Advantages and Disadvantages of K-1 Visa
The K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa is for foreign citizens who plan to marry an American citizen and permanently reside in the United States. Both parties should be free to legally get married. Previous marriages should be terminated by annulment, divorce, or death. The petitioner should have met the fiance beneficiary personally at least once within the two-year period before filing the petition, though this requirement can be waived. If meeting the beneficiary personally will violate customs and traditions, or would put the petitioner in extreme situations. The K-1 visa only permits the beneficiary to travel to the U.S. to marry a U.S. Citizen Sponsor/Petitioner within ninety (90) days of arrival. When the marriage takes place, the beneficiary may apply for an Adjustment of Status to get a green card.
Advantages of K-1 Visa:
● K-1 Visas generally have shorter processing times compared to marriage-based immigration visa petitions (CR-1 Spousal Visa). The process usually takes six (6) to seven (7) months, while the CR-1 could take at least eight (8) to twelve (12) months.
● To schedule the interview, fewer documents are required by the U.S. Consulates overseas, where the beneficiary is currently residing, Not being required to provide a large number of documents on the application can speed up the process by about a month or two.
● Given that the K-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa, thus it is not an application for a Green Card. The U.S. Government Fees are much lower for the initial application.
● Generally- Upon arrival in the United States, the beneficiary can apply for a work permit by filing an application for Employment Authorization, and then after obtaining an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), the fiance beneficiary may now engage in employment. However, it is best to engage an immigration attorney because these processes often change or are subject to delays.
● Generally, Beneficiary’s children under the age of twenty-on (21) can also come to the U.S. with the K-2 dependent visa as long as the children are listed on the K-1 visa application. And once married, the beneficiary and the children can apply for the Adjustment of Status in order to get their green cards. Children can lead to serious custody issues. It is best to hire an immigration Attorney to guide you.
● An often overlook advantage is that both parties will have time to know each other more. Given that they are not obliged to marry immediately upon the arrival of the beneficiary in the U.S. They have ninety (90) days to decide whether it is best for them to get married or not Disadvantages of K-1 Visa:
● The K-1 Visa costs are cheaper for the initial application. But after the marriage then the beneficiary would have to apply for an Adjustment of Status to get a green card. Then there will be other fees to pay -the total for all the processing fees leading to a green card would be more expensive than for the CR-1.
● The beneficiary can apply for a work permit by filing an Application for Employment Authorization. But the USCIS process for obtaining an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) would generally take ninety (90) to one-hundred twenty (120) days. The validity of a K-1 visa holder’s stay in the U.S. is only ninety (90) days, the beneficiary may not be able to use the EAD because it is only valid for the period of the authorized stay.
● The beneficiary’s friends and family might not be able to witness the wedding.
It would be best to consult with an immigration attorney to put together the best course of actions based on the details of your plans to avoid common mistakes that may jeopardize the application process. You may contact us if you have any questions and inquiries regarding the matter, we will be happy to help you.