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Special K-1/K-2 Visa Scenarios

Cultural Exceptions

In some instances, a U.S. petitioner and his/her fiancé/fiancée do not need to meet in person if there is some sort of religious or cultural stipulation that prevents them from doing so. In many cultures around the world, it is not customary for a man and a woman to meet before entering into marriage.

Undue Hardship

In some instances, a U.S. petitioner and his/her fiancé/fiancée do not need to meet in person if doing so would cause the petitioner undue hardship.

This exception is very difficult to prove and very few applicants qualify under this clause. Moreover, it is hard to provide enough convincing evidence of undue hardship to USCIS.

Furthermore, financial hardships are usually not considered under this classification. Those who typically qualify have serious health problems or disabilities that physically prevent them from traveling.

Classifying someone as a fiancé/fiancée even though the U.S. petitioner and alien fiancé/fiancée are already married

Other times, a petitioner and the alien fiancé/fiancée may already be married. However, the alien fiancé (now spouse) may still be classified as a fiancé/fiancée if the marriage has not yet been consummated.

Married After the 90-day requirement

In some instances, a couple may not have married within the time allotted to them through the K1 visa. While this creates some legal issues, such as the K-1 visa holder accumulating unlawful presence; it is rectifiable in certainsituations. If the K-1 visa holder marries the original K-1 petitioner after 90 days of entry into the US, the K-1 visa holder is no longer eligible to file for adjustment of status based on their marriage and K-1 visa alone. The K-1 visa holder may still apply for adjustment of status, butthe US citizen spouse must now file form I-130 (Petition for alien relative) on behalf of their spouse in addition to the application to adjust status (Form I-485). This requires an additional $420 filing fee, and possiblya longer wait time for approval. If the K-1 visa holder does not marry the original K-1 petitioner, they must depart the US. Even if the K-1 visa holder marries or intends to marry another US Citizen while in the US, they still must depart and be petitioned by their US citizen spouse for another visa; which may prove difficult subsequent to a previous petition on that alien’s behalf for a K-1 visa.

(Updated 10/12/2012 by AD)

For more information on how to obtain a K-visa, please click on the following links: