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Top 10 Reasons Fiance Visas Are Denied

Here are the Top 10 Reasons a K-1 Fiance Visas are denied.

It used to be that fiance visa cases were approved over 90% of the time. Those were the good old days. Unfortunately, as of the beginning of 2019, due to the current stance on immigration, fiance visa cases are only being approved 50% of the time. Happily, our office has a 100% approval rate. You should keep the following things in mind if you want to improve your chances of your case being approved. Below are the top 10 reasons fiance visa cases are denied.

Reason 1.      Your fiancé has violated the terms of his or her U.S. visa in the past.  Overstaying a visa by more than 180 days for example can cause your fiancé to not be able to obtain a fiancé visa for 3 years.

Reason 2.    The U.S. Citizen is not able to financially support his or her fiancé .  The U.S. Citizen must show the U.S. government that he or she makes 100% of the federal poverty level for a fiancé visa case.  This is because the U.S. Citizen and any co-sponsor (if allowed) will likely be paying the U.S. government back in case your fiancé gets government benefits. You can visit the U.S government’s website to determine if your income is high enough to qualify to obtain the fiance visa. If your income is not at 100% of the federal poverty level (based on your family size) you will run into problems in the area and your fiance visa can be denied. You may be able to obtain a co-sponsor (depends on the consulate or embassy) to help you but this is not true in every case.  Also, if you think you may not be able to qualify feel free to contact our office. Many times we can help you in this area.

Reason 3   Either the U.S. Citizen or his or her fiancé has past criminal issues.  Any past criminal matter should be evaluated by an Attorney, prior to filing, to make sure it will not cause the fiance visa case to be denied. If the U.S. Citizen does not qualify to obtain a fiance visa then the marriage green card (while the fiance is abroad) should be explored. The last thing you would want to do is file a case that has very little chance of being approved and waste the time involved in having USCIS deny your case. It is far better to take the time to resolve any issues prior to filing anything with USCIS.

Reason 4      One of you is not free to marry.  A fiance visa case will be denied if it is filed before you are legally divorced.  Prior to filing you should make absolutely sure that all previous marriages, for both parties, are completely terminated. There are plenty of people who believe that they are legally divorced, when, in fact, their divorce has not gone through. If you are unsure if your divorce is final you should consult with a family law attorney in the state where your divorce was filed.

Reason 5      It has been more than 2 years since you last saw your fiancé in person.  Seeing someone on Skype does not count as an in person meeting. Keep receipts, plane tickets and other evidence of any in-person meetings you have with your fiancé.  You can have this requirement waived based on medical or religious reasons.

Reason 6 .  The paperwork you provide USCIS is incomplete.  You should be given a Request for Evidence to correct this type of problem.  If you do, you need to timely provide the requested information, or your case will be denied. It is possible that USCIS will simply deny your case if you are missing a given document. If this occurs you will have to re-file your case and repay the filing fees.

Reason 7.     Not Telling the Truth on Your paperwork.  Lying or misleading USCIS on paperwork can lead to denial and other very serious long-term consequences.  Simply do not do it. The potential cost is too great. If you believe you have a reason to lie in your case speak to an immigration attorney. Many times, things that you believe will cause you problems in your case can be corrected.

Reason 8.  Your Fiance has a medical condition which could threaten public safety or is mentally ill or has a drug or alcohol problem.

Reason 9.     The Consular Officer has reason to believe that the relationship is not real.  This may include a large age difference, limited visits between the parties, not speaking a same language or there being a short amount of time from the time of meeting to the time of applying for the fiancé visa. 

Reason 10.  Your fiancé has a bad interview.  Your fiancé should know a lot about you in order to have a good interview.  It may be embarrassing to you but tell her all about yourself, your past relationships and any criminal history.  If something is brought up about you at the interview your fiance should know about it.  Not knowing important facts about you is a serious red flag to USCIS. You should go over the fiance visa interview questions with your fiance prior to his or her interview.

If all goes well in the process the case should be either approved the same day or within about a week. You fiance will then come to the United States and you will have 90 days to get married. You will then file the adjustment of status paperwork so that your fiance may obtain his or her permanent residency (green card).

Sometimes, I am asked if there is a way to bring a fiance into the United States sooner. For example, in H-1b cases there is something known as premium processing. Basically, the employer in this type of case can pay an an extra filing fee so that the case can be adjudicated sooner. Unfortunately, at present, premium processing is not available in fiance visa cases. For now the best way to bring your fiance into the United States is to file a quality petition, with strong supporting evidence, and avoid the 10 reasons fiance visas are denied described above.

If you would like more information about the fiance visa process please read our blog article: Top 10 Things You Should Know about the Fiance Visa Process.

Lawrence Gruner is a fiance visa attorney with over 20 years of experience handling these types of cases. His office handles cases throughout the United States and the World. He can be reached at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558 or attorneygruner@gmail.com. He would be happy to consult with you on your potential fiance visa case. There is no charge for Attorney Gruner to consult with you on your fiance visa case.

The information above is general in nature and does not take the place of a consultation with an immigration attorney. Laws can and do change. Please do not rely on the advice well meaning friends and family when it comes to your immigration case. Instead at least consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing any documents with USCIS. All the best to you.

