The foreign-born families and spouses of U.S. citizens who wish to obtain a visa to enter the country can face numerous challenges during the process, especially as immigration laws are constantly changing. At 44.8 million, immigrants account for 13.7% of the U.S. population, and 45% of these are naturalized U.S. citizens.
To begin the process of naturalization in Maryland or elsewhere, many family members will apply for a K visa to enter the country as nonimmigrants with the attention of becoming naturalized. Residents of Greenbelt and surrounding areas may wish to explore the process in more detail by asking questions concerning eligibility requirements, deadlines and the correct forms and documents to file.
The requirements for a fiancé visa
The K-1 visa, which is also known as the fiancé(e) visa, permits an individual to enter the country as a nonimmigrant with the intention of marrying a U.S. citizen within 90 days. After the wedding, the visa-holder may apply for an immigrant visa, and any accompanying minor children would then be eligible for K-2 visas. The requirements for eligibility are:
- filer must be a U.S. citizen
- S. citizen and fiancé(e) must marry within 90 days of the admission of the fiancé(e) into the country on the K-1 vias
- S. citizen and fiancé(e) must be legally allowed to marry
- S. citizen and fiancé(e) have met at least once within two years prior to filing for the visa
A failure to marry within 90 days can result in deportation. Once admitted, the K-1 visa-holder may apply for a green card, and then may also apply for a work authorization.
Filing the correct forms
The correct forms to file throughout the process are:
- Form I-129 is the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), which allows entry into the country in order to marry. If the foreign-born fiancé(e) has an unmarried child under the age of 21, they may enter the United States as well on a K-2 visa, but the applicant must list their name on the I-129 petition.
- Form I-485 is the application for permanent residence.
- Form I-765 is the application for permission to work in the United States.
- Form I-130 is the form to file that will allow entry of a new spouse if the couple prefers to marry overseas.
Along with filing the proper forms, it is essential to also have all necessary documents and evidence ready to send as requested, and to meet the filing deadlines.