Is a K1 Fiancée Visa The Same as a Green Card?

What is a K1 fiancée visa?

This is a question that causes a lot of confusion. The answer is no. However, a fiancée visa can quickly lead to a permanent residency (green card).

A fiancée visa (K-1 visa) enables a US Citizen to bring an overseas fiancée to the United States so that the couple can get married. The sole purpose of the visa is to get married in the US. The marriage must take place within 90 days of the overseas fiancée entering the United States. If the marriage does not take place within 90 days, the fiancée must leave the United States and visa extensions are not granted to the K1 visa. The good news is once the marriage takes place within the 90 days, the overseas fiancée can and should apply for a green card if the couple intends on living in the United States. Once the green card application is issued, it will be on a conditional basis for two years. After the two years is up and the couple is still married and together, the condition can be removed jointly through application. If the couple is not married anymore or is divorced, it becomes very complicated. It seems straightforward enough, but frequently it is not.

Conditional Green card – Removal of Condition I-751

It is well known that an overseas person marrying a US Citizen may qualify for a green card. Unfortunately, due to many fraudulent marriage or fiancee visa applications, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generally pays much closer attention to applications relating to fiancé visas and marriage green cards than other types of family-based petitions. It becomes even more complicated if the couple is no longer together or is divorced after the conditional green card is issued and expired. The purpose of the need to remove the condition of the marriage-based conditional green card is due to the government's concern of fraud. The government knows many couples applying for green cards through a marriage and fiancé visa are solely for immigration status purposes and not for “love.” Consequently, even the most legitimate relationships are scrutinized to determine if they really are marriages of love and not marriages of immigration purposes.

The worst-case scenario is a legitimate marriage for love is denied and the couple is either required to live apart or move to another country. Less harsh consequences are an application may be substantially delayed due to additional scrutiny causing stress in the couple's lives and in some cases forcing the couple to put their lives on hold. For these reasons, it is important to put your best case forward and show that your relationship and your marriage is for love and to save on reducing the risks of being delayed and put through significant amounts of stress.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gerald Cipolla Esq.
Gerald Cipolla Esq. Immigration Lawyer in Chicago, Illinois. Founder of Cipolla Law Group.
Since 2000, Mr. Cipolla has helped over hundreds of clients to successfully achieve their immigration goals. He has almost 20 years of legal experience and is frequently interviewed by various media outlets to speak on the laws and regulations of U.S. Immigration. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and an Immigration Advisor at large for the Christianity Today.

Copyright Cipolla Law Group

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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