to travel to the U.S. to get married. The marriage has to take place within 90 days of the foreign national’s admission to the country, so that’s something to keep in mind as you prepare to file your petition.
Before You Apply for a K-1 Visa
The citizen, who’s acting as the foreign national’s sponsor, must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services so that the agency can recognize the foreign national as the citizen’s fiancé(e). The USCIS will review the documents and conduct the appropriate background checks. If the petition is approved, that doesn’t mean your fiancé(e) can buy a plane ticket just yet, though – the first form you file only asks USCIS to recognize that you two are engaged to be married.
Once USCIS sends the approved petition to the Department of State National Visa Center, the National Visa Center will forward it to the appropriate embassy or consulate.
The NVC will let you know when it’s time for your fiancé(e) to apply for his or her visa.
Applying for a K-1 Visa Through the Department of State
The Department of State will conduct background checks (including fingerprints and other checks that USCIS performs). They’re looking for a bona fide (real) relationship between you and your fiancé(e) – and if they find that it’s not an actual relationship, they’ll return your petition to USCIS. However, if they find that you’re engaged in a real relationship, the Department of State consular official will look for grounds of inadmissibility or other ineligibilities apply. If the official doesn’t find any reason you shouldn’t be admitted to the U.S. on a K-1 visa, he or she will decide whether to issue it.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a K-1 Visa?
If you’re thinking about filing for a K-1 visa, it may be in your best interest to work with an immigration attorney in Milwaukee who’s familiar with the process. Your attorney can pull up the appropriate forms and file them on your behalf, as well as answer all your questions about the process and help ensure that everything runs smoothly. Call us at 414-383-6700 (Milwaukee) or 262-650-6700 (Waukesha) to talk to an immigration lawyer now. We may be able to help you and your fiancé(e) begin your new life together.