The Status of K1 Visa Fiancees After Separation or Divorce
The K1 Visa is exclusively given to fiancées who come to the U.S. to get married. Getting married is a joyous occasion and individuals who come from different countries are eager to embark on a new journey with their partners. However, all marriages don’t work out and some end in divorce or separation. In cases like these, the status of K1 fiancées become a little confusing. Usually, U.S. immigration law wants the K1 fiancée to marry his/her partner within 90 days of arrival on U.S. soil. After getting married, the couple must file for Adjustment of Status.
K1 fiancées looking for a divorce before the Adjustment of Status gets through can get one provide all criteria are met. The rules have substantially changed in favor of foreign nationals who want to get divorced from their American partners. It is expected that the new laws and rules will help K1 fiancées get a green card after a smooth and easy divorce on American soil.
New BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) rule
The BIA recently ruled that K1 fiancées are eligible for the green card even if they get divorced before the Adjustment of Status application is finalized. The new BIA ruling is good news for individuals who want to get a divorce from their American partners in America. The new rule helps individuals who want to obtain a green card after their marriage ends. Earlier, the only way that could be obtained was through a marriage with an American citizen for a certain period of time. Now, the green card can be provided through the person who filed the K1 petition. However, K1 visa is restricted to fiancées and cannot be changed to H-1B or student visa.
The BIA has also emphasized on the fiancées’ ability to demonstrate that the marriage occurred in good faith and was willfully done by the individual. The ruling does not apply to individuals who never got married to their American partners or who are unable to show that the marriage took place.
The K1 Visa helps foreign nationals obtain a green card in America even if circumstances force them to divorce their partner before their status is updated in the country. The new rules for the visa will allow foreign fiancées to become green card holders even after the divorce. In every case, however, it is always better to hire an attorney or a law expert who can provide proper guidance on matters of divorce.
Getting divorced in California can be complicated. Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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