90 Day Fiancé is the popular TLC television series that debuted in January 2014 and follows the lives of international couples who have or are applying for a K-1 visa. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) K-1 visa program allows United States citizens to sponsor their fiancé(e) to legally enter and live in the United States. However, the sponsor and the applicant must marry within 90 days of entry into the United States. After this, the immigrant can apply for a green card in a process known as adjustment of status to obtain legal permanent resident status.
If after the immigrant’s arrival in the U.S. the couple decides not to marry, there is no violation or marriage fraud, as long as the true intent was marriage. However, the foreign national must leave the United States before the 90-day period ends or face the risk of deportation if they do not leave the U.S. voluntarily, which will negatively impact any future immigration applications.
90 Day Fiancé is a behind the scenes, dramatized inside look at the stress and complications the 90-day timeline and cultural and language differences can create. While the couples and relationships are real, their actual experiences are condensed and edited to provide only a small look at what actually happens in their K-1 visa process – and a lot of TV entertainment and drama.
Getting a K-1 visa is not an exact science. All decisions by U.S. immigration officials are discretionary, based on the applicants’ answers, attitude and background check. Immigration officials are concerned with marriage fraud and want to be sure a real relationship exists between the immigrant and their American sponsor. They are looking for inconsistencies as indicators of a fraudulent K-visa application. Consulting an experienced immigration attorney can help you understand the requirements and options when applying for a marriage visa, and prepare for your K-1 visa interview.
To qualify for a K-visa, immigrants must meet special criteria and take specific actions once in the United States.
1. No one can apply for a K-1 visa on his or her own. Only a United States citizen who is currently engaged to a non-citizen may initiate the fiancé visa application process.
2. The immigrant and the sponsoring citizen fiancé(e) must get married no more than 90 days after the immigrant’s entry into the United States. Couples who are already married, who plan to marry outside the United States, or for situations where the fiancé(e) already legally lives in the United States cannot pursue a K-1 visa.
3. The two people must have met each other in person at least once over the past two years and be legally free to marry.
90 Day Fiancé doesn’t show the viewers all of the work that goes on behind the scenes with attorneys and immigration lawyers, and the cameras aren’t allowed to film meetings with immigration officials.
An experienced K-1 visa lawyer can help to determine a couple’s eligibility for the K-visa program, and the steps to take. Mario Godoy and the other immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options. Call today at 855-554-6369.