The Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) gives an opportunity to US citizens to bring their foreign fiancé(e)s to the United States to get married here. In order to obtain the K-1 fiancé(e) visa, the petitioning US citizen and his/her fiancé(e) must meet certain requirements.
First of all, it should be noted that only US citizens can file K-1 petitions for their foreign fiancé(e)s. Lawful permanent residents cannot bring their fiancé(e)s to the US with a K-1 visa. The petitioning US citizen must submit a proof of his citizenship with the petition for alien fiancé(e). The acceptable evidence of US citizenship includes, but is not limited to, a copy of birth certificate issued by a US civil authority, a copy of certificate of naturalization, and a copy of unexpired US passport.
The US citizen petitioner and his/her fiancé(e) must intend to marry within ninety (90) days after fiancé(e)’s entry to the US. Both the petitioner and his/her fiancé(e) shall submit statements of their intent to marry within ninety (90) days after fiancé(e)’s entry to the US. In addition to the statements, the petitioner shall submit any other evidence showing the mutual intention to marry. Once the petitioner and fiancé(e) marry within ninety (90) days after fiancé(e)’s entry to the US, the fiancé(e) may apply for adjustment of status to obtain his/her green card. If the petitioner and fiancé(e) fail to marry within ninety (90) days after fiancé(e)’s entry to the US, the fiancé(e) shall leave the country.
A US citizen can file a petition for alien fiancé(e) only if the petitioner and his/her fiancé(e) have met in person within two (2) years prior to filing the petition. The petitioner shall submit evidence of the meeting with his/her fiancé(e) with the petition. Such evidence may include photographs, airplane tickets, stamps in passports, receipts or anything else showing that the petitioner and fiancé(e) have met in person. The requirement of in person meeting can be waived only in two (2) circumstances: (1) if the petitioner can establish that the requirement to meet his/her fiancé(e) in person would result in extreme hardship to the petitioner; or (2) the requirement to meet the fiancé(e) in person would violate strict and long established customs of the petitioner’s or fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
Both the petitioner and his/her fiancé(e) must be of legal age to marry. Additionally, if the petitioner and/or fiancé(e) have been married before, all prior marriages must be terminated. The petitioner shall submit proof that all previous marriages were legally terminated. Evidence of termination of previous marriages may include judgments of divorce or annulment of marriage or a death certificate issued by a civil authority.
If the US citizen petitioner and his/her fiancé(e) meet the requirements outlined above, the US citizen can submit a petition for the fiancé(e). Once the petition is approved, the fiancé(e) can enter the US to marry the petitioner.
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