Can I Visit the US for a Temporary Travel while I wait for my K1 Fiancée visa?
K1 Fiancée Visa is the type of visa with the intent of petitioning the foreigner fiancée, travel to US and register marriage. This takes a long time to process, usually 6 months or even more. It begins with the US petitioner filing I-129 Fiancée petition to the USCIS. But what if the couple can’t stand the thought of being separated in those months while the fiancée visa is in process? Is the beneficiary allowed to visit the US during this gap of time, if the K-1 visa has already been applied for and is currently in process?
There is no law that disqualifies someone from visiting the United States on a Tourist Visa while there is an ongoing K-1 fiancé visa or I-129F petition. However, the pending K-1 Visa application may make it more difficult for you to get a U.S. Tourist Visa .You will be subjected to additional scrutiny.
Applying for a B1/B2 Tourist Visa intends to travel for a leisure purpose, so this travel prior to the approval of your K-1 visa QUESTIONS and COMPLICATES your immigrant intent (or plan to remain permanently in the U.S. upon entering).
Application for U.S. Tourist Visa requires you to demonstrate that you DO NOT have an immigrant intent on your current visit despite the fact that you have a pending K-1 visa application. A pending K-1 fiancée visa suggests that you may actually be planning on staying and may not be returning home after all. Your pending visa clearly indicates that you have plans to immigrate at some point in time. This makes it hard to get your Tourist Visa approved.
So before proceeding to apply for U.S. Tourist Visa, ask yourself the intent of your visit. Why do you want to visit the U.S. before your K-1 visa is approved?
Once you established your intent to visit, provide evidences and proofs of your intent to return. This includes social ties in your home country, your plans to stay for a short trip (on this specific trip), and clear plans about how long you will be there and when you are returning. Show that you are indeed returning for your K-1 Fiancée visa’s completion.
In case you get approved of tourist visa, you must not remain beyond the allowed period of stay. You are required to return home at the end of your temporary stay, and attend your fiancée visa interview at the U.S. embassy in Bangkok or any consulate abroad processing your case. The consular interview can only take place outside the USA so you really must return to your country of origin to attend the final stages of the Fiancée Visa petition. After your K-1 visa is approved, then you may return to the U.S. – this time for the purpose of marriage.
At the point of entry in the U.S., this is still under the discretion/personal judgment of the customs officer and border control agent. Be prepared to explain at the airport that you only plan to visit and will be returning to your home country, with no plans to overstay nor remain in the US before your K-1 Fiancée Visa approval.
In a nutshell, yes you can visit. Traveling to the U.S. with a pending I-129F can certainly be done, though high risk. There is no law that you are not allowed to visit your significant other while you are going through the K-1 process. But you need the right circumstances showing that you maintain ties to your home country, and most importantly an intent to return.
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Siam Legal is a full service law firm but it has an extensive range of immigration, corporate, and real estate experience accessible to clients both domestically and internationally. It has offices strategically located throughout the major cities in Thailand including Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Samui and Phuket along with international representative offices in Australia, London and Las Vegas.