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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawSpecific Things to Consider in K-1 Fiance Visa Applications

Specific Things to Consider in K-1 Fiance Visa Applications

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today, we're going to be discussing the K1 fiancee visa and some of the special considerations to keep in mind when dealing with processing and when dealing with having this visa actually being issued the visa being in the United States. Some key things that folks don't really think about with respect to the K1 and over the years, I've had some questions regarding specifically the K1.

Most notably,  one of the big ones that doesn't come up often but it does come up is somebody will ask me about once a year, maybe once every couple of years, they'll basically send us an inquiry that says, you know, “I came into the United States on a K1 visa. It didn't work out between me and my fiance but I ended up meeting someone else that I want to marry, can I get married and remain in the U.S.?” The answer is no. The K1 fiancee visa is issued specific to the petitioner and beneficiary and it actually says on the issued visa K1 fiancee and then it names the American citizen beneficiary petitioner by name. So you could in theory legally marry another person but you can't use that marriage as a basis for adjustment of status and one would have to leave the United States and file for a wholly new marriage visa or seek another fiancee visa.

Not a particularly frequent issue that comes up but one that people don't really understand or people, sorry it's an issue. One would just say all over the United States “I'm legally here, why can't I just switch this up?” Because that's the rule. Basically statutorily, it was designed for that one petitioner and that one beneficiary and if you think about it, it makes sense because that petitioner is the one who filed things pertaining to himself or herself with respect to their U.S. citizenship, their ability to financially support their fiance etc. So it's of importance to keep that in mind when coming to the United States on a K1.

And the next thing to know with respect to a K1 is it is a single entry 90-day visa in and of itself. It's not in and of itself along to a visa so part of the conditionality of it is, you have to come to the United States and marry the person who petitioned for the benefit and then file for adjustment of status to U.S. lawful permanent residents. I was about to say citizenship. I mean U.S. lawful permanent residence. Once the petition or the application for adjustment to lawful permanent residence is approved from that point, it is thereafter okay to sort of come and go from the United States,depart the United States and come back after a green card has been issued.

A lot of folks have an issue with this because sometimes a family member will get ill etc and they want to go back to their home country and in most of the cases we deal with, are Thailand based so they want to come back to Thailand in order to deal with this stuff. The fact of the matter is there is a mechanism for allowing a K1 fiancee to leave while the adjustment is processing. It's called advance parole. We did a specific video on advanced parole on this channel and I urge you folks watching this video to check that out.

But with respect to “can you just leave and come back in?” No and in fact leaving kills not only the K1 but it kills the adjustment of status filing as well. So until the individual who got the K1 is fully adjusted, they shouldn't leave the United States.

Another question a lot of folks have is “Is a K1 work authorized?” No, it's not actually. It's like a hybrid visa. It's kind of a non-immigrant visa but it has immigrant intent attached. Once again, once the adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence or green current status is approved then yes, work authorization comes along with that. But in order to work prior to the approval of the adjustment, one would need to go ahead and obtain a work authorization document from the U.S. It's possible to do that. In most cases, though, folks adjust quickly enough that work authorization isn't super imperative in the cases that it is we can file those and we do oftentimes just because it's necessary under the circumstances. But that being said, these are just a couple of just sort of broad-stroke considerations that go part and parcel with a K1 that there's sort of unique specifically to the K1 and for that reason, I kind of thought it was worthy of a video.