Fiancé K-1 Visa Lawyers in Jacksonville
There are various pathways to legal residency and citizenship for the spouses and family members of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. However, what happens when someone you love isn’t quite “family” just yet? If you’re engaged to a foreign citizen fiancé, you may be wondering if you have any options that will allow your partner to stay in the country legally. The answer to this question is “yes,” but you should seek the help of someone experienced in citizenship and immigration services. A fiancé visa lawyer in Jacksonville may be able to help.
At Weldon Law Group, PLLC, our team of legal professionals helps people through the immigration process on a daily basis. We know all the options for establishing legal residency, gaining permanent residency, and becoming a U.S. citizen. Whether you’re a resident of the country or a foreign national seeking to stay, our law office can help identify the best path forward for you and your loved one. You need a Jacksonville immigration attorney on your side who will dedicate the time necessary to help you through the process. That’s what you’ll find at Weldon Law Group. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.
Can a Fiancé Obtain Lawful Permanent Resident Status?
If a U.S. citizen plans to marry a foreign national, they can sponsor their loved one by submitting a Petition for Alien Fiancé. This starts the process of receiving a K-1 visa so that a foreign citizen fiancé can stay in the United States legally. However, this is not a permanent solution. Even when these visa applications are approved, the foreign fiancé only has 90 days to stay in America. During that time, they must marry the U.S. citizen petitioner. Failure to do so within that period will lead to visa expiration. At that point, the immigrant must leave along with any children they brought into the country.
The visa application process is a long one, but unfortunately, even getting married on time will not grant permanent residency. However, a foreign national can apply for a green card after they’re married. This can begin the process of becoming a full-fledged American citizen. However, there are some caveats to this process. For instance, only a citizen sponsor can apply on behalf of their future spouse — not a permanent legal resident. Additionally, the planned marriage must be a legitimate relationship. Getting engaged solely for a K-1 visa or married for a marriage visa are both illegal in the United States.
What if someone doesn’t have an American citizen fiancé? What if other qualification issues arise? Fortunately, there are a variety of paths to United States citizenship. In many cases, fiancé visas will not be your only option. However, each approach has its own caveats and requirements. This is why you should speak with an immigration lawyer today. At Weldon Law Group, we offer more than just Jacksonville fiancé visa lawyer services. If you’re seeking American citizenship, we’ll work diligently to find a way to help you or your loved one stay in the country.
What Are the Requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Meeting the qualifications for obtaining a K-1 visa is fairly simple. One future spouse must be a legal citizen of the United States, there must be a bonafide intent to carry on a legitimate relationship, and any previous marriages must be legally dissolved. However, there are some other issues that might not be as clear from reviewing government websites. For instance, the couple must have had at least one in-person meeting within the two years before filing. A waiver can be granted if this would cause extreme hardship, but it’s typically wise to meet face-to-face prior to the application process.
Additionally, the citizen sponsor must show that they can financially support their future spouse. This is done by providing supporting evidence that their income is at least 100% of the federal poverty level. There is supporting documentation that can be submitted if this income threshold is not met, but it will complicate the process a bit. Fortunately, there are often ways around even the most strict requirements, and that’s why you should have a K-1 visa lawyer in Jacksonville help you throughout the process.
Once eligibility requirements are met, you’ll need to submit a visa application along with documents related to proving eligibility. During a K-1 visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether the immigrant spouse qualifies. If everything checks out and you’re married within 90 days, the foreign national spouse will be able to seek a green card and begin the path to citizenship. As evidenced by the requirements listed in this section, though, this process can be long and arduous. That’s why you should speak with a fiancé visa lawyer in Jacksonville today.
What if an Immigrant Is Suffering From Domestic Abuse?
In a best-case scenario, a U.S. citizen will be able to get a K-1 visa on behalf of their future spouse, and from that point, the two can go on to live a long and happy life. Unfortunately, this isn’t always how it works out. Statistics show that many people who come to America to marry U.S. citizens face domestic abuse and even trafficking. This is especially troubling since most of the immigration process must be completed by the citizen sponsor. This gives them a disproportionate level of control over their abuse victim.
Fortunately, there are ways to seek legal residency and citizenship without the assistance of an abuser. The right approach will depend largely on your current situation. For instance, those who have already married their abuser may be able to start the process of getting a green card under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). If you’re still just engaged, however, the procedure can be more complicated. Fortunately, it’s not impossible. It’s possible to apply for legal status for both you and your children in other ways.
In certain circumstances, abuse victims can petition for cancellation of removal. If granted, this results in permanent residency status for the victim and their children. It’s also possible to file for U-nonimmigrant status to stay in America if you’ve been the victim of a crime such as domestic violence or trafficking. When you enter the United States, you’ll hopefully have a great life with your future spouse. If this isn’t how it turns out, though, our Jacksonville fiancé visa attorneys may be able to help in other ways.
Contact a K-1 Visa Lawyer in Jacksonville Today
There are countless benefits to obtaining legal residency in America. However, the process is often so complex that people try to avoid it altogether. Between gathering the required documents, sitting down for a visa interview, and meeting legal requirements — it’s no surprise that so many people opt to just stay here illegally. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this process alone. Jacksonville immigration attorneys can assist you and ensure you’re on the right path to becoming a legal permanent resident or United States citizen. This means there’s no excuse to not get started today.
At Weldon Law Group, PLLC, we will do everything we can to assist you in getting an immigrant visa for your fiancé. However, keep in mind that approval of K visas does not immediately grant permanent residency to the U.S. This process will start after you’re legally married, and we can assist in those steps as well. We know that these legal procedures are complex, but our fiancé visa lawyers in Jacksonville are ready to assist. Contact us today by calling (904) 204-3420 to schedule your confidential consultation. We will help start the process for a K-1 visa, and if there’s an easier path, we’ll work hard to find it.