Top 10 Reasons Fiance Visas Are Denied
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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

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Spouse Green Card Process

The Spouse Green Card Process you will follow will depend on whether your spouse is in the United States or is in his or her foreign country. Spouse in the United States If your spouse is in the United States you will submit all of your required paperwork to the USCIS lockbox in Chicago.  You will receive a receipt notice within about 30 days.  You should then receive notice that your biometrics (fingerprints) will be done at a location in the general area of where you live (do not miss this appointment). Within 3-6 months of filing the case your immigrant spouse should receive his or her work authorization/advance parole (ability to travel outside of the United States) joint card. Please speak to an attorney prior to having your spouse travel on the advance parole card to make sure that there will not be any problems re-entering the United States.  At the end of the adjustment of status process your spouse will have his or her interview at your local USCIS field office.  If all goes well at the interview the case should be approved within a short period of time.  The permanent residence card (green card) should be mailed to your home within 30 days. If the interview does not go well then USCIS will schedule a much more intimate (and dreaded) second interview, also known as, the Stokes interview.  This interview will be much more intense (you will be separated from your spouse during the interviews and asked very detailed questions and each be likely be required to draw different places in your home) and will likely take at least 2 hours to complete. I had such an interview earlier in the year and it lasted over 4 hours. (Happily the case was approved).  Most years we end up having to attend only one Stokes interview for a given adjustment of status client.  This year, even though we are only in the 5th month, we have already had 3 or 4 such interviews. They have all been approved.  However, there is no denying that USCIS is looking at the adjustment of status cases more closely. Spouse Green Card Process- If your spouse is abroad If your spouse is in another country and you file an I-130 for him or her you should expect the wait time to be between 12 and 15 months in the early part of 2019. For many years the wait time, from start to finish was only 9-12 months. The wait time, overall, is longer under the current administration. I expect the wait time for these types of cases to increase a bit over the next couple of years. You would start the case by filing an I-130 for your spouse.  You should receive a receipt notice stating that the case has been received within 30 days.  The case will be processed through USCIS and if all is in order you will receive an approval notice.  This does not mean that the overall case is approved. The case will then be sent to the National Visa Center.  They will ask you to provide evidence and fill out their required forms.  Once you have satisfied their requirements your case will be sent to the consulate/embassy in your spouse’s country. The consulate/embassy will also require paperwork (this varies by location) a medical examination of your spouse, and an interview.  If all goes well your spouse will enter the U.S. shortly after the interview with a stamp on their passport showing that they are a permanent resident of the United States. Is a Fiance Visa Faster than the Marriage Green Card if your loved one is abroad? A fiance visa is almost always going to be a faster route to bring your loved one into the United States.  This assumes that the case is prepared and filed properly. However, there are trade offs when you file for a fiance visa instead of marrying your loved one abroad and filing for their green card in their home country. First and foremost you will have to do 2 cases.  You will be doing a fiance visa and then a green card case via adjustment of status, in the United States, for your loved one.  Therefore overall the process could be more expensive (although you would save travelling and other costs by not having to travel to your loved one’s home country in order to marry him or her.) However, if you do a fiance visa, unlike a marriage abroad case, you most likely would be able to do a prenuptial agreement (speak to a family law attorney) which you may not be able to do, or may not be able to do very easily, if you get married abroad (again speak to a family law attorney). With a fiance visa your loved one would likely not be able to work in the United States for 3-6 months (times vary) after he or she arrived in the United States. The fiance visa route is currently taking about 9 months from start to finish  (all 3 phases not just initial USCIS approval).  If you have not yet married your loved one, and your loved one is outside of the United States, you may want to seriously consider the fiance visa route. (You can see the timeline to see how long this will take.) If you are interested in learning more about the fiance visa route please read: Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process. The information above concerning the spouse green card process is general in nature and absolutely does not take the place of consulting with an experience immigration attorney about your particular case.  No case is exactly like another case.  If something worked for your friend it may or may not work for you.  Definitely consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing anything with USCIS. Lawrence Gruner is an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases.  He would be happy to consult with you, free of charge, on your immigration case.  He may be reached at 888-801-6558 or attorneygruner@gmail.com

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

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Top 5 Things You Should Know About Marriage Green Cards

Please understand that this article is general in nature and does not substitute for legal advice on your particular case. This article assumes that your spouse is outside of the country not inside the United States. If your spouse is inside the United States you should visit our marriage green card page.

yesss

1.    You are not required to be a United States Citizen.   You do not have to be a U.S. Citizen if you would like to file a petition for your spouse. You may be a permanent resident (green card holder) and apply for your spouse. The wait though generally will be quite a bit longer. Wait times vary but currently green card holders should expect to wait at least a year or possibly much longer than U.S. Citizens for this type of case to fully process. Therefore, if you are a permanent resident, and you qualify to become a U.S. Citizen, you may wish to look into this option. You could apply for your spouse and also apply to become a U.S. Citizen. If your U.S. Citizenship is granted your wait time could be decreased substantially.

However, keep in mind, that a green card holder who applies for citizenship does put his or her green card on the line.  This means that you can lose your green card if your citizenship case does not go well.  The most likely reason is that the US Citizenship applicant has criminal issues which have come up since he or she obtained a green card.  Many times USCIS is not aware of  any criminal issues you have had since obtaining your green card until you apply for Naturalization.  Once they find out about these problems they may take your green card from you.  Not all past criminal problems would cause you problems if you were to apply for U.S. Citizenship.  We can let you know if you will have a problem applying for U.S. Citizenship.

