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What is a K1 Visa and Who Qualifies?

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  • What is a K1 Visa and Who Qualifies?

    The K1 visa classification is specifically for fiancee(e)s of US Citizens seeking admission to the US to get married.

    To be eligible for a fiance(e) visa,
    1) the petitioner must be a US Citizen,
    2) both members of the couple must be legally able to marry,
    3) the foreign national must have intent to marry within 90 days or entering the US, and
    4) they must have personally met within the past two years.
    Proving that both members are legally able to marry requires evidence that they are both of age, and that any previous marriages were properly terminated. If, for example, the US Citizen spouse married someone overseas and previously brought them to the US, then went overseas and unilaterally filed for divorce, such a divorce would not establish that the individual is now legally able to marry. Also, in first cousin marriages, state laws regarding first cousin marriage may be an obstacle to obtaining a fiance(e) visa. The general rule is that the immigration service will accept a marriage if it happens in a state or country where the marriage is lawfully recognized.

    Intent to marry within 90 days is required, but once the fiance(e) enters, failure to get married within 90 days does not eliminate the opportunity to later get married and file for adjustment of status, but your K-1 status will expire. Of course, to avoid any complications, it is best to abide by the 90 day rule.

    As for the requirement of having personally met the fiance(e) within the part two years, there are exceptions. If the petitioner can prove that there are hardships which make it difficult to have personally met, the requirement of having personally met can be waived. Other exceptions include customary, cultural, or social practices which have restricted meeting before marriage.

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