K-1 Fiancé Visas
Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.’s Dallas, Frisco, and North Texas lawyers understand the exceptional sense of time compression felt by both U.S. citizen petitioners and K-1 fiancé visa beneficiaries; and we provide personalized, proactive and responsive service with the goal of reducing client stress and anxiety. Regardless of the bureaucratic jungle of steps and rules and processes affecting the fiancé of a U.S. citizen, engagement remains an exciting event and time! U.S. citizen petitioners and the foreign-born persons to whom they are engaged are understandably anxious to be reunited in the U.S. as soon as possible, to marry and to begin their lives together. Processing time delays can be especially frustrating when future spouses are separated by thousands of miles. We work diligently to promptly move cases through the preparation stages to well-documented filings, monitor cases closely as they move through the government agencies involved, keep clients up to date about case status and expected time frames, provide answers to the questions that may contribute to peace of mind, and prepare clients for the interview at a U.S. consular post. We never forget that what drives K-1 cases are family dreams and what results is a changed family tree. It is our privilege and joy to be part of this process.
A citizen of the U.S. who is engaged to a foreign-born person can file a petition to classify a fiancé as a K-1. Technically a nonimmigrant visa authorizing only a limited period of stay in the U.S., the K-1 visa is nonetheless designed for, and at its consular application stage abroad is processed as if it were intended for, an immigrant. The K-1 nonimmigrant must seek to enter the U.S. solely to marry the U.S. citizen petitioner and must in fact marry that person within 90 days of entry in order to go forward with processing that will ultimately result in conditional lawful permanent resident (conditional Green Card) status.
The path to immigrant status is multi-step. First, a petition is submitted to USCIS in the U.S. accompanied by supporting evidence including proof that the U.S. citizen and foreign-born person have met in person within two years prior to the filing of the K-1 petition. Next, the petition is transferred for U.S. Department of State (DOS) processing where the case is ultimately scheduled for interview before a U.S. consular officer to determine the eligibility of the fiancé for the K-1 visa. After approval of the visa, entry to the U.S., and conclusion of a legally valid marriage, the fiancé may file for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident. Even then, United States immigration law concerns are not entirely resolved, because K-1 beneficiaries who have adjusted to lawful permanent resident status are granted that status on a conditional basis. In order to remove the conditional basis of lawful permanent resident status, a timely filing must be made with USCIS along with supporting documentation, and an interview may be required.
Certain children may accompany the foreign-born fiancé parent and may be accorded K-2 nonimmigrant status. Like their foreign-born parent, following the qualifying marriage of their parent, children under the age of twenty-one may also apply for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident on a conditional basis. A unique opportunity is afforded when planning for immigration options for the children of a fiancé. The fact that K-2 nonimmigrants are eligible for adjustment of status so long as they are under twenty-one years of age stands in contrast to customary immigrant visa processing based on an immigrant visa petition for a “step-child” which is limited to those children for whom the step-parent relationship was created before the child reached the age of eighteen years.