Intending on Marrying Someone from a Foreign Country? 3 Points to Know About the K-1 Visa

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If you've fallen in love with someone in a foreign country and want to get married, your intended spouse needs to apply for K-1 visa if you want to marry within the states. However, there's a lot of steps that need to be followed and mistakes can cost you a chance at the future you desire. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

Don't come to the United States on the wrong visa.

There are some important things to keep in mind about coming to the U.S. to get married. As the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your new bride or groom will be eligible for a green card just as soon as he or she can complete the application process. However, because the application process for a K-1 visa can be time-consuming and has some restrictions, your intended spouse might be tempted to skip the steps and apply for a much simpler tourist visa. That would be a mistake.

if your intended spouse comes on a tourist visa and then gets married, he or she could be accused of visa fraud and denied a green card even after you marry. Take the time to get the proper K-1 visa in place before he or she comes to the U.S.

You need to meet the "in person" visitation requirement or justify an exception.

You and your intended need to have met in person sometime within the last two years prior to applying for the K-1 visa. That can be problematic if you come from a culture where couples traditionally don't meet prior to the actual wedding. If that's your situation, be prepared to provide documentation to the immigration authorities about the cultural expectations you are under and explain how your wedding was arranged, who was involved in the process, and when it was done.

Be prepared to answer a number of questions about your relationship.

Immigration authorities want to avoid allowing people to get green cards based on fraudulent marriages, so there is an interview process that takes place in the U.S. embassy in their country.

Your intended spouse will be required to answer a number of questions that are designed to prove that he or she really is in a relationship with you and that the marriage is intended to be real. While there are a lot of different questions that can be asked, the interview is typically fairly short and include basic things that an intended spouse should know. Expect questions like:

  • What are your wedding plans like? Who is expected to be there? Do you have a honeymoon planned?
  • What does your intended spouse do for a living? Will he or she continue to work after the wedding? Where do you intend to live after the wedding? Who will live with you?
  • Do you and your intended have the same religion? Do you speak the same language? 
  • What attracted you and your intended to each other? What makes you think you are a good match?
  • Why are you and your future spouse choosing to live in the United States instead of the other country?

Because the K-1 visa is so important, it would be wise to engage the help of an immigration attorney through services like Neal Richardson Datta Attorney At Law, P.C. That way, you can make sure that all of the requirements are met and everything goes as planned.