While a wedding can be a complicated and stressful time for any couple, the path to wedded bliss is further complicated when an American citizen chooses to marry a foreigner. Fortunately, Philadelphia immigration lawyers say that those seeking a fiancé or K-1 visa can take certain steps to ensure a smoother application process before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Upon their engagement, couples who intend to apply for a fiancé visa should be prepared to prove that their relationship is legitimate. An American applicant who has filed for numerous fiancé visas in the past will be closely scrutinized, as will an applicant who has never met his fiancé in person. Although waivers exist for those who can demonstrate that medical or religious reasons made a face-to-face meeting impossible, the USCIS normally view such applications with skepticism.
Moreover, the USCIS is disinclined to burden the American social services sector. To that end, applicants for a fiancé visa must meet certain financial criteria for consideration. Gross yearly income which is 125% more than the current poverty guidelines – it could be $20,000 yearly depending on the Poverty Guidelines for the year, for an applicant without dependent children – is required, with additional income required for each dependent child already claimed on a domestic tax return. The USCIS also requires all applicants to undergo medical screening and show proof of a valid passport.
Certain applicants are unlikely to be approved regardless of their financial status or level of supporting documentation provided to the USCIS. An American citizen with a criminal record, particularly one involving crimes of domestic violence, cannot receive a visa for their foreign fiancé. Similarly, a foreign fiancé with a history of violence, crime, drug addiction or a serious mental disorder will often be denied a K-1 visa. A foreign citizen who has previously attempted to enter the United States in violation of immigration laws will also often be disqualified from further consideration.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, PC Represent Fiancé Visa Applicants
Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, PC understand the sense of urgency many couples feel when it comes to obtaining a K-1 visa. If you or a loved one is engaged to a foreign citizen and wish to marry in the United States, call us at 215-925-4435 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.