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In Need of a K1 Visa & Fiancée Visa Immigration Lawyer?

At Kasturi Law, LLC, our Naperville and Schaumburg lawyer and law firm founder, Shobhana Kasturi, is a proud first-generation immigrant who practices immigration law to give a voice to those who need it most — including those seeking K1 and fiancée visas. K1 Visas allow a U.S. Citizen to sponsor their fiancée, a foreign national, to enter the United States to get married.

These visas are time-sensitive and have specific compliance terms. Once the individual enters the country, the U.S. citizen and their fiancée have 90 days to marry. If they do not marry within 90 days, the foreign national fiancée must return to their home country or is subject to removal from the United States.

From our primary office in the Chicago metropolitan area, our immigration law firm assists individuals throughout Illinois in filing the necessary paperwork to obtain these visas so that they can start their lives together in the U.S.

If you are a U.S. citizen and are interested in pursuing a K1 visa for your fiancée, contact our skilled immigration attorney in Schaumburg for help today. We provide in-office, phone, and Zoom consultations to help you understand your legal rights and options so you can make informed decisions about your immigration journey.

K1 Visa & Fiancée

Who is Eligible to File for a K1 Visa, and What are the Requirements?

The first eligibility requirement for a K1 visa is that the petitioner must be a U.S. citizen.

In addition:

  • Both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals must be eligible to marry. This means any marriages that one was engaged in must be no longer valid – either ending via divorce, death of a spouse, or annulment.
  • The U.S. citizen is employed, and their income meets the levels set forth by the U.S. poverty guidelines.
  • If the U.S. citizen has been convicted of certain crimes, he/she must provide police/court records and a final disposition of the matter.
  • S. citizens should have filed tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service(IRS) for at least three years.
  • The foreign national should not have been convicted of any crime and should not have a record of removal or deportation by the S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • A U.S. citizen should not have had a K1 visa approved within two years of filing the petition.
  • S. citizens should not have two or more K1 petitions filed at any time.
  • S. citizens and foreign nationals have met in person in the last two years.

If you have questions about your K1 Visa eligibility, contact our skilled immigration attorney in Naperville for help today. We can provide the straightforward advice you need to pursue the best outcome for your immigration needs.

What is the K1 Visa Filing Process?

The K1Visa filing process has several steps, and each should be completed carefully to ensure a smooth submission.

  • The Initial Step: File the K1 Visa Petition.

The U.S. citizen petitioner applicant should file I-129F. After the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews/approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will provide a case number and send your petition to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate where your beneficiary (fiancée) resides.

  • The Next Step: Apply for a K1 Visa.

The NVC will mail a notification when it forwards the case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Your foreign national (fiancée) must apply for the K1 visa and prepare for an interview. At the interview, a foreign national fiancée must provide a host of documents outlined in the letter provided by the NVC.

It is also a good idea to review the document requirements of that particular consulate that reviews K1 visas. There also will be a medical examination (by an authorized panel physician) that the fiancée must complete before any visa is issued. ANY physician cannot complete this examination. NVC must authorize them. It is essential to thoroughly review the request for documentation and completion of the medical exam.

  • The Final Step: Receive a Passport & Sealed Packet

Once you are issued a K-1 visa, the Consular Officer will provide the foreign national fiancée with a passport containing the K-1 visa and a sealed packet containing certain documents prepared by the Embassy or Consulate. It is crucial not to open the sealed envelope. This envelope will only be opened at the port of entry in the U.S. by an immigration official. The issued visa is valid for six months from the date of issuance.

Can My Children Enter the U.S. on My K1 Visa?

As a K1 visa applicant, you may apply for K-2 visas for children.

If you have an unmarried child under 21, the child may be eligible to come to the United States on a K-2 nonimmigrant visa.

The petitioner must include the names of their fiancée’s children on Form I-129F if they wish to bring them to the United States. The children must remain unmarried and under 21 to be admitted to the United States as K-2 nonimmigrants. They may travel with the fiancée or later, but they cannot travel to the U.S. before the fiancée.

If the couple is married within 90 days of the fiancée’s admission into the U.S., the children admitted as K-2 nonimmigrants may also apply for a Green Card by filing Form I-485 with USCIS. However, K-2 nonimmigrant children must remain unmarried to be eligible for a Green Card. K-2 nonimmigrant children should apply for a Green Card simultaneously or after the fiancée’s admission into the U.S.

How Long Does a K1 Visa Approval Take?

The processing time for a K-1 fiancée visa, from initial application to approval, can vary depending on various factors, including the workload at the USCIS processing center, the completeness of the application, and any additional consular/embassy processing requirements/timeframes.

What Happens if My K1 Visa Petition Expires?

The I-129F petition is valid for four months from its approval date. A consular officer can limit its duration if it expires before the visa is processed. If your K-1 visa petition is nearing its expiration date and you anticipate that it will not be approved in time, you should communicate with USCIS to inquire about the status of your petition and explore options for extending or re-filing it.

Are There Any Waivers Available for K1 Visas?

Certain grounds of inadmissibility that may apply to K-1 visa applicants are waived. These waivers allow individuals who would otherwise be inadmissible to the United States to overcome the grounds of inadmissibility and obtain a visa.

