The K1 category enables the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen petitioner to enter the United States for a 90-day interval to marry the U.S. citizen and apply for permanent residence. Because it facilitates the entry of an intending immigrant, K visa processing is not dissimilar to immigrant visa processing for immediate relatives. Also, K visa processing can take longer than processing for other nonimmigrant visas as it entails the submission and consideration of comprehensive biographical and admissibility data at two periods of the procedure.
A U.S. citizen files a petition with the proper Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office in the United States. The petition must acceptable evidence that the fiancé(e) as well as the U.S. citizen petitioner:
• Have formerly met in person within two years of the date of submitting the petition (Unless a waiver is allowed);
• Possess a bona fide intention to marry; and
• Are legally capable and truly willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States within 90 days after the fiancé(e)’s arrival.
Should you not marry within 90 days, your fiancé(e) (and any dependents) is going to be required to depart, and failure to depart leaves them removable (deportable).
The “Preceding Meeting” Condition
The law requires that you and your fiancé(e) meet personally within two years prior to filing the petition. The law gives the attorney general discretion to waive this requirement but provides no specific guidelines. The personal meeting requirement may be waived upon proof that conformity would as interpreted in DHS regulations:
• Results in extreme and long-established customs of the beneficiary’s foreign culture or social practice, as where marriages are traditionally organized by the parents of the contracting parties and also the prospective bride and groom are prohibited from meeting subsequent to the arrangement and prior to the big day.
A denial of the K request for failure to satisfy or get a waiver would not influence your right to the filing of a subsequent petition after you two have met.
The two of you should be free to wed and must intend to enter into a valid marriage within 90 days immediately following your fiancé(e)’s entry into the United States. Thus, we must demonstrate that any previous marriages have terminated, and there might not be any other prohibition against the proposed marriage (e.g., marriages that break existing laws).
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