If you are engaged to someone living in the United States and you do not also live there, the process for getting married requires more paperwork than you’d expect. In order to enter the country and marry a citizen, you must apply for the K-1 “Fiancé(e)” visa. This visa will allow you to travel to the US as long as you get married within 90 days after your arrival.
Applying For The K-1 Visa
The process for obtaining a K-1 visa is rather lengthy, and first requires a petition from the US citizen. During the petition process, a background check is completed along with a review of documentation supporting the relationship between the two intending on being married. Proof must be submitted that the relationship is real and that the individuals have met in person within the last two years.
The visa application process is similar to the petition, but instead is initiated by the foreign fiancé(e). Again, background checks will be processed along with a medical examination by a physician. Proof of the relationship must again be furnished.
Once all of the documents are in order, the fiancé(e) must enter the United States at a port of entry and undergo yet another inspection. The couple then has 90 days to marry.
What Is Conditional Permanent Residence?
If the fiancé(e) enters the country under a K-1 visa and subsequently gets married, they are issued a Green Card that is valid for 2 years. This allowance is termed a conditional permanent residence and is intended to serve as a safeguard against marriage fraud. A K-1 visa holder granted conditional residence must meet specific requirements for the conditions to be lifted and the residency to become permanent.
How To Remove Conditions On The Green Card
Within 90 days before the expiration of the residency, you must petition to have the conditions removed so that you can receive permanent residency. As long as you have been married to the same person for the entire 2 years, the process is fairly easy. Complications can come into play if you are a widow(er), have gotten divorced, or were in a domestic violence situation. If you fail to timely file the required paperwork, you will lose your residency privileges. For this reason, it is very important to remember that the process for residency does not end after marriage.
If you are exploring the process of applying for a K-1 visa, or need help removing the conditions for a permanent residence, please contact The Law Offices of Saleh & Associates. We are available to assist with the process from beginning to end.