Happy Marriage Proposal
happy couple outdoors

2. The U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident will have to show she has sufficient income to support her fiance when he arrives in the United States.   The poverty guidelines are put out by the federal government and they change every year.  It is a rare case when our office cannot figure out a way for you to meet this requirement.  Simply call us, free of charge about this issue.  We are very likely able to help you.

The income requirement is not very high and it varies based on the size of your household.  Your income must be at least 125% of the federal poverty line for your new household size.  Count yourself in your household size. If it is just you and your spouse (no children involved) your household size will be 2. For example: In 2019, if your household size is 2 your income will need to be $21,137 or higher. This rate is higher if you reside in Alaska or Hawaii. Here are the income guidelines for your new household size for 2019.

If you do not meet the income requirement you may be able to use assets which you own to meet the requirements.

If you are unable to meet the income requirement you may get a co-sponsor to help you.  Usually co-sponsors consist of close relatives and very good friends.  You will be filing Form I-864 not the I-134 form.  You will also supply: a bank letter (showing the amount you have on deposit with the bank, the date the account was opened and the total amount that was deposited in the past year); an employer letter on company letterhead which states that you currently work there, how long you have worked there, how much you make, what your job is, and whether the job is temporary or permanent); statements from your investment accounts and your last 3 years worth of federal tax returns.

3. You must be legally married to your spouse prior to filing the case. Sometimes I will receive an inquiry from someone who is in divorce proceedings and asks if he or she can file for a green card for their future spouse while their divorce is pending. The answer is No. You must be married, to your loved one who you are petitioning, at the time you file your petition.   Do not file this type of petition with USCIS if you or your loved one has a pending divorce.  This will not save you any time.  On the contrary it will make your case take longer.  My advice would be to also review any previous annulments or divorces with a family law attorney to ensure that you and your loved one are, in fact legally married each other.  (Believe it or not some people believe that their divorce has been finalized when in fact it hasn’t been finalized.  As a result they are still married to their “previous” spouse.)

It is much better to wait until you know, for sure, that your divorce is final, then to file your case prematurely and have it denied.  If your case is denied do not expect to appeal the decision.  Rather, you will need to start the whole process all over again.

4.  Your immigrant spouse cannot have been convicted of certain crimes. USCIS will be looking at the criminal background of the immigrant spouse. The immigrant spouse must not have been convicted of a variety of crimes such as prostitution, money laundering, fraud, crimes of moral turpitude (a long list of various serious crimes) etc.   Just to be safe, if your immigrant spouse has had any crime in your past then an immigration attorney should review the matter prior to you filing your marriage green card case.  It is better to take the time in the beginning to clear up any criminal issues then to have them come up during the case.  You should never lie to USCIS and you should expect them to know about your criminal history.

Also, if you have one, your immigrant spouse should be told about your criminal past.  It will really hurt your case if, at the interview, your spouse has no idea that you were convicted of the crime in question.  It will really make your relationship seem less bona fide and can lead to your case being denied.

5.   Past Immigration Violations. Your spouse must not have violated U.S. immigration laws. He or she cannot have used fraud or any other illegal means to enter US in the past.  In addition past immigration violations by your immigrant spouse can put the marriage green card process in jeopardy.  These would include: violating student visa rules; entering the U.S. without a visa; overstaying a visa; working in the United States without work authorization.  You can have our firm review the Immigration history of your spouse to make sure there will not be any issues in your case.  It is much better to deal with these issues prior to filing the marriage green card case

Should I hire an attorney to work on my Spouse’s green card case? For a full discussion concerning this issue please read our blog article title: “What You Should Know Before You Hire an Immigration Lawyer.

Bonus Tips: Top 10 Reasons Why Your Marriage Green Card Case Can Be Denied.

Your spouse has violated the terms of his or her U.S. visa in the past. Overstaying a visa by more than 180 days for example can cause your spouse to not be able to obtain a fiancé visa for 3 years.

Not being able to financially support your spouse. You must show the U.S. government that you make 125% of the federal poverty level for this type of case.  This is because you will be paying the U.S. government back in case your spouse gets government benefits. If you do not make this amount of money you may be able to obtain a co-sponsor to help or you may have enough assets to qualify.

Either you or your spouse having past criminal issues. Any past criminal matter should be evaluated by an Attorney, prior to filing, to make sure it will not cause the case to be denied.

You file your case when one of you is not free to marry. A case will be denied if it is filed early before you are legally divorced.  Prior to filing you should make absolutely sure that all previous marriages, for both parties, are completely terminated.

Your social media makes it seem like you are not married. Your relationship status is unclear on your social media sites.

The paperwork you provide USCIS is incomplete. You may be given a Request for Evidence to correct this type of problem or your case could be denied.  If you do receive a request for evidence (RFE) you need to timely provide the requested information or your case will be denied.

Not Telling the Truth on Your paperwork. Lying on paperwork can lead to very serious consequences.  Simply do not do it.

Your spouse has a medical condition which could threaten public safety or is mentally ill or has a drug or alcohol problem.

