Shows like “90 Day Fiancé” and others have allowed people to take a casual peek into what goes on in the world of international romance.
While most people realize that it takes a bit of work to get a “fiancé visa,” they still don’t know the details. If you’re contemplating marriage with someone you met online, here’s what you should know about K-1 visas.
You need to meet before you apply for the K-1 visa
To apply for the K-1 visa for your intended bride or groom, there are some specific requirements that need to be met. The one that generally trips people up, however, is the requirement for at least one in-person meeting prior to your application.
The meeting between you and your intended must have occurred within the two years immediately prior to the day you submit your petition for the K-1 visa. You will need to provide proof, including things like:
- Receipts for plane tickets
- Passport stamps
- Photographs of you together
- Affidavits from witnesses
This can throw people for a big curve if they aren’t expecting it, so make sure that you plan your meeting carefully — and time your K-1 visa application accordingly.
Don’t try to work around the rules
Your intended spouse may have the capacity to use a tourist visa to come to the United States, instead of waiting on the K-1 visa. Doing so, however, could lead to major immigration problems later.
While the K-1 visa doesn’t obligate someone to immigrate to the U.S., a tourist visa is granted on the assumption that the recipient will visit and then go home again. If they try to skirt the rules for the K-1 visa by coming to the U.S. as a tourist, they can later be accused of misusing their tourist visa and denied a green card.
The internet has made it possible to find your soulmate even when that soulmate lives halfway around the world — but make sure that you take the right steps to make their journey to the U.S. as easy as possible.