If you are a U.S. citizen who decided to move forward with filing a K-1 fiancé(e) visa for your loved one, there are some eligibility requirements for a fiancé(e) K-1 visa that you have to meet. Here we will talk about the “two-year rule.”

A K-1 fiancé(e) visa will allow the person you plan to marry to come to the United States so you can organize your wedding there.

To apply for a fiancé(e) visa, you must be a U.S. citizen, you both fiancé(e) have to be legally eligible to marry, and you must intend to marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days of upon arrival in the United States.

But, if, for example, you met online, there is the part of the requirements that can cause particular problems. I.N.A. 214(d) imposes the rule that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services enforces. rule states as the U.S. citizen (the “petitioner”) and your overseas fiancé(e) (the “beneficiary”), you need to have met in person sometime within the last two years. Keep a close eye on the calendar.

This waiver will be available only in limited circumstances.

Where Can You Meet?

Many couples may choose to visit the beneficiary’s home country, but this is not necessary. You and your fiancé(e) can meet at any place you want, no matter if this is the home country, or you went traveling together anywhere in the world.

However, it would be best if you were careful suggesting your foreign fiancé(e) to visit you in the United States. This visit bears the potential risk of denying their entry or alleging fraud without proof for lack of nonimmigrant intent.

How To Prove That You Met In Person?

To show that you and your fiancé(e) really met, you must include certain evidence. This usually includes:

  • passport stamps- to show that you entered and exited the country where you met
  • boarding passes copies, travel itineraries, receipts for plane tickets
  • photographs of you and your fiancé(e) together from the trip or the meeting.
    This list is not exhaustive, so be free to include as much of such documentation as you can provide, but bear in mind, that passport stamps carry the most weight so make sure to include it.

If you cannot demonstrate that you two met in person within the appropriate time period, USCIS will deny your application for a fiance K-1 visa at the very beginning of the process. Sometimes, petitioners can get to the interview stage at the U.S. embassy or consulate and after it receives a denial or an administrative processing notice, which will likewise ultimately lead to a denial.

When the Waiver of Meeting Requirement is Available?

Couples are able to get a waiver of the two-year meeting requirement in limited and rare situations.

Under 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(k)(2), waivers are available in cases where complying with the meeting requirement would either:

  • result in extreme hardship to the petitioner: Typically, the only time the USCIS will approve an extreme hardship waiver is where the petitioner was absolutely unable to travel anywhere. The reason must be firm such as severe illness or permanent physical disability, so to prove this, you should submit substantial medical documentation.
  • violate strict and long-established customs of the foreign culture or social practice (traditionally arranged marriages): since most cultures do allow some level of an in-person meeting between the potential bride and groom, this requirement is also hard to meet.

Besides, hard-to-get characteristics, seeking the waiver will also take much time. The process is long, and even if you have a strong case, USCIS may deny your application, forcing you to appeal and making the process even longer.

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