The K-1 Visa allows a foreign national to enter the United States for a period of 90 days in order to marry an LPR or U.S. citizen to whom the alien is engaged to be married.

In order to enter the country on a K-1 Visa, a petition must be approved at the appropriate USCIS Service Center and the foreign beneficiary must pass a personal interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in his or her country. The purpose of the interview is to verify the validity of the relationship and the qualifications of the U.S. citizen spouse to act as a sponsor. The sponsor must provide evidence of good moral character as well as proof of adequate income and/or assets for sponsorship.

The Fiancé Visa allows a couple up to 90 days to make the important decision on marriage. Generally speaking, our firm prefers to help clients file Fiancé Visas rather than have the clients marry and then pursue an I-130 petition (consular processing) or file a K-3 petition.

Information on K1 Visas (Fiance Visa)


Example

A Mexican National who was awarded a green card thru a family petition and became a USC in 2012 retained our firm for a K1/ Fiance Visa and AOS, adjustment of status. His fiance, also from Mexico was approved for her visa after our firm prepared her for the consular interview, entered the US a month later and married and was awarded lawful permanent resident status after a marriage interview represented by our firm. Our attorneys prepared the couple for their marriage interview and attended the same with them.

She received her 2 year green card a month later. Congratulations!

To learn more about the K-1 Visa and to get advice on which kind of process is best for you and your fiancé, please contact our immigration law offices today for a free consultation.

Fiancés Separated at Border


New York Times
Published July 7, 2020
Updated July 8, 2020,


The following article describes the difficulties in maintaining a relationship during Covid 19

Some couples separated by the U.S.-Canada border since the closure in March, managed to meet at a border-straddling park, while others are uncertain about when they will see each other again.

When the border between the United States and Canada closed to nonessential travel on March 21 because of the coronavirus, Savannah Koop and Ryan Hamilton were less than two months away from the wedding they had been planning.

The closure derailed those plans, but not their romance. Ms. Koop of Abbotsford, British Columbia, and Mr. Hamilton of Bellingham, Wash., each live within an hour from the border. Both were familiar with crossing for everything from dates to cheaper gas, an advantage when it came to figuring out how to keep seeing each other as the pandemic’s grip tightened.

“Ryan and I would meet at 0 Avenue in British Columbia, a place that’s famous in this area for having a ditch that separates the U.S. and Canada,” said Ms. Koop, 25, a student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia. Mr. Hamilton, 26, is a brand manager in Bellingham, Wash., at DeWaard & Bode, a retail appliance and mattress chain. The couple, who met on Hinge last summer, drove there several days a week, parked their cars, and talked under border patrol surveillance across the ditch at its narrowest point, about six feet across.

On May 8, their intended wedding day, Mr. Hamilton found a friend on the Canadian side to set up a picnic for Ms. Koop. “There were flowers, fresh coffee, a blanket for me to sit on,” she said. “Ryan read me eight pages of vows he had written.”

On June 7, they took advantage of a 35-day window of opportunity and made those vows official at Peace Arch Park, situated between Blaine, Wash., and Surrey, B.C. The park had reopened May 14 on both sides of the border, allowing Canadians and Americans to intermingle and roam. It shut down again, however, on the Canadian side on June 18.

“We’re so happy just to be together after three months of not being able to be in the same room,” Mr. Hamilton said.

Couples who live farther from the border aren’t feeling quite as lucky. Some have gone months without seeing each other in person. None have a clear sense of when they can reunite.

“When they first announced the border would be open only to essential travel, meaning you had to have a reason to come into Canada, they said it would only be a month,” said Dr. David Edward-Ooi Poon, 34, a family physician in Toronto who co-founded the group Advocacy for Family Reunification at the Canadian Border in May. “They have since extended that month to July 21, and we don’t know whether it will be extended again.”

Given the spike in coronavirus cases in the United States, Dr. Poon thinks another extension is likely. Many of the 2,400 or so lovelorn people who have joined the advocacy group think so, too. (Some, like Dr. Poon and his partner, Alexandria Aquino, a 24-year-old nurse who lives in Dublin, are advocating to allow people from Europe to come into Canada.) “There’s a lot of pain, and a lot of people who are starting to feel their relationships are invalid,” Dr. Poon said. “In Canada, there’s a big emphasis on promoting mental health. We feel the mental health of many of our members is suffering because of the long separation.”

