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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawThe K-1 Fiancée Visa: What Happens If We Don't Marry in the USA?

The K-1 Fiancée Visa: What Happens If We Don't Marry in the USA?

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today we are going to be discussing the K-1 Fiancée Visa specifically the marriage requirement for said visa in the United States for purposes of adjustment of status. For more information on Adjustment of Status specifically, there’s another video on this channel and we go into adjustment issues in more detail but suffice it to say, for the purposes of this video, adjustment of status is basically the process by which a K-1 fiancée comes to the United States, marries their US citizen counterpart and then goes ahead and applies to adjust into “green card status” or lawful permanent residence.

So the question posed by this video as the title suggests is “What happens if we don’t marry?” This isn’t an overly frequent occurrence but it is an occurrence that can happen and it basically revolves around the fact that what you’ll see is either changed circumstances or maybe the couple turns out to be incompatible, it’s not something folks like to perceive and it’s not something most folks like to go through, but this can occur. So basically the type of scenario we are looking at is “okay, the couple has gone through the piece of process, they have obtained their visa and they have come to the United States. At that point, circumstances change. In some cases, circumstances may change and it doesn’t have anything to do with the underlying relationship. The underlying relationship is sound; it’s just due to career reasons, family reasons, emergencies come up, what have you. The couple decides not to marry in the United States. Well what happens in that case? So long as the K-1 Fiancée, the foreign fiancée, leaves within the 90 day period, leaves the United States within the 90 day period, it’s essentially a “no harm, no foul” situation. So not getting married and not adjusting the status is not a “bad thing” per se, but it needs to be dealt with within the scope, the narrow scope of the visa concerned, i.e.  the 90 day period, you have got to make sure you don’t overstay the 90 days otherwise an overstay bar can be triggered and there’s another video on this channel with respect to grounds of inadmissibility and overstay. But to sum up with video just for those viewers who came here to learn “what happens if we decide not to get married?”, well basically “no harm, no foul”,  as long as the foreign fiancée leaves the United States before the 90 expiration of the underlying visa. Let’s be clear about one thing though. Intent is important. The couple must have the intention to marry at the time they file and at the time they are processing the K-1 fiancée visa application and petition, so for that reason, just because a K-1 fiancée didn’t marry,  that’s not a deal killer for later situations but if it could be determined that the K-1 fiancée was used as a sort of pre-textual measure, just as sort of a way of getting in the United States and that the intentions were not genuine at the time of filing and processing, that opens another kettle of fish and you could possibly see a situation where you have got a fraud and misrepresentation ground of inadmissibility associated with that K-1.

This is probably infrequent and in most situations nobody is going to go through the process of going through all of the K-1 hurdles only to get to the United States for 90 days. It’s not a huge amount of time but that being said, it does happen. How do you deal with it? Well, as I have said, as long as the foreign fiancée leaves within the 90 day period, it’s sort of a “no harm, no foul” situation. That being said, under the provisions of IMBRA, the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, there are certain regulations with respect to multiple filings and I have another video on this channel with respect to multiple filings of visa petitions and how it impacts later petitions and for more information on that I suggest going to that video on this channel.