The Immigration Officer has reason to believe that the relationship is not real. This may include a large age difference, limited visits between the parties, not speaking a same language or there being a short amount of time from the time of meeting to the time of applying for the green card for your spouse. It is important that your spouse know you very well and that he has a good interview.

Your spouse has a bad interview.  Your spouse should know a lot about you in order to have a good interview.  It may be embarrassing to you but tell her all about yourself, your past relationships and any criminal history.  This way she will have a better chance of success.

If you have not yet gotten married to your loved one you may wish to consider filing a fiance visa. Only U.S. Citizens can apply for fiance visas. The main benefit to fiance visas is that they are almost always faster than the marriage route while your loved one is abroad. Currently fiance visas are taking about 9 or 10 months to process (2019 fiance visa processing times) If you are interested in considering a fiance visa please feel free to contact our office.

The information above is meant to be informational in nature and in no way takes the place of a consultation with an immigration attorney. The information is general in nature and may or may not pertain to your particular case. Always consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing any paperwork with USCIS.

Lawrence Gruner is an immigration attorney with over 25 years of experience handling fiance visa cases, marriage green card cases and U.S. Citizenship cases. His office handles cases in California, the United States and the World. He would be happy to talk to you about your case. He may be reached at 888-801-6558 or 916-760-7270. You may also email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com

Rate our Service

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
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Americans’ opinion of Immigrants overall is positive

The Washington Post recently ran an interesting article titled: “More say immigrants strengthen than burden their countries, according to survey of 18 nations.”

The article states that “majorities of people in countries that have accepted many of the world’s migrants say that immigrants strengthen their countries rather than burden them….And on several questions, Americans offered more positive opinions on immigrants than those in other countries.”

“A median of 56 percent of people said immigrants were a strength to their country while 38 percent said immigrants were a burden. In the United States, opinions didn’t differ much from countries overall: 59 percent said immigrants make a country stronger, while 34 percent said immigrants are a burden.” (It appears that 7% were undecided.)

The poll comes out at an interesting time as “leaders from Washington to Rome have sought to restrict the flow of migrants into their countries”.

Anecdotally, I have seen that immigrants to the U.S. have been a strength to our country. Many times I am involved with clients for years as they go through the fiance visa process, the green card process, the removing of conditions on their green cards process and then the US. Citizenship process. During these years I am in contact with the clients. I see the clients legally working, paying their taxes, rearing their families, and being productive members of our society. It is a great feeling when I run into clients around town and I see, first hand, how they are acclimating to our country.

Lawrence Gruner is a fiance visa, green card, and U.S. Citizen attorney with more than 25 years handling these types of cases. He would be happy to talk to you, free of charge, about your immigration matter. He can be reached at 888-801-6558 or attorneygruner@gmail.com

Rate our Service

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

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Top 10 Fiance Visa Interview Tips

Top 10 Fiance Visa Interview Tips

1.    Know Your Fiance    The number one thing you can do to make sure you do well at your interview is to know your fiancé very well.  You should know about his past (previous marriages, criminal matters etc.) and know all about his current situation (where he works, where he lives, does he have children etc.)  Knowing your fiancé well will put you in the best position to ace (not just pass) the fiancé visa interview.

2.    Be Prepared   Talk to your fiancé and review the facts surrounding the history of your relationship prior to the interview.  You should know when you met, how you met and how the relationship developed.  You should also know your joint plans for the future.

3.      Review Paperwork. You should also review  all paperwork which was filed in your case.  Look at the questions and answers on each and every form. Study these forms. You want to be able to bring to the attention of the immigration officer any mistakes in the paperwork. (If you discover mistakes in your paperwork you should consult with an attorney on how to handle the situation before you attend the interview.)

4.       Bring Paperwork. Bring all the paperwork that the embassy requests you to bring to the interview.  This also includes your interview notice, your entire K-1 package and all supporting documents that you have filed during the case.   Also bring documentation available to prove the “bona fides” of the relationship e.g. proof of contact with each other through cards, social media, phone etc. Bring originals of all the key documents that you were required to file during your case and an extra copy for your file.

5.      Proof of Support. If your American fiancé is sending you money for support bring proof of that support to your interview.

6.       Never Lie. Never lie or mislead the Immigration Officer at your interview.  Always tell the truth.  Lying can have long lasting and very severe consequences in your case. Also, immigration officers are trained to find inconsistencies in cases.

7.       Never Argue. Never argue with the Immigration Officer handling your interview.  Always stay calm.  In the history of fiancé visa interviews I do not think arguing has ever improved the chances of a fiancé obtaining a fiancé visa. On the contrary, cases that may have been approved may have been denied due to fiances arguing with USCIS officers. No matter how tempted you are do not argue with the officers. If you have a temper you may wish to do a mock (practice) interview with a friend. Have your friend try to make you angry and practice how to calmly answer the questions.

8.       Don’t Tell Your Life’s Story.Answer the question you have been asked.  Do not go off on tangents about things you think the immigration officer needs to know.  He will ask you what he needs to know. For example, if the officer asks you your name do not blurt out your life’s story. It is understandable that you may want to talk to the officer about your situation as you have waited months (currently 9 months) to tell you story. Resist this temptation and instead simply answer the questions you are asked. Hopefully, your file is very strong and the officer will not need to ask you a lot of questions. A strong file will make it more likely that your case is approved.

