K-1 Visas

Atlanta, GA family law attorney Judith Delus Montgomery talks about a visa that lets you visit the US for 6 months.

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A K-1 Visa is the fiancé visa that I was referring to. That is where the person traveled to your country, and you met and you guys fell in love, or you travel to the U.S. Maybe you traveled on a tourist visa and you met someone while you were here. And now you guys have decided that you want to be married. Well here is the issue. A tourist visa means that I’m coming to the United States for a limited period of time. I’m coming on vacation, or I’m coming to see family, or I’m coming to visit and I am going to return back to my country because I have very strong ties to my country. I have a home. I have employment. I have family. And so I’m only here for a limited time. And that visa runs for about six months.

So after six months you usually have to head back to your country. It doesn’t mean you can’t come back, but you definitely have to leave. What you don’t want to do is you don’t want to overstay a visa, especially if it whatever visa it is. They give you a certain period of time that you could be in the country, and then you have to leave, and so you have to abide by that. Now circumstances may happen. Maybe you get sick. Maybe you get injured. Maybe you can’t leave per doctor’s orders. At that juncture you then have to file what’s called an extension to your visa.

You want to notify United States Immigration that you understand that you are required to leave, however something has happened and you’re going to need an extension for a period of time. And a lot of times they will honor that as long as you have filed it before that six month period. But if you don’t do that and you overstay your visa, then you are looking at a potential bar from either being able to return to the United States for a certain period of time. Usually it’s two to three year bar. If you stay over a year you’re looking at possibly a lifetime bar, and nobody wants that. You want to be able to come and go and be able to visit the U.S., be able to visit family. So you definitely want to stay within the guidelines that the Immigration Office or what we call USCIS tells you to stay within those guidelines.

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