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8th June 2009
K-1 Visa Requirements: What’s Required in a K-1 Visa Application?
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How can my Fiancee and I meet the K-1 Visa Requirements?
Many couple’s initial question regarding the K-1 visa is: do we meet the legal requirements for a K-1 visa? Although the K-1 has less requirements than other US visas, there are still requirements that must be met in order to meet the statutory requirements laid out in the US Immigration and Nationality Act.
Basic Requirements in order to Petition for a K-1 Visa for a Foreign Fiancee
With regard to the K-1, a major legal requirement is that the Petitioner be a United States Citizen. Unlike US Marriage visas, a K-1 visa can only be obtained for the fiancee of an American Citizen. In Thailand, this is not n issue that generally arises, but in other areas of Southeast Asia (Vietnam for example), lack of United States Citizenship is often a preclusion for those who would otherwise have filed for a K-1 visa.
Further, the United States Citizen and foreign fiancee must have met in person at least two years prior to submitting the K-1 visa application. In certain cases, particularly involving arranged marriages in which the parties cannot meet in person as dictated by custom, it may be possible to obtain a waiver of this requirement, but in nearly all cases this is a firm requirement in order to qualify for a K-1 visa.
A US Citizen is required to show evidence that he can adequately support a foreign fiancee should she receive a K-1 visa. The Financial requirement is currently set at 125% of the poverty level as designated by housing and human services. For the current figures please see: K-1 visa financial requirements.
K-1 visa requirements imposed by IMBRA and the Adam Walsh Act
There are further K-1 visa requirements imposed by the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act and the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act. If the US Citizen has petitioned for 1 or more K-1 visas in the 2 years prior to current K-1 application, then they will be precluded from obtaining another K-1 without obtaining a waiver from USCIS. As to the Adam Walsh Act, the statute generally requires that the US Citizen mus not have a criminal history involving offenses against children in order to be eligible to apply for a fiancee visa.
K-1 visa requirements: Necessity of a US Immigration Attorney
Where there is a question as to whether or not the US Citizen and Thai fiancee meet the K-1 visa requirements it may be helpful to consult a US Immigration attorney in order to determine if all K-1 visa requirements have been met.
(Please note that none of the content contained herein should be used instead of personalized legal advice from an attorney. Further, this is a general list of K-1 visa requirements, it is non-exhaustive and therefore should not be used as a definitive source regarding K-1 visa requirements. No lawyer-client relationship should be assumed to exist between the author and reader of this article.)
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