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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawA Brief Overview of the K-1 Fiance Visa

A Brief Overview of the K-1 Fiance Visa

Transcript of the above video:

This video will briefly discuss the K-1 Visa, which is the fiancée visa and how that Visa operates for those seeking immigration benefits to the United States.

The K-1 fiancée visa grants the visa holder 90 days lawful presence in the USA for the specific purpose of marrying a United States citizen fiancée and thereafter for filing for adjustment of status AKA permanent immigration benefits, lawful permanent residence, also known as green card. One of the main stipulations of a K-1 Visa is that the foreign fiancée must be intending to marry a United States citizen fiancée; it cannot be another green card holder. It must be a US citizen fiancée in the United States. It should also be noted that the couple must have met at least 2 years prior to the initial filing of the petition for the K-1 Visa. The K-1 Visa, the filing will occur with the Department of Homeland Security where it will be adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Thereafter, and assuming approval it will be sent to the National Visa Center under the auspices of the Department of State. The Department of State will then send that case on to the United States Embassy in Bangkok. Once it arrives here in Bangkok and we are assuming this case involves a Thai/American couple, once the case arrives here in Bangkok, the Consular Section of the US Embassy here will give that case a case number and the Thai fiancée will be informed of a need to go and gather relevant documentation and undergo an interview process with the Consular Officials in order to ultimately be granted a visa to the USA. It should be noted that once a K-1 Visa is granted, the Visa holder has six months to use the Visa and then once the Visa is used and the K-1 Visa holder goes to the United States, once in the United States they have 90 days with which to get married to their American citizen fiancée and then file for adjustment of status. A couple of things should be noted. Should the couple opt not to get married while in the United States on a K-1 Visa, so long as the K-1 Visa holder returns to either Thailand or frankly just leaves the United States within the 90 day period,  no harm no foul. There is not an overstay violation garnered against that person. Something else that should be noted, K-1 visas can only be used for the specific purpose of marrying the American citizen fiancé listed on the Visa petition. So a K-1 visa can not to be granted for the purpose of traveling to the United States to marry one person and then that traveler to the United States, that immigrant, cannot then turn around and marry someone else for whom that K-1 was not petitioned for. Another thing to note, the adjustment of status process that is the process by which someone entering into the United States is granted immigrant Visa benefits i.e. Green Card status. It should be noted that going into the United States on a K-1 Visa, the K-1 is technically a non-immigrant Visa, although for all practical purposes it is treated as an immigrant Visa because it has a dual intent component to it whereby the person traveling to the United States has the intention to remain in the United States although their current Visa, namely the K-1, is not issued for any longer like the time the 90 days permitted under the law. Many people often ask me why 90 days? It seems like an arbitrary number.  In point of fact I would say it is rather an arbitrary number but 90 days was the amount of time deemed by the drafters of the Immigration Nationality Act who felt that  90 days was enough for a couple to go to the United States, determine if they wanted to be married, and adjust status to lawful permanent residence in the USA. A point of fact about a couple of things. It should be noted that presently it is a possibility to live, I should say to use K-1 visa for same-sex couples, thanks to recent Supreme Court decisions and subsequent policy changes by the various regulators who oversee immigration policy. It is now possible for same-sex couples to utilize these same benefits as different sex couples. One final note. It should be noted that at least here in Thailand that are quite a number of outfits, operations, whatever you want to call them, who claim to have proper qualifications to assist in immigration matters. It should be noted pursuant to United States Federal Code only licensed attorneys are permitted to charge a fee in association with a K-1 Visa process and also frankly they're really the only ones qualified to assist. Those claiming to be able to assist one in the K-1 Visa process who cannot provide some qualification in the form of a Bar Card or some form of proof of having being admitted  to the Bar Association of the highest court in one of the jurisdictions in the United States, I would strongly caution people looking for assistance in these matters to possibly look for someone who can prove their qualifications pursuant to United States law.