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Applying for a K-1 visa

People in California may wonder how difficult it is to bring their fiance or fiancee to the United States from another country on a K-1 visa. First, it is necessary for the person who wants to bring in the person they plan to marry to be a U.S. citizen.

There is usually a requirement that the couple has met at some point in the previous two years, although this can be waived occasionally for health, religious or cultural reasons. However, the couple still should have met at some prior point. The petition is then filed by the U.S. citizen.

The applicant is interviewed abroad by a U.S. consular official and is fingerprinted and photographed. These along with the person's name are checked against a database, and this is called a biometric screening. The person is then permitted to travel to the United States for 90 days. The person can then apply for a green card after the marriage, and they must go through another interview and another biometric screening. The person then gets a conditional card that is good for two years and must have a third biometric screening before obtaining their permanent card.

There may be a number of different pathways to permanent residency in the United States, and a person who is seeking to live in the country or to become a U.S. citizen may want to speak to an attorney. Immigration law may change rapidly, and even if another relative or friend immigrated through certain channels, those paths may have changed. For family members who do not qualify for a marriage-based visa, there may be other options. These may vary based on the person's education and profession, whether or not the person is seeking asylum and what family members are already in the country.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber