In the United States the number of international marriages is increasing. As of 2010, there were more than 5 million marriages performed in which one spouse was from another country. Many different factors account for this trend, including the globalization of commerce and business.
The K-1 visa is available to those who are looking to grant their fiance entry into the U.S. from another country. This type of visa stipulates that the couple must marry within 90 days of the immigrant’s entry, and if this requirement is not met, the fiance will have to leave the United States within 30 days. However, once the marriage takes place, the individual can apply for permanent resident status.
The majority of individuals that apply for a K-I visa are approved. In 2009 95 percent of all K1 visas that were requested were granted. The largest group of people entering the U.S. with this type of visa hail from the Ukraine and Russia, which are not countries that generally see large populations of immigrants coming to the United States.
Newly married individuals can begin the adjustment of status procedure to secure a permanent residency in the U.S as soon after the marriage as possible, or they have the option to apply for an employment authorization. These are important steps to take because the safety and ownership of the U.S. citizen’s estate could be at risk if the immigrant spouse is not a recognized citizen. Assets left to the foreign-born spouse may be subject to taxes and could be claimed by the IRS, a fact motivating many spouses who married with the use of a K1 visa to immediately get on the path to citizenship.