Some of the common waivers available for K-1 visa applicants include:

  • Waiver of Inadmissibility for Health-Related Grounds

If a K-1 visa applicant is found to have a health condition that renders them inadmissible to the United States, they may be eligible for a waiver if they can demonstrate that they will not pose a threat to public health and safety or that their condition will not require extensive medical treatment or create a burden on U.S. healthcare resources.

  • Waiver of Inadmissibility for Criminal Grounds

K-1 visa applicants found to be inadmissible due to certain criminal convictions may be eligible for a waiver if they can demonstrate rehabilitation and remorse and if their admission to the United States would not threaten public safety.

  • Waiver of Inadmissibility for Fraud or Misrepresentation

K-1 visa applicants who are found to have committed fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with their visa application may be eligible for a waiver if they can demonstrate extreme hardship to a qualifying relative, such as a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent if they are denied entry to the United States.

  • Waiver of Inadmissibility for Unlawful Presence

K-1 visa applicants found to have accrued unlawful presence in the United States may be eligible for a waiver if they can demonstrate extreme hardship to a qualifying relative if they are denied entry to the United States.

How Can Attorney Shobhana Kasturi at Kasturi Law, LLC Help with My K1 Visa?

When you partner with Shobhana Kasturi, attorney and law firm founder at Kasturi Law, LLC, she will thoroughly discuss the timeframe, process, and cost involved in pursuing a K1 Visa before:

  • Submitting Form I-129.
  • Providing a detailed checklist of documents needed.
  • Reviewing ALL documentation related to the filing.
  • Following up with the embassy/consulate as needed.
  • Preparing the beneficiary (fiancée) for the consulate interview.

At Kasturi Law, LLC, our Illinois immigration and nationality attorney focuses only on providing legal solutions for immigrants who need our help to flourish in a country built on migrant success stories – including those seeking K1 Visas. Contact our K1 Visa immigration law firm in Naperville today to schedule an in-person, phone, or Zoom consultation to learn more about services.

We believe in you, your immigration journey, and your success.

The petitioner must be a US citizen.

  • The foreign national and US citizen must have the ability to get married. That is, any and all marriages prior to this must no longer be valid. (the marriages could have ended via divorce, death of a spouse or annulment)
  • The US citizen is employed and his/her income meets the levels set forth by the U.S. poverty guidelines.
  • If the Us Citizen has been convicted of certain crimes, then he/she would need to provide police/court records, and a final disposition of the matter.
  • The US citizen should have filed their tax returns for at least the last 3 years with the IRS.
  • The foreign national should not have been convicted of any crime and should not have a record of removal or deportation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • The US citizen should not have a K1 visa approved within 2 years prior to the filing of the current petition.
  • The US citizen should not have two or more K1 petitions filed at any time.
  • The US citizen and foreign national have met in person in the last 2 years.

There are several steps to the process:

The Initial: File the petition.

The U.S. citizen petitioner applicant should file I-129F. After USCIS reviews/approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC provides a case number and will send your petition to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate where your beneficiary (fiancée) resides.

The Next Step: Apply for a visa

The NVC will mail a notification when it forwards the case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. At this point your foreign national (fiancée) will need to apply for the K1 visa and prepare for an interview. At the interview, foreign national fiancée will need to provide a host of documents outlined in the letter provided by the National Visa Center. It is also a good idea to review the document requirements of that particular consulate that reviews K1 visas. There also will be a medical examination (by an authorized panel physician) that must be completed by the fiancée prior to any visa being issued. This medical examination cannot be completed by just ANY physician. It is important to review the request for documentation and completion of the medical exam very thoroughly.

The Final Step:

Once you are issued a K-1 visa, the Consular Officer will provide the foreign national fiancée with a passport containing the K-1 visa and a sealed packet containing certain documents prepared by Embassy or Consulate. It is crucial not to open the sealed envelope. This envelope will only be opened at the port of entry in the U.S. by an immigration official. The issued visa is valid for 6 months from the date of issuance.

As a K1 visa applicant, one may apply for K-2 visas for children. However, separate applications must be filed for each applicant. Further, if these K2 visas are approved, the children applicants (K2 visa holders) may enter with the parent (K-1 visa holder) or after the parent has entered the US.

The process times vary based on the case and consular/embassy processing times.

The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date it was approved. A consular officer does have the discretion to extend the duration of the petition if it expired prior to when the visa processing was completed.

There may be a waiver available if the foreign national has been convicted of a crime. It is important to consult an attorney to discuss the case-specific facts. Please feel free to contact my office for a consultation.

There also may be a waiver available for those petitioners who are not able to demonstrate that they met their foreign national fiancée within the last 2 years of the application. One waiver (exception) is based upon being able to demonstrate that extreme hardship would be experienced by the K-1 petitioner. The second waiver (exception) is based on if this requirement “would violate strict and long-established customs of the beneficiary’s foreign culture.”

  • Discussing in detail the time frame and process/cost involved.
  • Submitting Form I-129.
  • Providing a detailed checklist of documents needed.
  • Reviewing ALL documentation related to the filing.
  • Following up with the embassy/consulate as needed.
  • Preparing the beneficiary for the consulate interview.
  • It is important to consult an attorney to discuss your case specific facts. Please feel free to contact my office for a consultation.
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