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Do you have a fiancée or a new wife who’s been ruled inadmissible to the U.S.? Perhaps you’re wondering whether to marry here or in the other country? Or maybe you’ve married somebody abroad and want to bring them back here with you?
Fiancée visas are known as K-1 visas, and the laws that control them are complex. Putting things in a simple way, here’s what K-1 visas allow and don’t allow:
- Bringing to the U.S. someone you met abroad;
- A window during which the person can stay in the U.S. for 3 months. After that you’ll have to marry her or send her back.
- Only exceptional travel out of the U.S.; i.e., only for an emergency, while the K1 visa is pending.
They don’t allow:
- Any extension of time
- Any switch of fiancée
- Any change to another type of visa
- Any application for a Green Card except from a K1 status
If You Marry Abroad
Your new wife cannot return to the U.S. with you. She will have to:
- Apply for a Green Card and wait the year or more for it to be issued; or
- Apply for a K3 visa, which will let her wait in the U.S. for a Green Card, which can take 6 months or more. To get an estimate of the current waiting period, it’s wise to call an immigration lawyer.
Before you leave to marry in another country, contact an immigration attorney. Contacting one now will save you much stress and money later over the documents you’ll need so that she can come to the U.S. with you.
- You’ll have to fill out some government forms. We can do that for you, but in that case, you’ll have to fill out our forms, so we can in turn prepare the government forms. If you get this done ahead of time, you can take the filled-out forms with you and save time later.
- You’ll need documentary evidence such as photographs, birth certificates and divorce certificates. If you fail to supply the government with the full complement of these documents, the government will send you a Request For Evidence (RFE), which will require more information and create delay.
Don’t Try to Deceive the Government
Some people think they can enter the U.S. on a temporary basis and then stay here permanently. Sometimes that can be done. But many are caught, and you can be permanently barred from entry to the U.S. for immigration fraud. If you’re a U.S. citizen and you try to have your fiancée enter and stay in the country in a fraudulent way, you could both get a penalty of five years in a federal prison and a fine of $250,000. Why take such a terrible risk?
The only way a person can come to the U.S., marry, and end up staying is if they genuinely came with no intention of staying. If it’s found that the person was in contact with their future spouse before they arrived here, no permanent visa will be granted.