The group is not pushing for open borders. “Covid is a challenge that must be taken very seriously, and we’ll do whatever it takes to keep Canada safe,” he said. “We just want to be together.” For now, though, togetherness in Canada requires legal marriage and a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for anyone arriving from outside the country.

Travel restrictions to the United States are not as stringent. Though the land border within Canada is closed, making driving or walking over for nonessential reasons a violation, flights arriving from Canada are allowed. This has eased the burden of enforced separation for couples like Nuelsi Pales of Pittsburgh, and her fiancé, Louis-Philippe Morand of Montreal. The couple had planned to be married in a Montreal courthouse this summer, though they had not set a date.

“Flights are expensive right now, but when we heard the closure got extended to July, we decided to spend the money on a ticket for L.P. to visit because we couldn’t hold out much longer,” said Ms. Pales, 37, who met Mr. Morand, 36, who she calls L.P., last year on a business trip to Montreal. They work in different cities for the same company, PPG Architectural Coatings. “We hadn’t seen each other for 107 days.”

Their visit in June, though, has not untangled the knottier issue of how they can move forward with their plan to combine their families, and their lives, in Montreal. “We’ll be a blended family of six,” Ms. Pales said; both have two children from previous marriages. In March, days before the first of the pandemic-related shutdowns, they bought a house together in Montreal. Now Ms. Pales and her children are back home in Pittsburgh, their lives on hold. “For the first couple of months, we thought the closure would be short. Now it feels like there’s no end in sight. It’s been devastating.”

They are not without hope. Whether the border reopens on July 21 or not, they plan to be married July 25. “I’m going to pack up my two kids and my dog and drive up with all my documents,” including their banns, Quebec’s required public announcement of an impending marriage. “If I’m turned away at the border, we’ll find a way to get him here and get married in Pennsylvania.”

Peter Matta of Milton, Ontario, and his fiancée, Maryann Bishay of Troy, Mich., do not have a Plan B if their Nov. 1 wedding in Troy falls through, which he worries is increasingly likely.

“At this rate, with the extensions, I’m concerned the border still won’t be open,” Mr. Matta said. “We’re hoping for it, and also hoping we can reunite beforehand, since getting married without having seen each other for eight months is a terrible thought.”

The couple, who met at a 2018 event at St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Milton, have not found a border-straddling park to meet in, like Ms. Koop and Mr. Hamilton. Taking advantage of the loophole that allows flights into the United States also has not been an option, because Mr. Matta, 32, cannot take 14 days off his job as a pharmacist to quarantine upon returning home. Ms. Bishay, 34, is an electrical engineer with General Motors in Detroit.

The lack of clarity about the border reopening has taken a toll on the relationship. “When the closure was first announced, we thought, OK, this is only 30 days, we can be strong,” he said. “And something happened that we weren’t expecting. We grew closer. We realized we couldn’t take each other’s presence for granted.”

But as 30 days has turned into multiple months with no end in sight, their resolve is beginning to fray. “We can’t touch each other, we can’t do anything together,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to break up over it. But we feel alone.”

Joining Dr. Poon’s group has helped with that. “It’s good to see we’re not the only ones in this situation, and to hear stories of what other people are going through,” he said. But it also fuels resentment. Advocacy for Family Reunification at the Canadian Border is circulating a petition and writes weekly letters to Canadian members of Parliament, hoping to sway them into allowing unmarried couples to reunite. “MPs and governors can read our stories, but they don’t seem to care.”

Dr. Poon doesn’t plan to give up the campaign until Ms. Aquino is back in his arms. “These temporary border restrictions are becoming less temporary as the months pass,” he said. “We support the government’s efforts to help protect Canadians from Covid. We’re not asking for special treatment. We’re simply asking for compassion.”

New York Times
Published July 7, 2020
Updated July 8, 2020,