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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawA K-1 Fiancée Visa Is Not an Alternative to an American Tourist Visa

A K-1 Fiancée Visa Is Not an Alternative to an American Tourist Visa

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the K-1 Fiancée visa. We are also discussing the US B1/B2 Visa also known as the tourist visa. 

What are we talking about? Well it is a common misconception, I actually saw this on a couple of other YouTube videos and I don't really blame the people that had this insight but it's not really an insight because it's incorrect, but I saw a couple of people that made it clear that tourist visas are rather difficult to get for single unmarried Thai women, mostly, in the context of the fiancée and so a fiancée visa is an alternative. That is not strictly speaking correct.

What am I talking about here?  Well I do see a lot of folks and I have met a lot of folks over the years they are going ahead and they would like to bring their fiancée, their significant other, to the United States and they would like to go ahead and visit before they make any further plans with respect to marriage etc. Unfortunately due to what is called section 214 B of the Immigration Nationality Act that can be rather difficult. Getting a tourist visa, especially for a single Thai woman, can prove to be a difficult endeavor to say the least. In fact I would argue under many circumstances it might be purely futile and simply a waste of money. That being said each case is different and we are always happy to discuss the circumstances of our clients given cases. But that being said in these other videos I saw on You Tube, it was sort of implied and then actually overtly stated in one video that a K-1 is the better way to go and that it is in some way similar to the tourist visa.  That is not really the case those who are going in the United States and K-1 status need to maintain an affirmative and genuine intention to marry in the United States.  Now the K-1 does have this sort of “dual intent” component and if the couple doesn't get married, well depending on the circumstances that may be acceptable and it may especially be acceptable if the K-1 fiancée visa holder leaves the United States within the 90-day period that he or she was granted lawful status.  

So the thing to take away from this video is it is not a substitute for a tourist visa. A genuine intention to marry needs to exist during the processing of the K-1. Once that individual is in the United States, if the couple does marry and they intend to remain they need to go ahead and adjust status to Lawful Permanent Residence.

The thing to take away from this video is, I just want to make it clear it is not an alternative to a tourist visa although I see many people who try for a K-1 after a tourist visa has been denied mostly because there really was that genuine intention but they just wanted to kind of make sure that the individual, the Thai beneficiary, really would get along well in the United States and for that reason they were seeking a tourist visa. That is fine and the denial on the tourist visa depending again on the circumstances, may or may not adversely impact a subsequent K-1 but that being said the thing to keep in mind from this video is they are not a replacement for each other. A K-1 is a qualitatively different type of Visa. It has an immigrant intent component and also that the couple genuinely intend to get married. It is not a matter of simply using it as a replacement for the tourist visa.