9.       Stay Calm and Carry On. Stay calm and do not appear nervous.  It is normal to be nervous.  However, try not to act nervous as it could appear that you are trying to hide something or that you are not telling the truth (which you should be).  The entire interview is likely to last only 15-30 minutes.  It could even be shorter if the Immigration Officer is satisfied with the file and the interview. Do mock (practice) interviews so that you know how to behave during the real interview.

10.  Follow Instuctions. Do not, under any circumstances, open the thick sealed envelope that you receive at the end of your interview.  Doing so can have very severe consequences including having your fiancé visa revoked and a denial of entry into the United States for years.

For more information about the ins and outs of the fiance visa process please read our popular article titled: Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process.

Lawrence Gruner is an immigration attorney with over 25 years of experience handling immigration cases. His office handles cases in California, the United States and the World. He would be happy to talk to you about your fiance visa case. You may email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com or call him at 888-801-6558

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

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How Much is a K1 visa?

 

How Much is a K1 Visa?

The total cost to file a K1 is based on whether you wish to file the case by yourself or whether you would like a paralegal/notario to help you or whether you wish to work with a law office. Whichever route you choose the U.S. government filing fees are the same. In the beginning of 2019 the filing fees are as follows:

a) USCIS filing fee to start the fiance visa case is $535;

b) The embassy fee for the fiance visa is $265 (this is paid near the end of the process at the embassy where the fiance visa interview is held); and

c) The medical examination fee will vary by country.  In some countries it is as low as $60 and in some countries it is as high as $300.  This fee will be paid directly to the medical provider and will be paid prior to the fiance visa interview near the end of the case.

As you can see the filing fees are staggered throughout the case.  You are not paying all of the government filing fees at one time.

In addition, there are other small miscellaneous costs.  For example, you will need to pay to have any supporting documents which are in a foreign language translated into English (for example a birth certificate), for a passport for your fiance (if she does not already have one) and passport photos for the case.

Cost for Legal Help

Obviously if you file your case yourself you will only need to pay the filing fees in your case.  

If you work with a paralegal, “immigration consultant” or notario (who may or may not have any actual training, may or may not be licensed or insured and who cannot give you legal advice nor talk to the embassy or consulate on your behalf) the fees will be less than what an attorney would charge.  However, the help that they will be able to provide you will be limited.

An attorney, although he or she would likely charge more than a paralegal, “immigration consultant” or notario , is professionally trained to see all potential issues and potential pitfalls in your case and help you succeed. An attorney, unlike a paralegal or notario, can give you legal advice, look at all the possible problem areas in your case, and talk to the embassy or consulate on your behalf if any problems were to arise in your case.

Given that the current approval rate for fiance visas is in the 50% range and that a failed fiance visa case can cost you to be separated from your loved one for an extra 9 months (or much longer for other more serious consequences) it would seem to make sense to at least consult with an experienced immigration attorney prior to filing any documents with USCIS.  

If you would like more information about the fiance visa process make sure to read our popular blog post: Ten Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process.

If you would like more information about what to look for in an Immigration Attorney please read our article: “What You Should Know Before You Hire an Immigration Lawyer.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended, in any way, to be legal advice.  Please always consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing any paperwork with USCIS.  The above filing fees change regularly.

Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Lawyer with over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases.  His office handles cases in California, the United States and the World.  He would be happy to talk to you about your immigration case.  You can email him your fiance visa questions at attorneygruner@gmail.com.  You may also call him at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558. His office offers affordable monthly payment plans for fiance visa cases.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in place of a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.  Laws can and do change.  Always consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing anything with USCIS.  Failure to do so can have very serious consequences. We wish you all the best in your case.

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

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How Long to Get Green Card After Marriage

Is Your Spouse in the United States or Abroad?

Spouse in the United States

The wait time to get a green card after marriage will vary depending on where your spouse is located.

If your spouse is in the United States, and he or she qualifies to obtain permanent residence via the adjustment of status process, the wait time between locations in the United States will vary.

For example, most of these types of cases we file are in Sacramento and San Francisco California.

In Sacramento currently the wait time is about 8 months from start to finish. In San Francisco, for cases filed in 2017 the wait time was 12 to 18 months. Cases filed in 2018 were processed faster. It was possible to file your case in 2018 in San Francisco and have your interview sooner than had you filed a similar case in 2017.

We filed a case in late 2018 in Fresno and had the interview 5 months later.

In other words wait times are all over the board currently. It depends on where your case is adjudicated and their current case load. This was not always the case. For over 10 years the wait time on these cases was roughly 4 months for both Sacramento and San Francisco.  Wait times currently for these types of cases, surprisingly, seem to be shrinking, just a bit, overall.   We will see if this trend will hold true over the next couple of years.

If your spouse is abroad

If your spouse is in another country and you file an I-130 for him or her you should expect the wait time to be between 12 and 15 months in 2019. For many years the wait time, from start to finish was only 9-12 months. The wait time, overall, is longer under the current administration.  I expect the wait time for these types of cases to increase a bit over the next couple of years.

Is a Fiance Visa Faster?

