U.S. Immigration: Requirements for K-1 fiancé? visa

Many Canadian citizens, including some from British Columbia, live and work in the United States. That and the growth in online dating have led to a surge in U.S. immigration involving marriages between citizens of the United States and Canada. When this happens, the Canadian citizen will be entitled to obtain a green card, which will allow him or her permanent residency, and ultimately, U.S. citizenship.

To enter the United States as the fiancé of a U.S. citizen, the Canadian citizen must obtain a K-1 non-immigrant visa. Eligibility for such a visa requires the other party to be a U.S. citizen, and the couple must intend to get married within 90 days after the K-1 visa holder enters the United States. Also, both parties must be legally free to marry, meaning that annulment, death or divorce has legally terminated any previous marriage of either party.

An in-person meeting between the two parties must occur within two years before the visa application. However, this requirement might be waived if it can be shown that the visa applicant's culture and social practice will deem such a meeting a violation of long-established and strict customs. An exception might also be made if it can be shown that it would lead to extreme hardship for the petitioner in the United States.

Planning a wedding while dealing with immigration issues could be overwhelming. For that reason, the person who intends to marry a United States citizen might seek the support and guidance of an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer in British Columbia. Having someone to navigate the visa application and explain all the requirements for eligibility can simplify the process significantly.

Source: uscis.gov, "Visas for Fiance(e)s of U.S. Citizens", Accessed on May 3, 2018

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