Things You Should Know Before Applying For A K-1 Visa

A K-1 visa refers to an "engagement visa" that allows foreigners to live in America legally in order to keep the family unit together. After you apply for the visa, the immigration department will process it as it gets to them, which can take anywhere from months to years. Assuming you and your fiance can prove your relationship and your fiance doesn't have a criminal record or history of overstaying visas, a final interview will determine if your fiance will be coming to America or not. The process is long, daunting, and sometimes confusing. Here are 4 things you should know before applying for a K-1 visa. 

1. Proof of Your Relationship 

The government needs to believe that you and your partner are a real, sustainable couple. Many foreigners use the K-1 visa improperly to get into the country, so the authorities take extra precautions to prevent fraud by requiring proof of your relationship.

You can prove your relationship in a number of ways, including:

  • pictures together (especially at family events)
  • phone records of calls and texts
  • basic knowledge about your partner
  • financial connections (ex. shared phone bill)

2. Plan For a Short, 90-Day Engagement 

Most engagements last 12 - 18 months. When you bring your fiance over on a K-1 visa, you will need to speed things up quite a bit. 

All immigrants on a K-1 visa must marry their partner in 90 days or return home.

3.  You Are Financially Responsible For Your Partner 

An immigrant on a K-1 visa requires an official sponsor to fill out the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, which indicates that the sponsor can support the newcomer until they can legally work. Of course, there are risks and liabilities associated with being a sponsor.

The authorities want to ensure that your partner doesn't end up becoming a financial burden to the state by getting on Welfare or some other form of government assistance. Therefore, they require the sponsor to take on financial responsibility for 10 years in the case the fiance gets on public aid while in America. If they get on assistance, the government can sue you for 125% of the expenses as the immigrant's sponsor.

4. Cost 

The K-1 visa process will cost a minimum of about $1000 in fees as follows:

  • Form I-129F fee - $535
  • Medical exam - $200
  • K-1 application fee - $265

You may also need to pay for a family immigration attorney, especially if your situation is trickier than most. Keep in mind that despite paying the proper fees, submitting the paperwork, and hiring a later, your application can still get denied. You will be out of the money you spent. You may even need to spend more if you want to try again.

Applying for a K-1 visa should be an exciting time. Eliminate potential complications by enlisting the help of a family immigration lawyer.

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!

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