Making the decision to marry your partner is an exciting reason to celebrate. If you and your fiancé come from different countries, however, there are certain challenges that come along with beginning your lives together. Fortunately, the United States immigration system provides options for foreign-citizen fiancés to travel to the United States and marry their American partner. Navigating this process can be incredibly complicated, leading many couples to seek out assistance from an experienced Seattle K-1 visa attorney.
The team of knowledgeable immigration lawyers ZafiroLaw work with couples to apply for a K-1 fiancé visa and reunite with their partners in the United States. Every marriage story is unique and we work tirelessly to ensure our clients’ cases are handled as smoothly and successfully as possible. Understanding the stress of the K-1 visa process, we are committed to providing the legal counsel necessary to ease the burden. For more information, consider scheduling a consultation with our K-1 fiancé visa team at (206) 547-9906 today.
What Is the K-1 Fiancé Visa?
The K-1 visa, commonly referred to as the fiancé visa, allows the foreign-citizen fiancé of an American citizen to travel to the United States for marriage purposes. Using this visa option, the couple must marry within ninety (90) days of the fiancé’s arrival in the United States. After the marriage is confirmed, the non-citizen spouse is eligible to apply for an adjustment to their immigration status. Ultimately, it is possible for the non-citizen spouse to become a Lawful Permanent Resident in the United States.
It is important to note the legal definition of a fiancé, as this is a key eligibility requirement for the K-1 visa. According to United States immigration law, a foreign-citizen fiancé is one who has successfully submitted Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé) and been approved for a nonimmigrant K-1 visa. The couple must be free to marry and their marriage must be legally possible based on the laws of the state in which the union will take place. The couple must have met in person within the past two years, although exceptions can be made to this rule based on extreme hardship. A Seattle K-1 visa attorney can help you navigate these exceptions and confirm your eligibility for the visa.
What Is the Process for Applying for a K-1 Visa?
To apply for a K-1 visa, the United States citizen must initiate the process in the state where they reside. The application process cannot be started outside of the country, at an embassy or consulate, for example. After the application is submitted and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has approved the petition, the National Visa Center will send a letter to the United States citizen. Once this letter is received, the foreign-citizen fiancé may begin completing the additional forms and preparing for the K-1 visa interview.
To prepare for the visa interview, the foreign-citizen fiancé will be required to bring specific documents. These documents include:
- The Form DS-160
- A valid passport
- Birth certificate
- Divorce certificate from a prior marriage, if applicable
- Police certificate
- Medical examination
- Evidence of financial support
- Two 2×2 pictures
- Evidence of the relationship with the United States citizen
- Record of payment of fees
When applying for a K-1 visa, extensive documentation and recorded evidence are necessary. All forms, such as Form I-129F and DS-160, must be completed thoroughly and accurately. Even small errors in these documents can result in delays in the application process or even denial of the visa altogether. An experienced Seattle K-1 visa attorney can help you navigate this process and mitigate mistakes along the way.
What Is the Form I-129F?
Form I-129F is used to initiate the K-1 visa application process. This form can also be used to petition for visas for any children of the foreign-citizen fiancé. Once Form I-129F is completed, submitted, and signed, it is necessary to pay the appropriate filing fee in order to begin the application process. Once the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services receives Form I-129F, the applicant will receive a confirmation receipt.
What Is the Form DS-160?
The Form DS-160 is the online nonimmigrant visa application form for temporary travel to the United States under the K-1 visa. This form is submitted electronically to the United States Department of State. After submitting this form, it is important to keep a record of the DS-160 barcode page. In tandem with this form, a visa applicant must schedule a visa interview appointment and pay the necessary fees.
How Can an Attorney Help Me File a K-1 Visa Application?
At ZafiroLaw, a fundamental aspect of our legal practice is guiding couples and families through the United States immigration process. More often than not, successfully obtaining a visa to the United States is time-consuming and complicated. Our team of Seattle K-1 visa attorneys has the experience and skill necessary to ease the burden and help ensure that you and your partner are putting forth the strongest application possible.
Working with a lawyer who understands the K-1 visa process can help ensure that you fill out all forms correctly, submit all the necessary documentation, and avoid the common pitfalls that applicants face. Every case is unique and an experienced attorney can help navigate the application process depending on your individual circumstances. We have provided professional legal counsel to hundreds of couples and families, helping them navigate the following aspects of the K-1 visa process:
- Completing and submitting Form I-129F and DS-160
- Organizing the proper documentation and evidence pursuant to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services guidelines
- Compiling the necessary proof of your relationship
- Preparing for the visa interview
- Appealing a K-1 visa denial
How Long Does the K-1 Fiance Visa Process Take?
It is difficult to provide a specific time frame for the K-1 visa process, largely due to the fact that every case is different. In general, however, the K-1 visa process takes between 8 and 11 months. In some cases, it may take longer or shorter, depending on the circumstances of your case. There are no expedited processing services for K-1 visas, so it is important to ensure that your application is thorough and that all the necessary documentation is compiled.
It is also important to consider that each country’s embassy processes applications differently. The length of time that an application spends in the processing phase depends on the workload of the embassy. Thus, these timeframes can change drastically from case to case.
Having the support of a Seattle K-1 visa attorney can help to mitigate long wait times by avoiding application errors and ensuring that all necessary documentation is organized and submitted in a timely fashion.
Securing Your K-1 Fiancé Visa with ZafiroLaw
If you and your partner are considering pursuing the K-1 fiancé visa, you likely have many questions about the process. Beginning your immigration journey in the United States can be daunting, and approaching the process with as much knowledge and experience as possible is key. At ZafiroLaw, we understand the behind-the-scenes of the K-1 visa process and we work alongside our clients to secure visa sponsorship in the United States. To learn more about how we can help, consider contacting our Seattle office at (206) 547-9906 today.