Conditions of a K Visa in DC

If you have applied successfully to the conditions of a K visa in DC, it may be critical to speak with an attorney about your next steps. K-1 and K-2 visa recipients can apply for work authorization once they enter the United States. However, the processing time for the employment authorization document, the EAD, will be longer than the 90 days in which the K-1 visa recipient must marry. It will be nearly impossible for the K-1 visa holder to receive the EAD before their K-1 status expires. Therefore, it is much easier to opt to marry quickly and then apply for work authorization as part of the I-485 adjustment packet. Contact a distinguished DC K visa lawyer about qualifications for this immigration status. They can review the important conditions of a K visa in DC and how they may impact your family’s future.

Impact of the Decision to Marry

If the fiancé(e) is already present in the United States but possesses a different kind of status, the application for a K visa is pointless.  K visas are only for beneficiaries abroad. The petitioner should instead, once the petitioner and the fiancé(e) marry, file Forms I-130 and I-485 concurrently so that the fiancé(e) can adjust in the United States. However, there are exceptions for those that may file concurrently.

A fiancé(e) who is present in the United States on a J-1 exchange visitor visa may have to return to their home country after marriage and remain there for two years to adhere to the two-year home country physical presence requirement. Whether the individual with J-1 status needs to adhere to this requirement depends on the type of J-1 they have. The beneficiary should refer to the J-1 authorization to verify whether they are subject to the requirement. There is also the possibility of waiving the requirement depending on the type of J-1 and the personal circumstances the J-1 recipient will face upon return to their home country.

How Long K Visa Application Process?

Due to the varying conditions of a K visa in DC, a conservative estimate of the time it takes between filing the I-129F, and the arrival of the K-1 to the United States is six months. However, processing times vary based upon the scheduling of the consular interview and whether there are issues in the K-1 beneficiary’s immigration and criminal history that require a waiver or further documentation.

90-Day Limit

On day 91 without a marriage, the K-1 visa holder falls out of status and begins to accrue unlawful presence in the United States. Part of the conditions of a K visa in DC is that individuals who accrue 180 days or more of unlawful presence and then leave the United States cannot return for three years. Individuals who accrue one year or more of unlawful presence cannot return for 10 years. If the petitioner and the K-1, who is now out of status, marry after day 90 then the petitioner and K-1 must submit an I-130 and I-485 concurrently.

Under circumstances where the marriage does occur within the 90-day period, the K-1 can avoid filing an I-130 and just file for adjustment by filing the I-485. The filing of the I-130 will require additional fees if the petitioner and beneficiary wait until after the 90-day period to marry.

If the K-1 never marries the petitioner and the K-1 remains in the United States, this individual will never be able to adjust or change status to any other immigrant or non-immigrant status.  Therefore, the K-1 should plan to return if there is no intent to marry because accumulated unlawful presence may prevent the individual from immediately returning to the United States in another status in the future. If you want to know more, contact a qualified K visa attorney today.