We are open and available.  However, due to precautions related to COVID-19, we are temporarily unavailable for in-person consultations or meetings. We are accepting payments and documents ONLY at our Longmont location and electronically, and we have expanded our options for remote consultations and meetings. Our Aurora office is temporarily unstaffed and not accepting payments or documents. Please call or email us to schedule a phone consultation, video conference, or for assistance with submitting documents and payments.
  1. Home
  2.  – 
  3. Immigration Law
  4.  – What is a K-1 Visa?

What is a K-1 Visa?

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2020 | Immigration Law

One path of many to become an American citizen is to marry an American citizen inside of the United States using the K-1 Visa. For many, this is a necessary step in ensuring that a non-American citizen and American citizen can live together in the same country. According to the US State Department, if you are the recipient of a K-1 Visa, you must marry the American citizen within 90 days of arriving in the United States.

In some situations it is not necessary to obtain a K-1 Visa in order to marry in the United States. The main benefit of the K-1 Visa is that it allows the recipient to easily transition over to a Green Card after the marriage has gone through legal channels. However, for example, if the non-American citizen is from a country that is eligible for the ESTA visa waiver, it is technically possible for the non-American citizen to marry the American citizen within the United States. It is also technically possible if the non-American citizen is inside of the United States with a student visa or a work visa.

The problem with this approach is that getting married on an ESTA visa waiver (or a student or work visa) is considered getting married in “bad faith” in most circumstances because this is a way of circumnavigating the K-1 Visa process. If this is the case, it can be very difficult for the non-American citizen to obtain a Green Card.

If you are looking to obtain a Green Card for the non-American citizen of a marriage, it is important to go through the K-1 Visa process for the least amount of stress.