Tampa K1 Visa Attorneys
When it’s time to take that next step in your relationship and welcome your foreign partner into your life in the United States, you may be at a loss as the best way to do so legally. There are a number of different forms that you can find online that promise a solution for bringing your foreign spouse overseas to America. But what if you aren’t married, yet? Luckily, by applying for the K1 nonimmigrant visa, couples who are not yet married can reunite in the United States as long as they get married within the next 90 days. If this sounds like your situation and you’re ready to finally tie the knot, then a Tampa, Florida K1 visa lawyer can help.
Everyone knows that the immigration process is complicated and often time-consuming. But with someone on your side who is familiar with the K1 visa, you can alleviate the headache of dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your own. Your lawyer will work with you and your fiance to ensure that all forms are filled out quickly and accurately and ensure you gather all of the proper documentation you need for both your petition and for the K1 application. To learn more about your options for bringing your fiance to the United States, reach out to Colombo & Hurd today.
What is the K1 Visa?
The K1 nonimmigrant visa allows a United States citizen to bring their foreign fiance to America with the intent to get married within the next three months. Once you are married, your spouse can then choose to become a permanent resident of the United States.
While there are other routes to bringing your foreign partner to the United States, a lot of couples choose to fill out the K1 visa application for a number of reasons. First, as with most things in immigration, the processing times vary for how long it will take. Things like which service center is the one processing your application and which country your loved one lives in could drastically affect how long it will take for you to receive your ultimate approval or rejection.
However, many couples have found that the K1 visa is still much faster than using some of the other forms such as the IR1/CR1 (Marriage Visa). This is because those forms often involve the National Visa Center (NVC), and having them involved could add an additional three to five months to your case.
If you are still questioning whether applying for a K1 visa is right for you and your loved one, reach out to a knowledgeable K1 visa lawyer in Tampa, Florida. During a consultation, your lawyer will spell out the pros and cons so that you can ultimately make the best decision for you and your new family.
What is the K1 Visa Process?
The K1 fiance visa process starts off with the United States citizen filing out the “Petition for Alien Fiance” form (also known as the I-129F form). This petition is essentially you stating that you have a relationship with the foreign citizen in question. Some of the most pertinent information you will have to provide answers for include:
Information About You
- Classification Sought for Your Beneficiary
- Family Name
- Your Mailing Address
- Date of Birth
Information About Your Fiance
- Classification Sought for Beneficiary
- Family Name
- Date of Birth
The K1 application process is split into two key stages. The first is the domestic processing. This is the initial step where the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services reviews the application and decides whether or not to accept it. The information mentioned above is not all that you will be asked. You may be required to provide additional documentation or proof of your relationship with your fiance and any children they may bring with them. There’s no need to include any graphic birthing photos or intimate images of you and your fiance as proof. Your K1 visa lawyer will be able to tell you what type of proof they are looking for and what it appropriate for you to provide.
Once your initial petition has been approved, the process is not yet over. Now the approved form is sent to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or consulate through the National Visa Center (NVC). At this point, your fiance can fill out their nonimmigrant visa application from the country they currently reside in. Your approved petition is valid for the next four months from the date of your approval.
Beyond filling out forms and providing proof of your relationship, your foreign partner will also have to go through a visa interview. It is very important that they bring all of the documentation and information asked of them at this point. You don’t want to make it this far only to be turned away because something was forgotten.
That is why having an experienced Tampa K1 visa lawyer on your side is so important. With years of experience in immigration, your attorney knows how to keep track of your documentation and make sure that you have everything you need to ensure the K1 fiance visa process is a success the first time around.
If the interview is a success, then your foreign fiance receives a single entry visa that is valid for up to six months and you can begin planning your nuptials. Once they have entered the United States, you have just 90 days from that point to get married.
What Key Documentation Do I Need for My Tampa K1 Visa?
As mentioned above, bringing your loved one to the United States requires a bit more than filling out the I-129F visa and the nonimmigrant visa application form. You may be asked to present supplementary information at any point of the process in order to move forward. Some of the most commonly required documentation couples need to receive a fiance visa include:
- A valid passport for travel to the United States. This passport must also still be valid for six months beyond your intended stay period. This only exception to this is if your fiance’s country of origin has a specific exemption from this rule. Ask your Tampa K1 visa lawyer for more information on this rule.
- Your divorce or death certificate from a previous spouse(s). This is a requirement for both the United States citizen and the foreign fiance.
- Any police certificates for any place you lived more than six months since age 16. This includes your current country of residence.
- In preparation for their fiance visa interview, all applicants must complete a medical examination regardless of their age. This exam must be performed by an authorized panel physician. While getting all US required vaccinations are not necessary to receive the K1 visa, you are encouraged to do so as they will be a requirement when applying for permanent residency after you are married.
- Evidence of financial support (The Form I-134 Affidavit of Support may be requested)
- Two 2×2 photographs that meet the latest photo requirements. These requirements include being in full color with a neutral facial expression and no eyeglasses. Speak with your fiance visa lawyer to learn more about the latest rules for visa application photos.
- Payment of fees (Fees can total up to $535 for the K1 fiance visa)
Common Reasons for K1 Visa Rejections
There are a number of reasons why a K1 visa may be rejected by USCIS. The most common reason is that some part of the petition form or application is inaccurate or not filled in correctly. A lot of forms are rejected for simple mistakes, such as the applicant forgetting to include their signature. These types of frustrating mishaps can best be avoided by hiring a seasoned K1 visa lawyer who can help you side-step the most common pitfalls for those applying for a fiance K1 visa in Tampa, Florida. They can make sure that all forms are filled out completely and accurately so you are not turned away for a simple mistake.
Other common reasons for a K1 visa to be rejected are related to the relationship itself. If you filed your petition for form I-129F while you or your foreign partner was currently going through a divorce with someone else, then your application may be rejected. A condition of the K1 visa is that you both must be legally available to marry at the time the petition is filed.
USCIS is also hypervigilant when it comes to checking for “sham” or fraudulent marriages. As such, you and your foreign fiance must have met in person within the past two years in order for your application to be accepted. There is, of course, an exception for couples that had extreme hardships that prevented them from being able to meet, or if either partner is part of a culture where it is not traditional for a man and woman to meet prior to getting married.
There are also some legal circumstances that will make the applicant ineligible to receive a visa. These types of applications often include background checks for all parties involved, so if there is any indication of a criminal background involving drug trafficking, overstaying a previous visa, prostitution, or falsifying documents, then the application could be rejected outright.
In addition, having a certain illness or disease could render your foreign fiance ineligible for their visa. That is why the medical examination is an important part of the visa application process on their end.
Of course, if you have been rejected for your fiance visa, you will receive a letter telling you exactly why your form was turned down. Depending on the reasoning, you may be able to file a Waiver of Ineligibility.
Should I Hire a K1 Visa Lawyer in Tampa, Florida?
If you are ready to tie the knot with your partner, then it is best to reach out to a K1 visa lawyer in Tampa, Florida as soon as possible to start the process. When it comes to filling out immigration visas, there are a number of things that could go wrong, from misfiling certain paperwork to not providing the correct supplementary documentation. An attorney familiar with K1 visas can help you avoid these issues and more and put you on the right track to getting your application approved. Reach out to us today to schedule a confidential consultation at (813) 444-1114.