Can I visit the US while I wait for my K-1 fiance visa?

Can I visit the US while I wait for my K1 visa?Your K-1 fiance visa is pending and…

You want to visit the United States so that you can visit your significant other while you wait for your fiance visa. After all, you have a wedding to plan and you can’t stand the thought of being separated any longer than necessary during this exciting time. But can you still visit the United States as a nonimmigrant after your fiance visa petition has been submitted to USCIS?

Applying for a K-1 fiance visa or submitting an I-129F fiance visa petition will not automatically disqualify you from visiting the United States on a tourist visa or other nonimmigrant visa. However, the pending application may make it more difficult to be able to visit. If you plan to enter the United States after your fiance visa petition has been filed, you should first discuss your plans with your immigration lawyer.

In order to enter the United States on a nonimmigrant visa you must be able to demonstrate that you do not have an immigrant intent. In other words, you must be able to show the customs officer at the airport that you only plan to visit and then will be returning to your home country. A pending K-1 fiance visa suggests that you may actually be planning on staying and may not be planning on returning home — after all, your pending visa clearly indicates that you have plans to immigrate at some point in time.

How do you demonstrate that you do not have an immigrant intent on your current visit when you have a K-1 fiance visa pending?

There is no formula that will guarantee you entry into the United States as a nonimmigrant when you have a K-1 fiance visa pending. You should be prepared to present what evidence you can that you only plan to stay for a short trip and then will be returning to your home country to wait for your K-1 fiance visa to be approved. Do you have a job in your home country that you are expected back at? What family do you still have in your home country? Can you explain and provide evidence of the reason why you want to visit the United States before your visa is approved?

Because you may not be allowed to enter the United States as a visitor while your K-1 fiance visa is pending, you should consider this limitation before your K-1 petition is filed. If you want to make one last trip to help make wedding arrangements, you may want to do so before your K-1 petition is filed.

If your fiance visa is delayed, you should not enter the United States as a visitor and then stay longer than permitted. Doing so could subject you to severe penalties, including deportation and restrictions on your ability to return in the future. If you have any questions about your options for a fiance visa, feel free to contact me to schedule a consultation appointment.

About Kimberley Schaefer

Kimberley Schaefer is an immigration lawyer with offices in Boise, ID and Rexburg, Idaho. She helps future Americans become citizens by assisting them with immigrant visas, fiance visas, adjustment of status and green card applications, applying for immigration waivers, fighting deportation and applying for asylum. To contact her, you can call (208) 918-0852 or send Kimberley an email now.

Comments

  1. My fiancee and I are currently waiting for our i129f fiance visa to be approved. When we submitted it at the beginning of April 2012, the timeline averaged 5 months from that date. It has now been almost 6 months and we have not heard anything further than “initial review.” We have a wedding planned for six weeks from now. He is planning on leaving NZ in four weeks for the wedding. Now we are not sure what to do if the application does not get approved and he doesn’t get an interview date in time.

    If the application does not get approved in time, should he still attempt to come over on a tourist visa/visa waiver? If he does and we get married anyway, can we apply for I130 and Adjustment of Status? If so, would they allow him to stay in the U.S. while his AOS is pending? Will this be seen as visa fraud?

    Or, if they let him into the country on a tourist visa and instead of making our marriage legal, we just had a “commitment ceremony” so as not to loose all of our deposits and scheduling, would that be frowned upon? He would obviously still have to leave the country to go back for his interview, but would this be seen as a risky move in anyway?

    Thank you for your consideration!

  2. my fiancee filed for me about six months ago.we received the receipt number since july and have not heard from the uscis again.what is the way forward?

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      You can check the status of your case online at uscis.gov. The USCIS website also lets you check the current processing times for different types of applications. For example, the Vermont Service Center is currently processing applications that were filed in May 2012. This means that it could still be several months before a decision is made on your petition.

Comment Policy: Do you have a comment about this article? Your comments will be visible to everyone and are appropriate for general questions about immigration issues. Have a specific question about your case that you'd like to ask privately as part of a consultation? Please use the contact form instead.


Leave a Comment About This Article

*