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What should people know before applying for a K-1 fiancé visa?

Falling in love can be an exhilarating experience. Some people start making major adjustments to their lives as soon as things grow serious with a romantic partner. Others need to tackle practical challenges before they can start living with their loved ones.

When a United States citizen falls in love with someone who is a foreign national, they may need to apply for a K-1 or fiancé visa to live together. The K-1 visa program allows a citizen to sponsor a fiancé for lawful entry into the United States for the purposes of marriage.

What does a citizen hoping to get married need to know about a K-1 visa before they apply?

Their fiancé must meet certain standards

There are rules limiting immigration opportunities for the safety of the general public. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has requirements related to the criminal background and health history of potential immigrants. A fiancé seeking a K-1 visa must submit to an extensive background check and must also meet baseline medical requirements to legally enter the country.

The relationship must meet standards as well

Marriage-based visas and green cards are theoretically easy for people to abuse. Especially since the social acceptance of divorce has increased, the possibility of a citizen marrying someone they do not actually intend to spend their life with has become more of a concern. The USCIS therefore expects applicants seeking K-1 visas to submit evidence affirming that they have a bona fide relationship with their fiancé. Records of communications between the two, communications involving family members and even a history of travel between the countries can help affirm the validity of the relationship between the fiancés. Proof of a traditional culture of arranged marriages could also help in cases where fiancés have not met previously.

The marriage must occur quickly

The final key requirement for a K-1 visa is marrying quickly. A K-1 visa only allows an immigrant to remain in the United States for 90 days. People may have just under three months to address all of the details for their domestic wedding.

Understanding the rules that govern K-1 visas for fiancés can help people evaluate their different immigration opportunities. K-1 visas can prove useful for those who have fallen in love with someone who lives in another country and those who belong to traditional cultures where their families arrange their marriages.

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