Fiancee Visa Information
  K1 Visa Information (The Fiance and Fiancee Visa)
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K1 Fiancee Visa Overview

The US immigration term for a fiancee visa is a K-1 visa.
The purpose of the fiancee visa is to allow United States citizens to bring their foreign fiancees into the US on a K1 visa for the purpose of marriage.

Prior to the creation of the fiancee visa the only way a U.S. citizen could bring his foreign fiancee to the U.S. was to marry her outside of the U.S. (usually in her home country) and then apply for a spousal visa, which is also called a marriage visa. The main problem with the spousal visa was that it did not give the foreign bride any time to adjust to living in the U.S. until after she was already married. Getting married is a big adjustment for most people, but these foreign brides not only had to adjust to marriage and their new husbands but also to living in America. Suddenly they were deprived of their friends, family, and culture and thrown into a situation thousands of miles from their homes and in which they could not understand the language. (View K3 CR spousal visa / marriage visa overview website).

Another problem with the spousal visa was that as the number of U.S. citizens applying for it multiplied, the length of time it took to obtain a spousal visa increased tremendously.

The fiancee visa to a large extent solved, or at least greatly reduced the severity of these problems. It allowed the foreign fiancee to enter the U.S. first and to have up to 90 days to marry her American citizen fiance. If she married him within the 90 days, she could stay in the U.S. forever. If she decided that she no longer wanted to marry her fiance sponsor, she only had to depart the U.S. prior to the expiration of the 90 day period and she would still be eligible for another fiancee visa with the same or a different fiance. Also, the fiancee visa was much faster to obtain than a spousal visa.

There was one major flaw in the original K1 fiancee visa law. In the beginning, it allowed the fiancee to enter the U.S. on a fiancee visa sponsored by one American citizen, not marry that sponsor, then marry another American citizen and remain legally in the United States. Needless to say, this loophole in the Immigration Law opened the door to much fraud.

Fiancee visa law has since been changed to close this loophole and now requires that the foreign fiancee either marry the U.S. citizen who sponsored her within 90 days of her arrival in the U.S. or depart the U.S. prior to the termination of her 90 day fiancee visa. These are the fiancee's only two options. The K1 visa cannot be extended beyond 90 days and it cannot be changed to some other visa, such as a tourist, student or work visa. Any violation of these rules will result in deportation and, in many cases, a bar from re-entering the U.S. for a period of 3, 5 or 10 years even if the foreign fiancee marries another American.

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