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» K1 Visa Petition
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K1 Visa Petition

To establish K1 visa classification for an alien fiancee, an American citizen must file a petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the US Citizenship and Immigration Services). The approved petition will be forwarded by the USCIS to the American consular office where the alien fiancee will apply for his or her visa. A petition is valid for a period of four months from the date of USCIS action, and may be revalidated by the consular officer. The K1 visa requirements are simple. You must be a USA citizen. Lawful permanent resident "green card" holders of the United States are not allowed to obtain fiancee visas. Both you and your fiancee must be free to marry. This means that if either of you has been married previously, you are either divorced, widowed or the marriage was annulled. You must have met your fiancee in person within the previous two years. If your fiancee lives in a developing country she cannot legally obtain a visitor visa to meet you in the U.S. This means that you must travel outside the US to meet your fiancee. Finally, there is a minimum income requirement for the fiancee visa petitioner.

You may have heard that 40% of the K1 visa petitions filed never result in a visa being issued. From what other immigration attorneys have told us, we believe this to be true. Notice that we used the words "not approved," and not the word "denied". This is because both the US Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS", formerly the "USCIS" - US Citizenship and Immigration Services) and the U.S. Consulates rarely turn down a K1 visa petition or application request if the requirements mentioned above are met.

What happens instead is that the USCIS finds some technical error or omission in the paperwork submitted to them. Then, after several months they will send you a form letter telling you what you did wrong. Very often, when you submit the required correction, they will again wait several months and again return the visa forms to you with another cover-sheet informing you of a second minor error or omission.

When (and if) your approved K 1 visa petition reaches the U.S. Consulate at the U.S. Embassy handling the fiancee visa for your fiancee's country, you still are not home free. If the consulate officer who interviews your fiancee can get her to give an answer to one of his or her many questions which is different from the information you submitted in your petition package, the officer can send your entire USCIS-approved petition package back to the USCIS in the U.S. for "investigation". The minimum delay from this action in getting your fiancee's visa issued is six months. Needless to say, if your fiancee does not know all about your background and because she will naturally be nervous during her interview, it is not too difficult to get her to give the wrong answer to one of the questions.

As you can see from the above, neither the USCIS nor the U.S. consular officers want to risk taking the political heat which could result from their turndown of an immigrant petition. However, if they can find an excuse to return it for correction or investigation, they are perfectly within their rights and not subject to criticism. In fact, it is their duty to find problems and return cases.

What usually happens in this situation is that one or both of you will give up. Unfortunately, the usual result of delays is that the fiancee becomes convinced that her American fiance is not serious about marrying her and she ends the engagement. She probably knows of someone whose fiance used our services to obtain a fiancee visa. She knows that the foreign wife received her fiancee visa quickly and efficiently and she wonders why you cannot do the same. Our normal processing timeline from the USCIS receipt date until visa issuance depends on the country of residence of your fiancee and the state in which you reside. When a particular USCIS Service Center or U.S. Consulate gets behind in their work, the K1 visa processing time can increase. When this occurs we will let you know. The bottom line is that however long it takes us to obtain your fiancee visa, we believe it would take you or anyone else much longer.

When your fiancee receives her fiancee visa, she has six months to enter the U.S. After her arrival in the U.S., you have 90 days to marry her or you must send your fiancee back to her home country. There is no legal way to extend the 90 day limit. While she is in the U.S. you are completely responsible for her financially. If for any reason you do not marry her and she departs the U.S. within the 90 days, she will not be precluded from coming to the U.S. in the future on another K1 visa and you will not be precluded from again bringing her or another foreign fiancee to the U.S. on a K1 visa. Although repeated fiancee visa petitions raise the suspicions of the USCIS, we obtain dozens of "second" and even some "third" fiancee visas every year.

» US Immigration Family Visas
  Fiance Visa / Fiancee Visa
Family of H-1, H-2 or H-3
  Children of T-1
K-1 Petition
Family Members of J-1
Parents of T-1
K-1 Fiancee Visa from Developed Countries
Family Members of L-1
Family Members of TN
  Ineligibility Visa Waiver
  Family Members of M-1
  Spouses of U-1
  Additional Information
  Parent of SN-3
  Children of U-1
  Children of K-1
  Child of N-8
  Parents of U-1
  Spouses of U.S. citizens
  Family of O-1 O-2
  Marriage to a US Citizen
  Children of K-3
  Family of P-1 P-2 P-3
Brothers or Sisters of U.S. Citizens
  Spouses U.S. Residents
  Family Members of Q-1 Visa
  Spouses or Children of Green Card Holders
  Children of U.S. Residents
  Family Members of R-1
Removal Of Conditions
Children of V-1 or V-2
  Informants to US Govt.
Family Members of F-1
Spouses of T-1
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