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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawThe K-1 Visa: Physical Meeting Requirement

The K-1 Visa: Physical Meeting Requirement

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're discussing the K-1 visa, that's the fiancée visa specifically. For more information on the K-1 visa, please peruse this channel and learn more about the K-1 visa. We have specific videos on specific topics pertaining to the K-1 but in this video today, we're specifically talking about the meeting requirement which is inherent to a petition for a K-1 visa.

What is this requirement? Well basically, as stipulated under the U.S. law, those seeking a K-1 fiancée visa must have physically met, in person within a two-year period prior to the filing of a petition for K-1 visa benefits. So prior to filing the petition for a K-1, the couple in question must have physically met each other in person in order to meet all the eligibility requirements for that type of immigration benefit.

Now, there are exceptions to this rule. If one can show an extreme hardship in meeting this requirement, most notably I have had clients in the past who had extreme physical impairments that basically kept them from being able to meet their significant other in person, that can be and its discretionary on the part of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Officers but that can be viewed as a ground for exempting the couple a petition from the K-1 visa meeting requirement.

Another thing is if there are customs associated with one's particular religion or upbringing which would preclude meeting one's prospective spouse in person prior to actually being married, then this may be used as a basis for an exemption to the meeting requirement. Most notably this will happen sometimes in arranged marriage situations involving things like Indian nationals from the country of India. There are certain cultural customs and religious practices which preclude meeting one's prospective spouse in person. Barring those and one really needs to provide significant documentation as to why one petition should be provided exemption to this requirement, barring one of those, it's pretty darn difficult to overcome the meeting requirement; in fact, I would say it's impossible. Basically, the way that they look at this situations is two fiancées need to meet each other in person at least two years prior to the filing the petition of a fiancée visa benefits otherwise the individuals in questions are deemed not eligible for K-1 visa benefits. Again, this is rather significant but it is important in so far as meeting these requirement. These requirements are set forth statutorily and they reflect the policy that you know this needs to be a genuine relationship. They're essentially trying to preclude or forestall so-called marriages of convenience or sham marriages notwithstanding the fact that this is a fiancée visa. So that's basically the policy thinking behind it.

 Again, K-1 visas can be very beneficial, and can run a little bit more quickly sometimes than marriage visas but again, those entering the United States in K-1 visa status do not enter with a green card as do those who enter the United States in one of the immigrant spousal visa categories. So that is something to keep in mind.

With respect to the K-1 visa, it should be noted that notwithstanding the meeting requirement, there are hosts of other requirements which are set forth in various videos which are also on this channel.