Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: What is a K-1 visa? What are the requirements to apply for that visa?
A: The K-1 or Fiance(e) is a non-immigrant visa which allows the foreign citizen fiancé(e) of a US Citizen to legally come to the United States to marry. The foreign fiance(e) will enter the US to marry the US Citizen petitioner within 90 days of his or her entry. Generally, the US Citizen petitioner and his or her fiancé(e) must have met in person at least one time in the last 2 years prior to filing the petition for the K-1 visa. They must both also be legally free to enter into the marriage and remain unmarried until the fiancé(e) arrives here in the United States to marry.
Q; Can a Permanent Resident petition for the K-1 visa for his fiancé?
A: No. Only US Citizens can petition for their fiancé(e).
Q: What is the process for filing for a K-1 visa? How does my fiancé then obtain permanent residence?
A: The petition is filed on Form I-129 F. Once the petition is approved, your fiancé will need to file the non-immigrant visa application to obtain the visa. He will then be asked to attend an interview at the US Consulate. After the interview, he will be issued the K-1 visa. Upon his entry the United States with the K-1 visa, you and your fiancé must marry within the allotted 90 day period. After the marriage has taken place, he will then need to file his adjustment application with USCIS in order to become a permanent resident.
Q: My fiancée was previously married and has three minor children. Can her children come with her to the United States with the K-1 visa? Can they subsequently become permanent residents?
A: Your fiancée will be the K-1 visa holder and the children will come on the K-2 visa. When you and the K-1 visa holder marry, the K-1 visa holder and her derivatives will then apply for adjustment of status to permanent residents.
Q: My sister came to the United States with the K-1 visa. After one month of being here, she changed her mind about marrying to the K-1 visa Petitioner. She wishes to marry someone else who is a also a US Citizen. Can she do that? Or can she apply to change status to F-1 student?
A: The K-1 visa which she received is for her to come here to the US to marry the individual who petitioned for her, not to marry someone else. Her K-1 status will automatically expire after 90 days and she will need to leave the United States at the end of the 90 day period if she does not marry the K-1 visa petitioner. The other person to whom she wishes to now marry can then petition for a new K-1 visa for her to come to the United States. A K-1 visa holder is also barred from changing to any other non-immigrant status while in the US.
Q: Can my fianceé who has the K-1 visa work or study in the United States?
A: After admission to the United States on the K-1 visa, your fianceé can immediately apply for employment authorization (EAD) which is valid for only 90 days after admission. After the marriage, your fianceé can then file for extended work authorization concurrently with the application to adjust status as a permanent resident. Your fianceé will also be permitted to attend school.
Q: When I petition for the K-1 visa for my fiancée, do I need to provide an affidavit of support?
A: Yes. You will need to submit Form I-134 Affidavit of Support to the US consulate at the time of your fiancee’s interview for the K-1 visa.

Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
My Bio
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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