K-1 visas are used to allow non-resident individuals to enter the U.S. and get married. While the K-1 does not automatically give the person a legal right to live here, it can be a first step toward gaining residence status. If you wish to marry a non-U.S. resident, consult with an immigration law firm in Woburn to determine whether the K-1 visa is appropriate in your circumstances.
Qualifying for the K-1 Visa
The U.S. State Department does not currently limit the number of annual entrants into the country on K-1 visas. While this is certainly good news to prospective applicants, certain criteria must be met in order to qualify for a K-1:
- One of the marrying individuals must be a U.S. citizen. It is not enough that he or she be a permanent resident.
- Both are of legal age for marriage and are single.
- The couple must show that the non-resident truly intends to marry the other once in the country. This can be proven in a number of ways, such as providing evidence of preparations for the wedding. An immigration law firm in Woburn can help if the couple is having difficulty meeting this step.
- The couple must have actually met, and must show that they have spent time together within the last two years.
The K-1 as a Step toward Resident Status
It is important to emphasize that approval of a K-1 does not give resident status to the foreign national spouse. Once married, he or she can stay in the U.S., but only by applying for a green card. The time constraints are tight, however: a K-1 only remains in effect for 90 days. Thus, the couple should marry soon after the K-1 goes into effect so that the non-resident spouse has sufficient time to file for a green card
While the foreign national spouse must apply for a green card to remain here, he or she may be able to apply for a work permit immediately upon arriving. Children of the non-resident may enter on a K-2 visa.
Call an Immigration Law Firm in Woburn for Further Information or Assistance
If you need help with matters pertaining to a K-1 or have another immigration concern, call an immigration law firm in Woburn you can rely on: Ionson Law, at (781) 674-2562.