New Orleans Divorce Attorneys

New Orleans K-1 Visa Lawyers

Helping New Orleans or Slidell citizens bring their fiancé(e)s to America

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

Many Southeastern Louisiana residents want to bring the women or men to whom they are engaged to wed to America so they can marry. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requires that you first obtain a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for your fiancé(e). This visa is also known as a fiancé(e) visa. A condition of the K-1 visa is that you and your fiancé(e) must intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the US as a K-1 nonimmigrant. The marriage must be for love and for the intent to live a life together – not for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit.

Once the marriage is official, your fiancé(e) can apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States (a green card). At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our New Orleans immigration lawyers explain the eligibility requirements for a K-1 visa, guide you and your loved one through the petition for a K-1 visa process, and help your fiancé(e) obtain a green card when after the marriage occurs.

Am I eligible for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa?

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

You may be eligible to bring your fiancé(e) to the United States on a K-1 visa if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are a US citizen.
  • You and your fiancé(e) intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s admission to the US on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
  • You and your fiancé(e) are both legally free to marry. This means any prior marriages must have ended through divorce, annulment, or death and that you are otherwise legally able to wed.
  • Prior to filing the petition, you and your fiancé(e) must have met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. We’ll help you obtain a waiver of this requirement “if you can show that meeting in person would violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice” or cause extreme hardship to you, the US citizen petitioner.

What are the steps for obtaining a K-1 visa?

There are several agencies involved when you bring your fiancé(e) to America. These agencies are USCIS, the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It’s likely that each agency will review various databases to check for national security issues, criminal history, and other information about you and your fiancé(e). These checks use the name, fingerprints, and other biographic or biometric information of your fiancé(e).

Securing a K-1 visa involves the following steps:

  • The petition. Our New Orleans K-1 visa lawyers will help you file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) so that the USCIS will recognize the relationship between you and your fiancé(e). An approved Form I-129F is sent to the DOS National Visa Center (NVC).
  • The visa application. The NVC sends the approved Form I-129F to the US Embassy or consulate where your fiancé(e) lives. Your fiancé(e) will then apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. This application requires an interview with your fiancé(e). Your fiancé(e) will bring the necessary forms and documents needed to support her/his K-1 nonimmigrant visa to the interview. “If the consular officer grants the K-1 nonimmigrant visa, it is valid for up to 6 months for a single entry.” If the consular officer doesn’t find that there is “bona fide” relationship, your fiancé(e) will likely have to file a new Form I‑129F.
  • Port of entry inspection. “If DOS issues a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, your fiancé(e) travels to the United States and seeks admission at a port of entry while the K-1 nonimmigrant visa is valid. The K-1 nonimmigrant visa isn’t a guarantee of entry. A CBP port of entry officer will decide whether to admit your fiancé(e).”
  • The marriage. Once your fiancé(e) is admitted, you and your fiancé(e) have 90 days to marry each other.
  • Adjustment of status. Once the marriage takes place (within the 90-day period), your spouse can now apply for her/his green card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our K-1 visa lawyers will review the form to ensure all the questions are answered, and all the documents needed are provided. This process involves another interview – this time of both you and your spouse.
    • Per the USCIS, “If you were married for less than two years at the time the Form I-485 is approved, USCIS will grant your spouse conditional permanent resident status and issue a Green Card valid for 2 years. Your spouse will need to remove the conditions on his or her residence by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residencein the 90 days before his or her Green Card expires.”

Are children eligible for a K-1 visa?


Children of your fiancé(e) may be eligible to come to America on a K-2 nonimmigrant visa if   they are under 21 and are not married. The  children’s names must be included on Form I-129F if you wish to bring them to the United States. “The children must continue to be unmarried and under 21 in order to be admitted to the United States as K-2 nonimmigrants. They may travel with your fiancé(e) or later, but they cannot travel to the U.S. before your fiancé(e).”

Once your marriage occurs (within the 90-day period), your fiancé(e)’s children who were admitted as K-2 nonimmigrants may also apply for a green card by filing Form I-485 with the USCIS. The children must stay unmarried in order to be eligible for a green card. Normally, your spouse and children will apply for green cards at the same time.

Can my fiancé(e) work in the United States with a K-1 visa?

Once your fiancé(e) is admitted to America on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa,  he/ she may “immediately apply for evidence of work authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.” The work authorization is only valid for 90 days after your fiancé(e)’s entry into the US.

When your fiancé(e) applies for her/his green card, she/he can also apply for work authorization at the same time. According to the USCIS, “your fiancé(e) can file Form I-765 together with the Form I-485. In this case, your fiancé(e)’s work authorization is valid for one year and may be extended in one-year increments.”

What happens if we don’t meet the marriage deadline?

The 90-day K-1 and K-2 nonimmigrant status cannot be extended. If you and your fiancé(e) do not marry within 90 days after he or she is admitted to the US, she/he and the children must leave America. Staying beyond the 90-day period without a valid marriage may result in removal and could jeopardize any future immigration efforts.

Do you have a K-1 visa lawyer near me?

The Law Office of James A. Graham has two offices  located in South Louisiana:

For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.

Our New Orleans K-1 visa lawyers are ready to help you and your fiancé(e) unite in America

At the Law Office of James A. Graham, we understand the joy of being connected to that one special person in your life. Our New Orleans immigration lawyers have the experience and resources to help your fiancé(e) and any of his/her children reunite with you in America. We’ll answer all your questions and guide you and your fiancé(e) through the immigration process. Please call us or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. Our New Orleans and Slidell K-1 visa lawyers are ready to help you today.