Although seasoned immigration attorneys often recommend the San Diego K-1 visa to clients who intend to get married, it is important to note that this is a non-immigrant visa, which means that the applicant is not automatically considered as someone who wishes to live in the United States.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants K-1 visas to foreigners who have met and dated U.S. citizens for a couple of years and intend to get married. This romantic period can be waived under some circumstances, including hardship, but such a waiver will usually require the intervention of an immigration attorney.
Since the intention to marry is the foremost condition of K-1 visa approval, the applicant must submit proof that a wedding will take place in the U.S. It is important to remember that USCIS officials are only concerned with issuing a 90-day travel permit to get married in the U.S. to a citizen; the ceremony can be as simple as going to the courthouse and spending a short honeymoon at the beach, but the applicant must show some sort of planning in this regard.
Couples who come from cultures where arranged marriages are the norm could have a harder time getting a K-1 visa approved. The age of consent of the bride and groom must be in compliance with state laws. For example, if the couple intends to get married at a Mormon ceremony in Utah, both parties must be at least 18 years old.
Bigamy is not allowed, and thus both the applicant and the U.S. citizen must present proof of being unmarried at the time the application is filed. If a divorce is in process, it must be final before the K-1 visa application can be reviewed.
Since this is a non-immigrant visa, the applicant must also show proof of financial support and the means to return home in case things do not work out and the marriage is called off. The U.S. citizen may have to file an I-134 form to show financial means and pledge to support the applicant during his or her stay.
Learn more about U.S. citizenship how to apply for it by consulting an immigration attorney San Diego visitors can trust. Call Kazmi and Sakata at (858) 874-0711 today for a free consultation.