Fiance visas (designated as K-1) are important tools that allow couples to marry in the United States. This helps families stay together, and it is an important legal right for citizens of other countries. It is, however, important to understand how a fiance visa works. If you do not apply under the right circumstances or have changes in your circumstances, your application could be denied. Your marriage could be audited by the government. The foreign citizen could even be subjected to removal proceedings or deportation.
The experienced immigration attorneys at Joseph & Hall have handled a wide variety of K-1 litigation in Denver. By seeking legal advice at the start of your immigration case, you can avoid many potential problems in the fiance immigration process.
A fiance visa is issued before the foreign fiance(e) enters the country. An American citizen sponsors the visa and avows that he or she intends to marry the foreign citizen once he or she has been admitted to this country on a K-1 visa. The visa is issued, and the foreign fiance enters the United States. At that point, the couple has ninety days to be married. The visa will automatically expire at the end of that time. If the couple has not married, the foreign citizen can be subjected to removal proceedings.
Once the couple has married, the American citizen can sponsor their new spouse for a green card. Spouses are eligible for an “immediate family” green card. These have no annual quotas, so it is easier to obtain than a family preference visa. But the federal government scrutinizes these green cards carefully. This is why television shows and movies like to discuss “green card marriages.” There are certain “red flags” that can make the government more likely to audit such a marriage. This is why it is important to discuss your case with an immigration lawyer before your fiance is issued a K-1 visa.
In addition to sponsoring a fiance(e) for a K-1 visa, an American citizen may also sponsor the fiance’s children for a visa. Children of a K-1 visa holder can apply for a K-2 visa. The K-2 visa relies on the eligibility of the K-1 visa. As a result, they too can be removed from the country if the K-1 visa becomes invalid. This can happen if the couple does not marry within ninety days, or if the fiance overstays the K-1 visa, or anything else happens to invalidate the K-1 visa. It can also be more difficult for K-2 visa children to obtain a green card once they have entered the country. It is important to have a plan for a child’s immigration status before they enter the U.S. on a K-2 visa.
The sooner you have an experienced immigration lawyer on your side, the better protected your immigration rights will be. U.S. citizens have the legal right to sponsor an eligible foreign fiance or fiancee for immigration on a K-1 visa. At Joseph & Hall, we fight to protect this right and help children of K-1 visa holders obtain lawful immigration status as well. Visit our website to schedule a consultation or to find the office closest to you. We have convenient locations to help clients in Denver, and we also serve the surrounding areas.
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