Immigration Law Is All About Family

3 important rules for K-1 fianc(é)e visas

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Immigration Law

Love can start in the strangest ways. People might meet someone while traveling for business or on a vacation. They might develop a deep emotional connection with someone they met online. Those from more traditional cultures may even find love through family efforts in the form of then arranged marriage.

Someone who is engaged to an individual living in another country may hope to bring their fianc(é)e to the United States. A K-1 or fianc(é)e visa could be one of the fastest and most effective means of achieving that goal. There are certain rules people need to know before they attempt to secure a fianc(é)e visa for their intended marriage partner.

Their fianc(é)e must pass a background check

A prospective marital relationship does not exempt an aspiring immigrant from the scrutiny of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Someone’s fianc(é)e must have a history that demonstrates good moral character. Typically, they need to have avoided major criminal infractions to meet the standard. Additionally, they need to have key medical records available for the USCIS to review when they apply for a visa.

The relationship may face careful review

Stories about people abusing fianc(é)e and spousal visas are common, so the USCIS looks at K-1 visa applications very carefully. The engaged individuals typically need to have compelling evidence of an ongoing relationship. Copies of letters, screenshots of emails and photographs taken from times when they have been together could help. Testimony from friends and family members could also prove beneficial, especially in circumstances involving a traditional culture and an arranged marriage. There may even need to be an interview process to help validate the relationship between the fianc(é)es before the USCIS grants the K-1 visa.

The marriage must happen quickly

Especially when the two people getting married prefer to have their family members present for their ceremony, a wedding can require a lot of advance planning. Couples planning an international marriage may need to prepare very carefully and handle practical details well in advance. Typically, a K-1 visa is only valid for 90 days after someone enters the country. Three months is usually not enough time to orchestrate a wedding. Therefore, couples usually need to begin planning long before the foreign national fianc(é)e enters the country or arrange to solemnize the marriage legally and plan for a celebration later.

Learning about the rules that apply to popular visa programs could help those planning to marry bring the person they love to the United States successfully. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.