K-1 Visas For Foreign National Fiancé(e)s
K-1 visas allow U.S. citizens to bring their foreign national fiancé(e) to the U.S. to marry. Colorado immigration firm Battan Alpert LLP will prepare the forms and help you organize the supporting documents for your K-1 visa petition and for your spouse’s permanent residence (green card) application. The fiancé(e) visa process can be broken into four steps as follows:
1. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): The U.S. citizen (“petitioner”) files a visa petition for his or her fiancé(e) (“beneficiary”) with USCIS in the United States. The petition must be approved.
After we have all the signed forms and the documents we need from you, we will start the process by filing the fiancé(e) visa petition with USCIS. USCIS will then send us a receipt notice. The receipt notice will contain an estimate of how long it will take USCIS to process the petition. It will also contain a receipt number that we can use to track the case online. We will provide both of you with this number as well so that you can track the case status.
2. The National Visa Center (NVC): USCIS sends the approved visa petition to NVC. NVC creates a case record and forwards the approved petition to the appropriate embassy or consulate so the beneficiary can be interviewed regarding his or her eligibility for a visa.
3. The embassy or consulate: The embassy or consulate receives the approved petition from the NVC, sends the beneficiary a packet of forms and instructions and schedules the beneficiary for an in-person interview. The consular officer conducting the interview will decide whether the K-1 visa should be issued. The visa may be issued on the same day as the interview, or the applicant may have to return to the consulate at a later time to pick up the visa. If the consulate has any problems in issuing the visa, they should give you those reasons in writing.
The consular process can take several months, although processing times vary greatly.
4. USCIS: If the consular officer approves the beneficiary’s visa application, the consulate will issue him or her a K-1 visa. The visa will be valid for six months, and the beneficiary must enter the U.S. during that period. Please note that a K-1 visa is a “single-entry” visa, meaning that if a K-1 entrant leaves the U.S. after entry, the U.S. government will require him or her to obtain a new visa in order to return.
Within 90 days of the beneficiary’s entry to the U.S., the U.S. citizen and beneficiary must marry. After they marry, the couple must file the beneficiary’s paperwork for permanent residence with USCIS. The beneficiary’s application for permanent residence requires several lengthy forms. At Battan Alpert LLP, we ensure that our clients’ paperwork is properly completed and submitted to USCIS. As your attorneys, we closely monitor the status of your case and keep you apprised of the processing times and case status updates.
If all the required paperwork is properly completed and submitted, USCIS will issue the beneficiary a work authorization card that will allow him or her to work in the United States. The beneficiary may also apply for a travel document (“advance parole”), which will allow him or her to travel outside the United States while the permanent residence application is pending.
As the last step in the permanent residency process, the beneficiary and U.S. citizen spouse will both be required to attend a personal interview at the local USCIS office. We will thoroughly prepare you for the interview and, if your interview is scheduled at the Denver Field Office, we will also accompany you to your interview.
For more information about the permanent residence process, reach out to the law firm of Battan Alpert LLP today.
Contact a K visa attorney today to discuss your situation with a seasoned Colorado immigration lawyer. At Battan Alpert LLP, we are dedicated to helping you and your family have the best possible experience with our immigration system.
This website is for general guidance only. It does not explain everything about immigration law, which is a vast and ever-changing area of law. Furthermore, each individual’s situation differs. Thus, all individuals should consult with an immigration lawyer prior to filing any petition or application.