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Posts Tagged ‘US visa Law Thailand’

5th November 2009

An interesting hypothetical question that is sometimes posed when researching the K1 visa is: who can my Thai fiancee marry once she arrives in the United States of America?

After issuance of a fiance visa, a beneficiary has six months to use the visa for travel to the US. The K1 visa is a single entry visa. Therefore, the beneficiary will only be allowed to enter the United States one time (if multiple entries are necessary, then the beneficiary must obtain an advance parole travel document). After entry, the beneficiary must marry the petitioner and apply for adjustment of status to conditional lawful permanent residence in the USA, but what happens if the beneficiary and petitioner decide not to get married? This occasionally occurs and in this situation the foreign fiancee must leave the USA within 90 days from their date of arrival.

In rare cases, a foreign fiancee will meet another individual and a romantic relationship arises. In this situation, there is not a way for a for fiancee to adjust status to permanent residence based upon marriage to another US Citizen or lawful permanent resident), if that US Citizen (or lawful permanent resident) is not the person specifically named on the K1 visa. In order to adjust status in this situation, the foreign beneficiary would need to leave the USA, obtain a new visa,  and reenter.

The K1 visa was designed to provide the foreign fiancee of a US Citizen with a travel document to be utilized for the sole purpose of specifically marrying the US Citizen petitioner. Therefore, an adjustment of status cannot be executed based upon a marriage to anyone else. There is a misconception that a K1 visa beneficiary can marry anyone in the USA and use that marriage as a basis for adjustment. This author believes that this misconception is based upon the fact that sometimes US Citizens will marry and adjust status with a foreign national present in the US on a tourist visa. Although this practice is very frowned upon by the Department of Homeland Security, it is possible to adjust status this way provided the foreign national did not enter the country with that undisclosed intention. That being said, in the case of the K1, the beneficiary may only adjust status based upon a marriage to the K1 petitioner.

On a related note, after adjustment of status, the foreign spouse will be considered a conditional lawful permanent resident (CR1) of the USA. The conditionality is based upon the continuation of the underlying marital relationship. Should the parties divorce while the beneficiary is in CR1 status, then the foreign spouse’s permanent residence will expire at the 2 year anniversary of the adjustment of status. However, a foreign spouse could remarry during this time period and apply for an adjustment of status based upon a marriage to another US Citizen. In this scenario, it would be highly likely that the officers at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) would carefully scrutinize the bona fides of both relationships in order to be certain that the relationship is genuine.

No one should attempt to utilize a visa based upon false pretenses, the above scenarios are meant to provide insight into how the Immigration rules apply in practice. Applying for a visa based upon false statements of fact could be construed as an attempt to defraud the US Immigration service.

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