If you are a U.S. citizen planning to marry a foreign national, a K-1 Fiancé Visa is one method of bringing him or her into the country. Since this is a travel visa, you must marry your foreign fiancé within a limited period of time. Due to the complicated nature of this visa application process, speaking with a K-1 Fiancé Visa lawyer can be very useful in determining whether this is the best option for your situation.
The applicant must be a U.S. citizen with the exclusive purpose of bringing his or her fiancé into the country for marriage. Both you and your fiancé must be free to marry. This means that both individuals must have had any previous marriages legally dissolved through death, divorce, or annulment. You must marry your fiancé within 90 days of him/her entering the United States.
In general, you and your fiancé must have met in person within the past two years. Some exceptions to this requirement may be granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if you can prove extreme hardship to meet or cultural reasons that prohibit such a meeting.
The application process can be complex and frustrating. There are numerous required forms, supporting documents, and medical exams required. A K-1 Fiancé Visa lawyer can help ensure a complete application and address potential legal pitfalls. Below are a few questions this type of lawyer can answer:
Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
In general, how much an attorney costs will often depend on these four factors: billing method and pricing structure, type of legal work performed, law firm prestige, and attorney experience. Depending on the legal issue you are facing, an attorney may bill you by the hour, settle on a flat fee, or enter into a contingency fee agreement. The type of legal work you need help with will also play a role in cost incurred.
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.