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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawK-1 Visa Thailand: Do I Have to Marry My Thai Fiancee?

K-1 Visa Thailand: Do I Have to Marry My Thai Fiancee?

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to discuss the K-1 fiancée visa and some specific ramifications of the K-1. A noted on other videos, the K-1 is something of an interesting visa in so far that it's a dual intent travel document. It's processed as a non-immigrant visa. It has an immigrant component into it so it sort of processes like an immigrant visa and sort of operates like an immigrant visa once that individual is in the United States.

As noted in other videos, once a person that has a K-1 arrives in the U.S.A., they have 90 days to marry their fiancée and adjust status to permanent residence. A question that is asked, on one level people think that seems sort of almost a superfluous question or a ridiculous sort of question ask this "Do I have to marry my fiancée in the United States?"

Circumstances change, things change in people's lives. A fiancée visa is specifically designed in Congress' infinite wisdom back in the 1950s, it was decided that 90 days was enough time for a couple to get to know each other stateside, how things are going to work to make a decision with respect to getting married and filing for more permanent status for the foreign fiancée. But at the same time, although one must maintain a genuine intention to marry their American citizens' spouse when filling out and when filing and when processing the K-1 application and petition, things can change inside the United States. I've seen situations where the couple stays together and they get married later. It's just that it didn't feel right at that particular moment to get married, it just didn't work.

This happens and so long as the foreign fiancée does not overstay the 90-day period in the United States, it's kind of a no-harm-no-foul situation. That being said, a subsequent K-1 after an initial K-1 can, for lack of better term, raise some flags with respect to multiple K-1 filings which is discussed on another video on this channel. The impact specifically on the foreign national is not typically negative.

If they left the United States on their own free will, did not overstay their visa status, it just so happens their intentions change, it doesn't have a negative impact upon their immigration record for lack of better term. So this does happen.

A point to note, it's not been something that's come up frequently but it is worth noting, the K-1 is also interesting in the fact that the K-1 is to be utilized specifically for the petitioner and beneficiary involved. So the foreign fiancée cannot utilize the K-1 to come to the United States and then let's say, the relationship does not work out but he or she meets someone else in the U.S.A. and wishes to marry that individual. It's not impossible for them to marry but that individual who came into the country in that K-1 status cannot utilize that K-1 to adjust status based on marriage to another partner. The K-1 is specifically designed for the two named as petitioner and beneficiary and in that set of circumstances, probably what's going to occur is that that individual is going to have to leave the United States and consulate process abroad the new visa to reflect the materially changed circumstances of the case.

Again, this is not something that comes up overly frequently but it's something to keep in mind with respect to how this overall process works and it provides a further insight into sort of overall status of K-1 specifically.