A fiance visa is almost always going to be a faster route to bring your loved one into the United States.  This assumes that the case is prepared and filed properly. However, there are trade offs when you file for a fiance visa instead of marrying your loved one abroad and filing for their green card in their home country. 

First and foremost you will have to do 2 cases.  You will be doing a fiance visa and then a green card case via adjustment of status, in the United States, for your loved one.  Therefore overall the process could be more expensive (although you would save travelling and other costs by not having to travel to your loved one’s home country in order to marry him or her.) 

However, if you do a fiance visa, unlike a marriage abroad case, you most likely would be able to do a prenuptial agreement (speak to a family law attorney) which you may not be able to do, or may not be able to do very easily, if you get married abroad (again speak to a family law attorney). 

With a fiance visa your loved one would likely not be able to work in the United States for 3-6 months (times vary) after he or she arrived in the United States.

The fiance visa route is currently taking about 8 to 9 months from start to finish  (all 3 phases not just initial USCIS approval).  If you have not yet married your loved one you may want to seriously consider the fiance visa route. (You can see the timeline to see how long this will take.) If you are interested in learning more about the fiance visa route please read: Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process.

 

Attorney Lawrence Gruner would be happy to talk to you about all of your immigration options.  His office is located Sacramento California.  He handles cases in California, the United States, and the World.  He has handled marriage green card and fiance visa cases for almost 25 years.  He would be happy to talk to you, free of charge, about your options.  You can call 888-801-6558 or 916-760-7270 or email us attorneygruner@gmail.com 

The information above is for informational purposes only and is not meant to take the place of a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney. Laws can and do change.  Therefore, you should always consult with an attorney prior to filing anything with USCIS.

 

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

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U.S. Citizenship Wait Time in 2018

The Washington Post ran an interesting article recently titled: “Immigrants seeking citizenship face growing longer wait times for their applications”.

The article starts out by letting the reader know that “more than 700,000 immigrants are waiting on applications to become U.S. citizens, a process that once took about six months but has stretched to more than two years in some places under the Trump administration.”

“The number of immigrants aspiring to become U.S. citizens surged during 2016, increasing 27 percent from a year earlier as Trump made cracking down on immigration a central theme of his campaign.

At first, the government kept up with the applications, but then the wait grew.

Backlogs are nothing new in the U.S. immigration system. It often takes years to receive asylum or to be deported. But naturalization — the final step to become a citizen, obtain a U.S. passport and receive voting rights — had not been subject to such delays in recent years.

Now the average wait time for applications is more than 10 months. It takes up to 22 months in Atlanta and as long as 26 months in parts of Texas according to official estimates.”

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said the longer waits to naturalize are because of the surge in applications, not slower processing. The agency decided 850,000 cases in 2017, up 8 percent from a year before.

Despite “a record and unprecedented” spike in applications, the agency is operating more efficiently and effectively and “outperforming itself,” spokesman Michael Bars said in a statement.”

How to Qualify for U.S. Citizenship

“Citizenship applications typically rise before an increase in filing fees and during presidential election years as immigrants get excited about the prospect of voting and advocacy groups conduct widespread outreach to get more eligible voters to the polls.”

Wait times are varying by region in the United States.  In Sacramento California the wait time is currently about 6 months.   San Francisco’s wait time is about a year.  San Jose’s wait time is about 9 months.  These time periods will likely change over the next year or two.

I expect the wait times in these areas (as well as many other places in the country) to increase over the next two years.

However, despite the wait time, many people want to apply to become U.S. Citizens. If you are considering applying to become a U.S. Citizen you should read our popular blog post titled: ”  10 reasons to become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.”

Lawrence Gruner is an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases including fiance visa cases, marriage green card cases and naturalization cases.  His office handles cases in California, the United States, and the World. He would be happy to consult with you about your immigration case.  He may be reached at 888-801-6558 or attorneygruner@gmail.com

 

Rate our Service

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

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Fiance Visa Denial Rates 2018

Fiance Visa Denial Rates

Please also see our video below explaining the top 10 reasons fiance visas are denied.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an interesting story recently titled “We fell in love before we met: Wisconsin Man sues over visa denial for his Chinese Fiance”.  The article is about an American man who is trying to compel the U.S.government to reactivate a fiance visa application after a fiance visa denial.

The article quoted Edward Fallone, a Marquette Law School professor who taught immigration law for years, saying that he’s not surprised at (the U.S. Citizen’s) predicament, given the current policies on immigration.

“Definitely, any opportunity for a discretionary denial, that’s going to be exercised against the immigrant and their admission,” Fallone said.  (Discretionary means that it is left up to individual choice or judgment.)

The article cited the Center for Immigration Studies stating that foreign national fiancée visas were approved about 99% of the time by consulates in 2015 but dropped to about 80% in 2016 and so far this year (2018) is running about 67%. (This would appear to mean that in 2015  if a fiance visa case made it through the USCIS level and the National Visa Center (NVC) level the case would almost certainly( 99% chance) make it through at the final embassy/consulate level.)

