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What is a K-1 visa?

When a U.S. citizen who lives in Florida wishes to marry a non-citizen foreign national, he or she is able to bring their fiance to Florida in order to get married. One way, other than a tourist visa, in which a foreign fiance can legally enter the country in order to marry is a K-1 visa, which is a type of non-immigrant visa specifically geared towards foreign fiances.

K-1 visas allow people who would otherwise qualify for an immigrant visa to travel to the United States in order to marry a U.S. citizen who is their intended spouse within 90 days of arrival. After the marriage, the foreign spouse may then apply to have his or her status adjusted and obtain a residence permit based on the marriage.

The U.S. person must be a citizen, and permanent residence status does not qualify as a ground for a foreign fiance to obtain a K-1 visa. Both must also be legally able to marry in the United States. People are not legally able to marry if they are still married to a person in another country, if they are trying to marry a sibling, half-sibling, grandparent or parent, and in many states, a first cousin.

There are other requirements for obtaining a K-1 visa, but it does provide a good way for a foreign fiance to enter the United States. Couples who wish to marry where one person is a foreign national while the other is a U.S. citizen may benefit by speaking with an immigration attorney about getting a such a visa. This type of family immigration visa can be a good choice for many people.

Source: U.S. Visas, "Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiancé(e) (K-1)", October 30, 2014

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