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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawAre K-1 Visas Just "Glorified Tourist Visas"?

Are K-1 Visas Just "Glorified Tourist Visas"?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the K-1 Visa. This is kind of a comparison with the B1/B2 Tourist Visa.

A recent comment on our channel, quoting directly: "They are barely processing K-1 Visas. I would go with the CR-1 Marriage Visa. This is coming from somebody that is currently doing a K-1. A lot of people in the Government just see the K-1 as a glorified Tourist Visa with an option to marry. In some Embassies K-1s are barely moving.” Well I can't speak for every Embassy. I can say that here in Bangkok, K-1s are moving along. Again every country is dealing with different ramifications associated with the local response to COVID-19. So I don't know what is going on in every different Embassy. 

What I would say and the purpose of this video is "the government just see the K-1 as a glorified Tourist Visa with an option to marry." No not at all. That is an incorrect description of the situation. The INA is very clear. K-1 is its own, there is a fiancé category for visas. They are dealt with under the Immigrant Visa unit as opposed to the Non-immigrant Visa unit which deals with Tourist Visas. So they are totally two different things. Comparing them is like comparing apples and bowling balls.

Now that said, K-1s are interesting because they are a Non-Immigrant Visa but they are what we call a "dual intent" Non-Immigrant visa so a person can go to the United States but they can have immigrant intentions, notwithstanding the fact that technically speaking it is a non-immigrant Visa. Again it is still processed by the Immigrant Visa unit; it is treated for all practical purposes and legal purposes as if it were an Immigrant Visa because that individual can have immigrant intent. It just has specific parameters under which that person can, in the case of the K-1, get married and apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence. To call it a glorified Tourist Visa, I don't think that's an accurate description. Far from it in fact. It is designed in a totally different way. It has a one-time usage of a 90-day validity as opposed to a 10-year multi entry Visa which provides substantial amount of time, multiple times for someone who comes into the United States. So to call it a glorified Tourist Visa is just in my opinion an inaccurate description. They are two very different travel documents and they are used for two very different purposes.