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    If your fiancé or fiancée  is from an economically depressed country and has never previously been to the United States, most likely there is only one U.S. visa that she or he can obtain easily. That is a fiancée or K-1 visa; if you intended spouse has a child or children under the age of 21 they can be admitted under the K-2 category. The K visa category was intended for individuals who had developed a relationship overseas and now wanted to plan to get married in the United States.  It has come to be used by many Americans seeking a spouse overseas who use the visa process as a means to induce the immigrant into a marriage that includes the benefit of permanent residence status in the United States. This is legal as long as the marriage is not entered into solely to confer an immigration benefit. In other words their is nothing wrong with entering into a marriage with the hope that you will live with your future spouse as husband and wife in the United States. Our office encourages individual petitioners to develop a strong relationship with their intended spouse before bringing them to the United States as recent changes in immigration law and procedures have lengthened  the wait for the fiancé(e) visa.

    Alternatively you can marry your intended spouse in their native country, or country of residence, but in most cases you will either have to reside in that country before being eligible to marry (such as in most of the newly independent states) or the U.S. consular officials in a particular country may not allow you to make a consular application for your spouse and you will have to file an I-130 petition in the United States after the marriage is solemnized in your spouse’s home country.  A recent change in the immigration law has created the K-3 and K-4 visa categories similar to the K-1 and K-2 that allow for a multiple entry visa that is good until the I-130 is approved along with work authorization.  You must file the I-130 first, but you may apply for the K-3 visa before it is approved and if the K-3 visa is approved first your spouse will be able to enter the country at that time.

    After obtaining the K-3 visa for your spouse, you will have to file her or his adjustment of status application in the US. It generally takes longer (at least two years in some cases) to obtain approval of the adjustment of status so during this time on the K-3 visa your spouse will be able to obtain a work permit.  If your spouse has a K-3 visa he or she may return to their country of origin.  If you originally received the K-1 visa and filed a timely AOS (I-485) during that time that the AOS application is penting your spouse may not be able to travel without an advance parole document. As well for the K-3 visa or after marriage the beneficiary immigrant will be able to request a work permit while the application is pending.

    Requirements for the petitioner

    1. You must be a US citizen. Permanent residents of the U.S. are not allowed to obtain the K-1 fiancé(e) visas under the current Immigration and Naturalization Act.

    2. Both you and your fiancé(e) must be free to marry. If either of you have been previously married, you will have to be either divorced, widowed, or had your marriage annulled. If the divorce of your intended spouse  is not finalized, you must wait until they receive a final decree before applying.

    3. You must have met your intended spouse in person within the previous two years unless you have some special reason that exempts you from such a condition. In most cases this means that you must travel to your fiancé or fiancée’s home country or arrange to meet in another country. Our service highly recommends that you spend the time to get to know your intended spouse by visiting them on multiple occasions; visit their home village, town or city, meet their family and friends and learn as much about them before bringing them to the United States.

    4. You must meet the minimum income requirement for the petitioner to insure that your spouse to be will not become a public charge  (click here for the income table).

    The cost for our service to provide you with representation is $400, not including filing fees or other services. This includes review of the I-129F petition and supporting documents, filing of the petition, tracking the petition at the USCIS Service Center until it reaches the DOS National Visa Center.

    If you wish us to assist in your fiancé(e)’s aspect of the visa application, we charge an additional $300 for this service and we follow the petition after approval until it is received by the consular section abroad paperwork is prepared by your fiancé(e) and then an interview occurs at the foreign U.S. Embassy. This fee obviously does not include attending your fiancé(e)’s interview, though that can be arranged, if necessary.

    Additional services including preparing your intended spouse for the interview, guidelines on delays in processing and visa issuances.  We can also assist your intended spouse on obtaining a renewal visa within the ninety day period should they need to leave the United States and return to their home country for a short period of time.

    We can also prepare the Adjustment of Status (I-485) package along with an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) application and Advance Parole (I-131) needed for travel before the green card is issued. If you have not married your spouse prior to the 90 day deadline as required by the K-1 visa please contact our office to discuss this situation.

    Please contact our office for a free initial consultation and mention then you read this information.