Illinoisans who plan to marry foreign nationals should understand several important things about the K-1 visa process so that they can determine whether they might be eligible to apply for visas for their fiances. Applicants must be U.S. citizens to apply for K-1 visas for a fiance. There are several financial and other requirements that they and their fiances must also meet to qualify for fiance visas.
Qualifying for Fiance Visas
Before filing for a fiance visa, people must be U.S. citizens. The U.S. citizen is the person who files for a K-1 visa on behalf of his or her foreign fiance. If a permanent resident wants to secure a K-1 visa for his or her fiance, the lawful permanent resident can apply for naturalization as a U.S. citizen. However, lawful permanent residents might want to be aware that they can jeopardize their residence status if they apply for naturalization and have criminal convictions on their records.
U.S. citizens who apply for fiance visas must also be able to prove that they have the financial ability to support their intended spouses after they move to the U.S. They must also intend to get married within 90 days of their fiances’ arrival to the U.S. The U.S. citizen must also not have prior convictions of certain crimes of domestic violence or other serious crimes.
The fiances of U.S. citizens must also meet some qualifications. They cannot have serious criminal convictions, serious communicable diseases, dangerous mental or physical conditions, previous immigration violations, or be likely to go on welfare benefits after their arrival.
There are several qualifications for the relationships between the U.S. citizens and their foreign national fiances. They must have met face to face at least once in the prior two years. Face-to-face meetings do not include those that are conducted over the internet and must be in-person. Couples must intend to get married to each other, and they must be able to show how they met and how their relationships have developed. Both of the people must be free to marry each other.
If couples are able to meet all of these qualifications, they should be able to secure fiance visas. However, they will need to be able to provide evidence that they meet all of the qualifications when they file their petitions for K-1 visas with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service.