Integrity Legal

7th May 2009

What Happens After the K1 Visa Interview?

After the visa interview a fiancee will either receive a 221 g request for more information, an outright denial, or an approval of the visa application and a visa will be placed into her passport.  A frequently asked question: how long before she must use the visa to the USA? Generally, the answer to this question is 6 months from the issue date. Therefore, a Thai fiancee will need to present her visa at a port of entry in the USA within 6 months of visa issue or else the visa will expire and she will need to obtain a new one before presenting herself at the port of entry again. Getting past the port of entry is usually a smooth process and the worst inconvenience imposed upon the Thai fiancee will likely be the existence of a long line at the United States Customs and Immigration checkpoint.

So you have gotten your fiancee to the United States from Thailand using a K-1 Fiancee. She has gotten past the port of entry in the United States and she is currently in lawful K1 status in the USA: Now What?

A question many couples pose after completing the K-1 visa obtainment process is: does my fiancee need to leave the USA within 90 days? No, you and your fiancee must get legally married and apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence in order for your fiancee to remain in the US legally. While an adjustment of status application is pending the Thai fiancee is entitled to remain in the USA.

If the couple decides that for logistical reasons a marriage is not feasible, the the Thai fiancee will need to depart the United States before the visa’s validity expires.  An issue that arises with regard to this type of situation: under the provisions of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act a US Citizen is only allowed to petition for one K1 visa every 2 years and if petitioning for more than one K1 within that time period, a waiver must be obtained. Generally, where there was good reason for failure to conduct a marriage and this reason is properly explained to the USCIS adjudicator, a waiver will be issued and the couple would be able to obtain a second fiance visa.

Please see US Visa Thailand for more information

(Please note: Nothing contained within this blog post should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship between author and reader. This post is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to act as a substitute for individual legal advice from a licensed attorney.)

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