I would expect this number to continue to decline as we move forward and I would not be surprised , given the current political climate, that this number dips into the 50 percent range over the next year or two. (Update: according to a report the number has in fact dropped into the 50 percent range in late 2018)

The decline began before the current President took office, in part due to the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., in December  2015. One of the shooters, Tasheen Malik, had entered the U.S. on a K-1 visa. She and her husband died in a shootout with police after the couple killed 14 people and wounded 22 others.  After this incident USCIS started looking more carefully at fiance visa cases.  This coupled with the current political climate in the U.S. are likely key reasons why the current approval rate for fiance visas is in the 50% range.  Our approval rate, for fiance visa cases, is almost double this number.

Anyone considering filing a fiance visa should read this article in order to get a feel for the fiance visa process and about the discretion immigration officers have in fiance visa cases. You may wish to read our very popular blog article: “Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process.”

Why are Fiance Visa Cases Denied?  Here are the Top 10 Reasons.

Given the current high denial rates you should, at a minimum, consult with an experienced immigration attorney prior to filing any documentation with USCIS.  We are happy to consult with you free of charge about your situation.  We will review all of your options, including the fiance visa option to help you determine the best course of action for you and your family.  If we end up working  together on your fiance visa case, or marriage green card case, our fees are very competitive and easy monthly payment plans are available.

Lawrence Gruner is an immigration attorney with over 25 years of experience handling immigration cases. He can be reached at 888-801-6558 or 916-760-7270 or you may email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com  There is no charge to ask him fiance visa questions where no legal research is involved.  His office handles fiance visa cases in California, the United States and the World.

This article is informational in nature and does not take the place of a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.  Always, at a minimum, consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing any documents with USCIS.  All the best to you!

Fiance Visa Denial Rates 2018

4.3 (85%) 8 vote[s]

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

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IMPORTANT US

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What is a K1 Visa?

What is a K1 visa?

I am often asked: What is a K-1 visa?  A K-1 visa is another name for a fiance visa.  A fiance visa is used to bring someone who you intend to marry into the United States. If you only want a friend or family member  to come visit you in the United States then you would not undergo the K1 visa process.  Instead you would try to help your friend or family member obtain a visitor’s visa.

A visitor’s visa can be obtained much faster than a fiance visa.  Many times a person can find out the same day if a visitor’s visa would be granted.  Unfortunately, a fiance visa currently takes between 7 and 9 months to obtain.  This timeline is likely going to increase over the next couple of years.

(The logical question then becomes: Why not have my fiance come into the United States with a visitor’s visa as it is much faster to obtain than a fiance visa.  The reason is that USCIS would consider this to be visa fraud.  The misuse of the tourist visa could lead to your fiance losing the ability to obtain a marriage based green card and other very severe  long term problems.  Do not go this route.)

A fiance visa will not allow your fiancé to live in the United States indefinitely.  It only allows your fiancé to enter the United States on a very temporary basis (90 days).  If your fiancé wants to stay in the United States the she will need to marry you within 90 days and then apply for a green card.  The process used to change from the K1 visa to the green card is called adjustment of status.

Fiance visa vs. CR-1 options

Whenever anyone contacts my office about a fiance visa I make sure to talk to them about the possibility of going to their fiance’s home country and marrying their fiance instead.  There are definite benefits to going this route instead of the fiance visa route.  However, as the fiance visa is a faster way to bring their future spouse into the United States, most of my clients choose this option.  Here are some things to consider when choosing between both options.

   a) Why the Fiance Visa Process is Better

The fiancé visa is a faster way to bring your loved one into the United States.  The current fiancé visa waiting time, from start to finish is between 6-9 months with 8 months being the most likely amount of time to wait.  The fiancé visa should allow your loved one to arrive 3-5 months sooner than if you do a CR1 case.  However, the fiancé visa process is a 2 case process.  Once your loved one enters with a fiancé visa, you will have 90 days to marry her and then you will need to file for her green card in the United States.  The fiancé visa is the preferred way to go if you wish for your loved one to be in the U.S. sooner (even though it will likely cost more overall as you are filing 2 cases); you do not know your loved one as well, or your loved one has never been to the U.S. and you are concerned that they may not like living here; or if you wish to have a prenuptial agreement prepared  prior to marriage.

Eligibility: You must be a U.S. Citizen, you must be able to marry (not currently going through a divorce); you must have met face to face in the past 2 years; you must be able to financially support your fiancé (and any children involved in the case).

      b) Why the CR1 case is Better

The CR1 (marriage green card when your spouse is out of the country) case will take longer to obtain than a fiancé visa.  Generally the wait is an extra 3-5 months.  However, if you get married to your loved one and pursue this route there are some benefits.  The first one is that you do not need to file for a green card once your spouse arrives in the U.S. as he will arrive with a green card.  As you are only doing 1 case, instead of 2 as you are with a fiancé visa, the cost should be less (you will have travel expenses if you are in the United States and you wish to go to your future spouse’s country to get married.  So there is a possibility that this route overall could cost more than the fiance visa then green card via adjustment of status route listed above) .  In addition, with a CR1 your spouse will be able to start working upon arriving in the U.S.  With a Fiance visa your spouse may not be able to start working for 3-5 months.

Eligibility:  You must be married to each other at the time of filing the case; you can do this case if you are a permanent resident (green card holder); You must be able to financially support your spouse (and any children involved in the case).

The K-1 fiancée visa can be approved if all of the requirements are met.

