When a U.S. citizen wants to sponsor their fiancé(e) for a visa, they fill out an I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) with Immigration Services. Also known as a K-visa, the common name referred to fiancé(e) visas. When the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives the application for the fiancé(e) visa, they begin processing the paperwork and eventually approve the K-visa. Once the K-visa is approved, the U.S. citizen completes another form with the State Department and the fiancé(e) is scheduled for an interview at their local embassy. If the visa is approved, the individual receives a K-visa. The individual then can come to the United States to get married and apply for adjustment status. For more information about K-visas, contact a well-established family visa attorney. A St. Louis K-visa lawyer could guide you through the process to ensure that you have correctly gone through the process.

K-Visa Eligibility

The only person eligible for a K-visa is the foreign-born fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen. A green card holder in the United States as a lawful permanent resident is not allowed to file for a K-visa. That right is only available for U.S. citizens. A green card holder must get married and go the marriage route as opposed to the fiancé(e) visa which is for the intended spouse of a U.S. citizen.

Fiancé(e) visas are only available for situations where the foreign national is outside of the United States. The visa gets them into the United States so they can get married. Sometimes people ask an attorney for help obtaining a visa for a fiancé(e) who is already in the United States. They need to get married to file a spouse adjustment status case instead of getting a fiancé(e) visa. Those visas are only used when the foreign spouse is currently overseas. A St. Louis K-visa lawyer could answer questions regarding an individual’s eligibility.

Getting Married Too Soon After Arriving in the United States

When a fiancé(e) is in the United States, they do not need to seek a K-1 visa route because they do not need the visa. The K-1 visa is only to bring the person into the United States. In that situation, the couple may get married and then apply for adjustment status based on the marriage. One thing to consider is that people sometimes get married too soon after arriving in the United States. If a foreigner is in the United States for 60 days or less and they marry a U.S. citizen during the initial 60 days of their visit, they can be presumed to have immigrant intent. Immigrant intent means that the foreign spouse deceived the State Department by coming on a non-immigrant visa and trying to adjust status. It is important that a couple follows the rules and does not get married in the first 60 days.

There could be a major concern when the former spouse is physically present in the United States. If they are on a student visa and have been in the United States for years, there should be no problem. However, if they come on a visit and quickly get married, that could cause issues.

Conditional Permanent Resident Status

In any scenario where a foreign spouse marries a U.S. citizen and files for adjustment status, once the case is approved, the foreign spouse may be granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States. If a couple is married for less than two years, the foreign spouse receives a conditional green card because Immigration Services is concerned about marital fraud an immigration fraud. To make sure that the foreign spouse and the U.S. citizen are still married, Immigration Services requires the couple to file an I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. That gives the foreign spouse and the U.S. citizen the opportunity to present evidence that the marriage continues and the couple still lives together. When Immigration Services is satisfied, the condition of the permanent resident is lifted and the foreign national can get a permanent green card and a 10-year conditional green card holder.

Can the Fiancé(e) Bring Their Child?

If a child is under the age of 18, they may be able to come over to the United States with a K-2 visa. The K-1 visa is for the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen and the K-2 visa is for their child. As long as the child is under 18 and they are in the custody of the foreign spouse who is the beneficiary of the K-1, that child should be allowed to come. Sometimes, there are custody issues when there is a child. The foreign fiancé(e) should make sure that the other parent of the child consents to the child coming to live in the United States. While that is outside the St. Louis K-visa lawyer’s role, the issue of custody is something that comes up from time to time.

How the Fiancé(e) Can Obtain Legal Employment

When someone comes on a fiancé(e) visa, they cannot work in the United States until they file for the application to adjust status. The State Department approves the K-1 visa and the foreign fiancé(e) gets a stamp in their passport. After they arrive in the United States; they have 90 days to marry the U.S. citizen. Once they do that, they can file for the adjustment status. As part of the adjustment status application, they may apply for a work or travel card. They cannot work until they get work authorization. The work authorization comes about four months after the couple was married and filed for the adjustment status. There is a time where the foreign fiancé(e) who become the spouse is not allowed to work. The person cannot get a driver’s license, a social security card, and they cannot get a work authorization without the entire case being on file and the work application being approved. A St. Louis K-visa lawyer could help an individual file their paperwork to ensure their faincé(e) is legally able to stay and find employment.