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If you’re a United States citizen living in Phoenix who wants to bring your foreign fiancé to the U.S., you can start by filing Form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fiancé. However, there are a few steps and requirements you should be aware of before beginning the process.
For example, you must bring your fiancé to the U.S. with the sole intention of getting married within 90 days of his or her arrival. Once married to you, your foreign-born spouse can apply for lawful permanent residency, and eventually, citizenship.
K1 visa applications are investigated thoroughly. Mistakes, omissions, and lack of knowledge can lead to visa delays and denials. Working with a K1 fiancé visa lawyer in Phoenix can make the process much smoother while ensuring that your application is flawless.What Are the Requirements for a K1 Visa?
You and your sponsored spouse must meet strict requirements to be eligible for a K1 fiancé visa. These requirements include:
- Be a U.S. Citizen: The person petitioning for their foreign fiancé to come to the U.S. must be a U.S. citizen. It’s important to note that lawful permanent residents (green card holders) cannot petition for a K1 visa. However, they may be eligible for a “CR1” visa.
- Legally Eligible for Marriage: If you’ve been previously married, you must prove that the marriage was lawfully terminated via divorce, death, or annulment.
- Physically Met In the Last Two Years: You can’t bring your fiancé to Phoenix or get approved for a K1 fiancé visa unless you’ve physically met each other within the previous two years. Virtual meetings don’t count.
- Meet Financial Requirements: The U.S. citizen petitioning for his or her fiancé to come to the U.S. must have an income of at least 100 – 125% of the poverty guidelines set by the United States Department of Health & Human Services. Currently, the income requirement for a two-person household is between $16,910 (for active-duty military) and $21,130 for all other sponsors.
- Get Married Within 90 Days: To get approved for your K1 visa petition, you must prove that you and your foreign fiancé intend to get married within 90 days of his or her arrival into the United States. This rule is in place to avoid potential immigration scams.
In addition to the steps listed above, the U.S. citizen petitioner and sponsored fiancé must provide many documents to USCIS during the K1 visa process. Obtaining the correct documents can sometimes be challenging, depending on the sponsored fiancé’s country of origin and many other factors.
Every K1 financé petition is different, so requirements can vary. If you’re concerned about your eligibility to petition for your spouse, you should consult with the best fiancé visa lawyer in Phoenix as soon as possible.What if I Don’t Marry My Fiancé Within 90 Days?
Generally, if you don’t get married within 90 days of your sponsored fiancé’s arrival, he or she (and their children) are required to leave the U.S. when the 90 days expire. The K1 fiancé visa cannot be extended.
If your fiancé doesn’t leave the country within the 90 day period, he or she will have violated the U.S. immigration laws. That could negatively affect your fiancé’s ability to ever return to the U.S. If you marry your fiancé after the 90 day period expires, there may be options available to you. Contact Best Immigration Lawyer in Phoenix to learn more.How Long Does It Take to Get a K1 Fiancé Visa in Phoenix?
It takes approximately 7-months for USCIS to process and approve Form I-129F. It can take an additional 1-2 months for USCIS to send an interview request. There are exceptions, so some cases may conclude faster while others can take much longer.
Working with an experienced immigration lawyer in Phoenix can help ensure that your application doesn’t get held up due to mistakes or omissions.Is a K1 Fiancé Visa Better Than a CR1 Spousal Visa?
If bringing your fiancé to the U.S. to get married within 90 days is not a viable option, a CR1 marriage visa may be better. Some people choose to get married outside of the U.S. and then bring their spouse to join them. There are several advantages and disadvantages to filing a CR1 instead of a K1.
Generally speaking, you can expect the CR1 process to be slightly faster. However, the exact processing times for either visa depend on your circumstances. Contact a Phoenix immigration attorney to learn more about your options.