Call it an “Engagement Ceremony”

Many of my clients who file for a K1 Fiance Visa, also wish to have a wedding in their fiance’s home country before using the K1 Fiance Visa and traveling to the US. Its understandable that your fiancé would like his or her family to participate in this joyous occasion, but technically, this cannot not be done. The reason you cannot get married before using the fiancé visa is because once legally married, your fiance is no longer a fiancé, but now a spouse. The K1 Fiance Visa can only be used by a fiance. However, there may be a compromise that you might consider. Instead of a wedding, have an engagement ceremony. Your engagement ceremony can look and feel a lot like a wedding, it just can be a legal marriage. Your family can attend, celebrate your expected union and be a part of your great moment.
So you don’t make any mistakes, I recommend that you determine what legal steps you would normally have to take to become legally married in the country of your finace and make sure you don’t follow those requirements. For example, if a marriage license is required to get legally married in your fiance’s country, don’t apply for one. If becoming legally married requires ceratin paperwork to be filed after the ceremony, don’t fill out the paperwork and ceratinly dont file it. Remember, to qualify for a Fiance Visa, you cannot be married.

I would also be careful not to post pictures on social media that state you got married. Make sure you always call it something like an engagement ceremony of a pre wedding celebration or something that makes it clear that you have not actually gotten married. If you must get married, then be prepared to file for a CR1 Marriage Visa instead of the K1 Fiance Visa.
If you have any questions about the K1 Fiance Visa, you are welcome to call me anytime toll free at 1-888-515-3529 to discuss your matter. I am always happy to answer questions.
Attorney Jeff Pettys
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