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Local: 502-442-2039 Toll-Free: 888-832-2944

Selecting the right visa for your marriage status

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2019 | family immigration

If you are among the many Kentucky individuals, who became engaged during the recent holiday season, congratulations. Planning for your future is an exciting time. However, if you or your fiancé is not a U.S. citizen, nor are they living here yet, you need a visa. The team at Vickerstaff Law Office, PSC and John Vickerstaff has the necessary expertise and experience to navigate U.S. Immigration processes and procedures.

According to CitizenPath, there are two options for a foreign citizen to enter the country and marry a U.S citizen:  a marriage visa and a fiancé visa. Each has benefits, depending on your situation.

A marriage visa, also known as the IR-1 or CR-1 visa, allows a foreign spouse to immigrate to the United States. With this type of visa, they may live with their spouse permanently. A CR-1 is appropriate only if you are already married to a foreign citizen and they still reside in their home country.

A fiancé visa, called a K-1 visa, is the appropriate option for couples not yet married. It allows the foreign fiancé entrance to the United States for the purpose of marrying. The process begins when the American citizen petitions the U.S. government for a fiancé visa by filing Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once the U.S. provides documentation confirming he or she meets all requirements and the form receives approval, the foreign fiancé must attend an interview at their home country’s U.S. consulate.

The fiancé must use the K-1 visa within six months of the visa’s issuance. As this is a nonimmigrant visa, the individual’s approved stay is temporary. You have 90 days to marry and file an adjustment of status application, which grants the immigrant spouse permanent resident status. If unexpected events prevent you from marrying or filing the AOS application, there may be legal issues. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.