Planning a wedding can be a stressful job at best but imagine trying to plan a wedding while residing in a foreign country! A U.S. citizen fiancé can bring his or her intended bride or groom into the United States by way of a K-1 visa.

Planning a wedding can be a stressful job at best but imagine trying to plan a wedding while residing in a foreign country! A U.S. citizen fiancé can bring his or her intended bride or groom into the United States by way of a K-1 visa. Right now it seems that same sex couples are still unable to obtain K-1 visas for same sex fiancés which are needed to bring the intended partner into the U.S. on a temporary basis to facilitate a U.S. wedding day.

• Qualifying for a K-1 Visa
Here are some of the qualifying elements need to obtain a K-1 visa.
1. The intended spouse must be a native born or naturalized U.S. citizen. He or she may not be a permanent U.S. resident alien.
2. Both individual spouses making up the future marital couple must be legally able to marry.
3. The immigrant intended spouse must have a genuine intention of entering into a marriage with the U.S. citizen petitioner after arrival in the United States.
4. Both spouses must have met and seen each other within the last two years. No "mail order brides" will be afforded a K-1 visa to enter the U.S. to marry a person they have never met.

The K-1 visa is a temporary, non-immigrant visa which is good for only ninety days. After the marriage ceremony the immigrant spouse may apply for permanent U.S. residency and thereafter citizenship based on the newly formed marital relationship. There does not appear to be any legitimate impediment to allowing same sex couples to use the K-1 visa to bring a foreign national spouse into the U.S. to marry especially where same sex marriage is now legal in several U.S. States. However federal law, specifically the Defense of Marriage Act, has to date only been put into a sort of holding pattern and as a result same sex partners may not presently expect to be granted a K-1 visa by the United States Department of Immigration and Naturalization.

The good news concerning K-1 visas is that there are no annual limits on the numbers of K-1 visas to be made available and as a result there are no long waiting periods connected with getting one. It all begins with getting the visa application approval and that takes about seven months and then it will take an additional two to three months for the Consulate to issue the actual visa. The unmarried children, under age twenty one, of the foreign national spouse are allowed to accompany that spouse on the K-1 visa in order to attend the upcoming wedding ceremony of the parent spouse.

Please feel free to set up a free initial consultation with Attorney Hendrik Pretorius today to consider your options.

Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney

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