marc Schifanelli, Esq.
Contact US (240) 882-2402
Contact Schifanelli Law, LLP at 410-263-0028 for an initial consultation with a Lawyer in Annapolis.
2450 Riva Road, Suite 201, Annapolis, Maryland 21401.
Serving the Maryland and Washington D.C. Communities.
A K-1 "Fiancee" Visa allows a foreign national to travel to the United States with the intent to marry a U.S. citizen (the "petitioner") within ninety days of his or her arrival. Sounds great, but K-1 Fiancee visas can be very frustrating. First, don't plan on getting married within the next year as it takes a little longer than that for your foreign boyfriend or girlfriend to arrive here, assuming all goes smoothly. Typically, the fiancee visa process does go relatively smoothly while you are petitioning the Department of Homeland Security here in the U.S. It tends to be a lot less so when you start working with the Department of State's National Visa Center and your fiancee starts the process at the U.S. consulate overseas. Consulate personnel ultimately have the last say whether or not your fiancee will get the K-1 visa. They can deny it if you don't meet the legal requisites. Or, if they feel that you and your fiancee are getting married with the sole purpose of getting him or her a "green card" (i.e. entering into a sham marriage), they will not issue the K-1 visa and may send the entire file back to the Department of Homeland Security with a recommendation that DHS revoke it. At that point, unless you get a good Maryland immigration attorney, you might want to start looking at job opportunities for you in her home country.
But what if your fiancee is already here lawfully, for example, as a B-2 visitor, a business professional, or even on a temporary work visa like H-1B or H-2B? Or he entered lawfully but is now out of status? If your foreign-born fiancee is in the U.S., you might consider avoiding the long K-1 Visa processing times, time spent apart or overseas, and the frustration of dealing with U.S. and host-nation Consulate personnel who don't have much time to decide whether or not your intending marriage is a bona fide one allowing your fiancee to enter the U.S. in K-1 visa status.
With a few exceptions, and as long as your fiancee entered the U.S. in lawful visa status and they have no other issues that make them "inadmissible," they can "adjust status" to that of a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (sorry, they're not entitled to be U.S. citizens without first becoming an LPR). If they entered the U.S. in valid visa status but "overstayed" their authorized time here, then adjustment of status here may be the only real option (and it is extremely important that they not depart the U.S. until adjusted! See the section on "mandatory bars to reentry" and inadmissibility for the very serious consequences associated with unauthorized ).
And the rules and laws concerning adjustment of status and K-1 fiancee visas are chock full of them. We can't overstress how important it is to get a good immigration K-1 or Green Card lawyer in Maryland to help you from the start. We'll review your situation and then you decide which avenue to pursue, be we can assist from start to finish. Contact us to set up an in-house or phone consultation with an experience Maryland immigration attorney in Annapolis.
First of all, our Partner Attorneyshave personally been there/done that: as both Maryland immigration lawyers representing our immigration clients and, long before, as a U.S.C. petitioner and foreign-born spouse leaving out of a war zone and through a neutral country. Hence, we know "consular processing" up close and personal. We understand the frustrations that spouses and petitioners can experience at U.S. Consulates throughout the world. Putting that immigration experience to work, we help our clients avoid the major pitfalls.