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How K-1 or fiancé visas can complicate love

They say that love knows no boundaries. This includes national boundaries and is something that any U.S. citizen who has ever met someone special while traveling abroad knows and understands all too well. However, even when it comes to love, the U.S. government has many boundaries and rules with regard to immigration procedures and such policies often prevent U.S. citizens with fiancés from other countries from being together.

For a U.S. citizen who wants to clear the way for a foreign-born fiancé to come to the U.S., a K-1 or fiancé visa must be obtained. However, like all U.S. immigration laws, there are strict conditions and eligibility requirements that must be followed and met.

Upon filing a Form I-129F or a Petition for Alien Fiancé, an individual must prove that he or she is a U.S. citizen and that both parties who intend to marry are not currently married. Additionally, a U.S. citizen must prove that he or she met with a fiancé in-person at least one time within the last two years. Lastly, the U.S. citizen and foreign fiancé must marry within 90 days, or roughly three months, from the date that a fiancé enters the U.S.

For some couples, complying with the 90-day marriage requirement can pose many challenges. However, if a couple fails to comply with this requirement, a fiancé’s visa expires and he or she is legally required to leave the U.S. voluntarily or face deportation. 

In cases where a U.S. citizen's Petition for Alien Fiancé is not approved and a K-1 visa not issued, it's important to investigate what happened and why the petition was rejected. Universally, U.S. immigration forms are notoriously complicated. Therefore, even one small mistake or oversight may keep a fiancé out of the U.S. and delay marriage plans.

An attorney who handles immigration cases can assist individuals with obtaining a K-1 visa and assist couples who run into problems along the way.

Source: USCIS.gov, "Fiance(e) Visas," Sept. 28, 2015

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