Keeping families together is a primary goal of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This does not just apply to couples who are currently married, but also concerns people who are engaged.
The K-1 visa program allows United States citizens to sponsor their fiancé(e)s for legal entry into the United States. However, these people must marry within 90 days of entry into the United States. After this, the immigrant could then apply for a green card to obtain legal, permanent resident status. Already married people may ask for a similar K-3 visa.
Attorneys could help U.S. citizens and their fiancé(e)s or spouses obtain a K visa. Let a Wheaton K visa lawyer work to complete the necessary paperwork and ensure that immigrants have the best possible chance to enjoy a new life in the United States.
Who is Eligible to Seek a K Visa?
The USCIS K-visa program allows U.S. citizens to sponsor their fiancé(e)’s entry into the country. These visas allow the immigrant to live in the United States and to seek employment if he or she makes a request using Form I-765.
To qualify for a K-visa, immigrants must meet special criteria and take specific actions once in the United States. First, a person cannot 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 application process.
Second, the immigrant and the sponsoring fiancé(e) must marry no more than 90 days following entry into the country. People who are already married, who plan to marry outside the United States, or in situations where the fiancé(e) already legally lives in the United States cannot pursue a K-visa. Finally, the two people must have met each other in person at least once over the past two years and be legally free to marry. A Wheaton lawyer could help determine a couple’s eligibility for the K-visa program.
A K-visa could also allow already married people and their children gain entry. These K-3 and K-4 visas function in much the same way as the K-1 visas, and a local attorney could help U.S. citizens reunite families.
Taking Steps to Pursue a K-Visa
Obtaining a K-visa is a multi-step process. It begins when a U.S. citizen files Form I-129F with the USCIS. This form requires specific and detailed information concerning the applicant’s citizenship status, personally identifying information, and the same data about the fiancé(e).
Once this application is complete and in the hands of the USCIS, an employee there makes a decision on whether to approve the application and forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC then forwards the application to the U.S. consulate in the fiancé(e)’s home country. The consulate then schedules an in-person interview to determine the authenticity of the relationship. If the embassy grants the visa, it is good for up to six months and for a single entry into the United States. However, these two people have only 90 days once the fiancé(e) is in the country to get married. If they fail to do so, the visa expires, and the fiancé(e) must return home.
To make the move permanent, a now-married person should pursue a green card through the form to request a permanent change of immigration status. An attorney in Wheaton could help to guide couples through the entire K-visa process.
Let a Wheaton K-Visa Attorney Help a Family Grow
When two people wish to get married, but one is not a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident, this wedding may become very complicated. Fortunately, the USCIS K-visa program allows U.S. citizens to sponsor their fiancé(e)’s entry into the United States for the express and sole purpose of marriage.
Even so, the application and interview process are things that people must take seriously. This requires detailed information about both the parties, as well as proof that the relationship is bona fide. Working with a knowledgeable attorney could provide essential guidance and help in completing this application process. Contact a Wheaton K-visa attorney today to learn more.