Sometimes, people meet a partner outside of the US and decide to get married. When a US citizen or permanent resident decides to marry someone outside of the US, the new spouse must first go through the immigration process in order to gain entry into the US. In most cases, a K1 fiancé(e) visa is granted to allow the partner to enter the US with the purpose of getting married. Once the marriage is finalized, the K-1 fiancé(e) visa holder may seek permanent resident status. In most cases, k-1 visa holders are granted only provisional green cards. This is to discourage immigration fraud, or the practice of marrying only for a green card.
In addition, k1 visa holders may be subject to other restrictions as well in order to help the USCIS detect marriage and immigration fraud. For example, holders of a K1 fiancé visa and partners of the visa holders may be subject to questions by immigration authorities to verify the authenticity of their marriage. Friends and family of the couple may be questioned as well, to verify that the couple are not marrying for immigration purposes.
A k-1 fiancé visa is unique because it is granted to people who wish to immigrate on a permanent basis to the US but is still a temporary or nonimmigrant visa. In order to secure a k-1 visa, the US partner must apply for the k1 visa on behalf of their future spouse. Once the K1 fiancée visa is granted, it is usually issued for 90 days. During this period, the couple need to get married and apply to adjust the status of the non-US spouse. If a k-1 fiancée visa holder is not married within the 90 day period, removal proceedings can begin against that individual.
Currently, same-sex couples may not apply for a K-1 visa in order to allow a non-US spouse to enter the US. If your partner does not qualify for a K1 visa, consult with a US immigration attorney. Your partner may be able to enter the US on a different visa. You can also apply for temporary visas by defining your relationship according to the US State Department. As well, some same-sex couples choose to live outside of the US to avoid visa issues. Advocacy groups have been trying to have a new family category created in order to allow civil partnerships and same-sex partnerships to be recognized by the USCIS.