In addition to visa categories meant for spouses, there is also a specific type of visa meant for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. A K visa can allow you to sponsor your soon-to-be spouse’s immigration to the United States even if you are not officially married yet.
No matter your circumstances, assistance from a San Diego K visa lawyer could be key to ensuring your application process goes smoothly. With guidance and support from a skilled immigration attorney, you and your partner can maximize your time together in the same country.
While there are technically four different types of K visas available under current U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) regulations, it is easier to understand them in two subcategories of their intended purposes. The first subcategory is for a U.S. citizen’s partner to temporarily enter the United States for the express purpose of marriage within 90 days of entry. The prospective spouse would need a K-1 visa, and any minor children they wish to bring with them would need K-2 visas.
The second subcategory of K visas allows a U.S. citizen’s current spouse to enter the United States temporarily prior to receiving a permanent immigrant visa. Similar to K-1 and K-2 visas, K-3 and K-4 visas allow the spouse and their minor children to stay in the United States legally until USCIS finishes processing their applications for IR-1 and IR-2 visas.
Both K-1 and K-3 visas grant work authorization to their recipients, but only for the 90 allotted days until marriage in the case of K-1 visas. A K visa attorney could help determine which category is appropriate for a particular applicant in San Diego
To be eligible for a K-1 visa, a U.S. citizen and their fiancé(e) must be legally free to marry—in other words, neither can be married to anyone else in any country at the time of application. They also must have met in person at least once in the two years prior to applying for the visa. Waivers for the in-person meeting requirement may be available for specific situations, such as extreme hardship or long-established cultural or social norms.
All types of K visas require the applicant to fill out and submit Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). Those applying for K-3 visas must also complete Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. K-2 and K-4 visas do not require the submission of any additional USCIS forms, but a K-1 or K-3 applicant must list the children they wish to seek additional visas for on their Form I-129F.
After processing all submitted documentation, the USCIS sends accepted K visa applications to the National Visa Center, which will then forward case files to the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of origin. The last step in the process is an interview at the embassy or consulate, which an applicant could prepare for with a seasoned K visa lawyer in their area.
A K visa could allow you to spend valuable time with your fiancé(e) or spouse without waiting to be granted a permanent immigrant visa. However, there are several procedural steps that could be difficult to complete without the help of a skilled San Diego K visa lawyer.
The Hacking Law Practice, LLC provides legal counsel to those navigating the U.S. immigration process. Call today to speak with a member of our team about your unique situation.