The first step in the K-1 visa process is for you – the U.S. citizen – to file the appropriate form with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You can only do so if you and your fiancé attend to get married within 90 days of your fiancé’s arrival, though, so you can’t apply too early. You must also:
- Both be free to marry. Any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death or annulment.
- Have met each other in person at least once within the past 2 years before filing your petition. However, you can have this requirement waived if you can show that meeting your fiancé in person would violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé’s culture or social practice, or if you can show that it would result in extreme hardship to you (the U.S. citizen).
If your petition is approved, your fiancé can come to the United States. He or she must go through a port of entry to the U.S. while the visa is still valid. However, just having the visa doesn’t guarantee that your fiancé will be able to come into the U.S. A Customs and Border Patrol agent at the port of entry will make the final decision on whether your fiancé is admissible to the United States.
Once your fiancé is here, you have 90 days to get married. If you fail to do so and the visa expires, your fiancé has to leave the United States or face deportation. Deportation causes a whole host of new issues, and it may prevent your fiancé from coming back later.
Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Immigration Lawyer About the K-1 Visa Process?
If you’d like to talk to a Milwaukee immigration attorney about your situation and get help bringing your fiancé to the United States, we may be able to help. Call us at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online to schedule a K-1 visa consultation today.