Atlanta K1 Visa Lawyer
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Once all of the necessary documentation has been filed, you should receive notice of receipt within 30 days. From there, it will generally take anywhere from 6 to 9 months for the application to be fully processed and a decision to be made.
Your fiance is not allowed to be in the US on a tourist visa or a visa waiver while you wait for the K1 visa to be approved. There is still a possibility of making a temporary visit with a B-2 tourist visa.
With your family and your future on the line, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. An experienced immigration attorney will know what steps need to be taken in order to ensure the best possible chance for a quick and easy K1 visa approval.
What is a K1 Visa?
Also known as fiancé(e) visas, K1 visas have grown in visibility due to shows like 90 Day Fiancé. However, these visas are far from just entertainment. With the rise in technology, more people are meeting their partners globally. A K1 Fiancé(e) Visa enables the fiancé(e) of a citizen of the United States to enter the US for the purpose of getting married. The foreign-citizen fiancé(e) (the "Beneficiary") must marry the US Citizen (the "Petitioner") within ninety days of arriving in the United States using the visa. After the marriage, the spouse is eligible to apply for status as a legal permanent resident and remain in the United States. A K1 visa is usually the fastest and best option for US citizens to legally bring their fiancé(e) to the country.
What are the K1 Visa requirements?
There are multiple requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for a K1 fiancé(e) visa.
- The Petitioner must be a United States Citizen. Permanent residents are not eligible for K1 visas, but may apply for a different kind of visa (a CR1 spousal visa) instead.
- Both you as the Petitioner and your fiancé(e) as the Beneficiary must have met in person during the last two years, and you must be able to provide proof of your meeting. Videoconferencing or communicating via phone or text does not suffice. In order to provide proof of your meeting, make sure that you take pictures. Because your fiancé(e) will unlikely be able to get a visitor visa, you will likely have to meet in their country in order to meet this requirement. If you are unable to meet, consult a lawyer. In very rare circumstances the requirement may waived due to extreme hardship preventing a meeting, or due to cultural or religious reasons such as when it is against the culture for a man and a woman to meet before marriage.
- Both you and your fiancé(e) must be legally free to marry at the time your Petition for Alien Fiancé (Form I-129F) was filed with the US Department of State, and remain so after. Therefore, you must both either be single, or any previous marriage has ended in divorce, death, or annulment. You should have the documentation to prove that you are both legally single, such as a death certificate or divorce decree.
- The marriage must be legal under the laws of the state where the marriage will take place.
- You must be able to financially support your fiancé once they arrive in the United States. You will have to file an Affidavit of Support showing that you meet the income requirements set out by the federal poverty guidelines.
What are the steps in the K1 Visa process?
The first step in obtaining a K1 visa is filing the petition with USCIS, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This is called a Form I-129F, and can only be filed with the USCIS office that serves your local area, and not at a US Embassy, Consulate, or abroad. Once the petition is approved by USCIS, it moves to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will provide you with a case number, and your petition will be sent to the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where your fiancé(e) lives.
The second step is applying for the K1 visa. After the NVC sends your case to the US Embassy or Consulate, they will send you a letter. Upon receipt, you can work with your fiancé to take the actions necessary to apply for a K1 visa and start preparing for the interview. If your fiancé has children, they may apply for K2 visas.
In order to apply for the K1 visa, your fiancé(e) will need to compile a lot of documentation. This will include the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa application, a passport valid for travel to the US, a birth certificate, a divorce or death certificate of prior spouses if necessary, police certificates, evidence of financial support, and fees, among other things.
In addition to the basic documentation, you and your fiancé(e) will be required to provide evidence of your relationship. An affidavit may be required for this, as well as photographs or other proof that the relationship is genuine.
The K1 visa application will also include a medical examination. Every petitioner is required to undergo this examination performed by an authorized panel physician. While K1 visas do not require vaccinations, it is recommended that your fiancé(e) gets them during this process, as they will be required when changing their status to a permanent resident.
How can an immigration lawyer help me and my fiancé with a K1?
A good immigration attorney can help you and your fiancé(e) through the entire process. From the initial step of filing the Form I-129F, there are strict deadlines. Your lawyer will keep track of these for you, and will help extend any deadlines if necessary. Your attorney will also ensure that your application is not incomplete or missing information. Hiring someone with immigration experience will help to expedite the entire process and make sure that no mistakes are made, as any mistakes will delay the entire process. Additionally, an attorney can help if any issues arise, such as if you have not been able to meet in person, or your fiancé(e) has a criminal background. Finally, your lawyer can help you draft any required affidavits — including those for financial support and proof of relationship — to make sure they will meet all the legal requirements and that they provide enough evidence to support your K1 Visa.
Get Help From an Atlanta Family & Immigration Lawyer
Whether you need help with a divorce or a child custody matter, have a landlord-tenant issue or are trying to obtain citizenship or get a visa, we can help. Let us help guide you on your next step.
It's never too early or too late to reach out to an Atlanta immigration lawyer!
No matter where you are in your K1 visa process, it is the perfect time to consult with an Atlanta immigration lawyer. We can help you understand the process before it has even begun, or help clear up any issues holding up the issuance of your visa, or any step in between. Reach out right away to schedule a consultation.
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