The petitioner must be a United States citizen (not a permanent resident).  Only U.S. Citizens are eligible to use the fiance visa process;

You must  both be free to get married.  You must wait until any current divorces are final.  Do not file a fiance visa case while you are still technically married to another person;

You must have met each other, in person within the last 2 years.  (Some potential clients have contacted my office with the mistaken belief that you must have been in a relationship with your fiance for 2 years–this is not true.  Again, you only need to have had a face-to-face meeting sometime in the past 2 years. Video conversations do not count and do not satisfy this requirement.  You may be able to obtain a waiver of this requirement based on religious or medical reasons.  You cannot obtain a waiver if you cannot get the time off of work or you do not have the financial ability to pay to visit your fiance.

You must be able to show that you can financially support your fiancé in the United States.  You must make 100% of the U.S. poverty levels unless there is an exception that applies in your case.  This requirement is based on your family size.  If you do not qualify based on your income you may be able to qualify based on your assets.  Some embassies and consulates will also let you use a co-sponsor to meet this requirement.  However, some will not let you use a co-sponsor.  Check with us for current information in this area; and

You both intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancée entering the United States.  You will both be required to state to the U.S. government that you intend to marry each other.

Please see our very popular  blog post: ” 10 things to know about fiancé visas” for a more in-depth look at the fiancé visa process.  If mistakes are made, even small mistakes, then there can be serious delays in the processing of the K1 fiancé visa. If you would like to get a fiancée visa for your loved one then you need to follow these two main steps.  They are:

 File a Petition with USCIS

The U.S. Citizen will file the fiance visa petition with USCIS. (Remember, only  United States Citizens, not green card holders, can apply for a K-1 fiancé visa.  If you are not a United States citizen but would like to become one then click here for information on becoming a United States Citizen)  Once approved by USCIS it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC).  The National Visa Center will run security background checks on your fiance.  If all is in order the case will be sent to the appropriate US Embassy or Conulate. After the US Embassy or Consulate receives the petition, your fiancé will be notified as to what documents to bring to her interview and when and where the interview will take place.

The Fiance Visa

The application process for the  K-1 visa includes the following:  the required documentation, a medical examination along with any  vaccination requirements.  In addition there needs to be a showing of proof of support along with a completed affidavit of support form (with any supporting evidence–tax returns, letter from your employer showing that you are employed, bank statements). The required documentation for this step can vary by consulate.   However, the documents which will be required can be viewed on the applicable US Consulate website.

Can I pay extra to make the process go faster?

Surprisingly, I am asked this question regularly.  U.S. Citizens are ready and willing to pay an extra $1000 or more to USCIS in the form of fees if their fiance can come to the United States sooner.  While there is a way to see if your H-1b case can process sooner by paying extra fees (premium processing) unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, this option is not available for k-1 fiance visa cases.  This could change.  However, as of today, it is not available.  The best way to bring your fiance here  as soon as possible is to retain a quality immigration law firm which is not going to make mistakes to delay your case.  The law firm will be able to anticipate and resolve trouble areas prior to your case being filed and also resolve any issues should they arise in your case.

Will Mistakes really delay my case?

The very short answer is definitely yes.  Usually when mistakes are made in a case the delay is between 3-6 months overall.  This means that a well filed petition would have resulted in your fiance being with you 90 to 180 days sooner.  These are days that are simply lost to the two of you.  I have had cases that were brought to me after the case had been denied at the interview.  My office was able to successfully re-file the case but the client was simply out 9 months of time.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Obtain help from a quality immigration law firm to help you navigate the K-1 fiance visa process.

I should just use an immigration consultant for my fiance visa as it is cheaper

Do you remember the old adage that  said “you get what you pay for”.   This should be kept in mind as you make a decision as to how you wish to proceed in your case.

It is definitely true that you can save some money by working with a paralegal, notario, or immigration consultant.  However, many times these immigration helpers are not required to be regulated, licensed or insured.  They will also not have the training to spot any and all potential issues or problems which could occur in your case (which could be overcome by proper planning).  As a result you could go through the whole process and have your case delayed or worse denied.  Do you want to risk your case being delayed an extra 6 months because you wanted to save a bit of money?  In addition, if there is a problem in your case only an attorney will be able to talk to USCIS on your behalf.  Moreover, you will be turning over highly sensitive documents to your legal representative (birth certificates, federal tax returns, bank statements etc.).  Do you really want to turn these documents over to a non-lawyer.  If you work with our office only an attorney would have access to these highly sensitive documents.

Our office makes the process quick, painless, and easy.  We have handled these cases for over 20 years.  There are no surprises for us.  We handle everything for you from start to finish.  Our fees are very competitive and we allow you to make low monthly payments on your case.  You can call or email us, at no charge, and we can help you come up with the best immigration plan for your situation.

 

Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience handling fiance visa, green card and other immigration cases.  His office is located in Sacramento California.  His office handles cases in California, the United States, and all over the world.  He may be reached at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558.  In addition, you may email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com  He would be happy to answer your immigration questions.

The above information is general in nature and is not intended to take the place of a consultation with an immigration attorney.  No attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading this blog article. Always consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing any documents with USCIS.

 

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
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    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas

    2.6 (52%) 10 vote[s]

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
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    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
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    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon

    3 (60%) 7 vote[s]

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