Prior to 2006, US citizens had no limits on the number of K-1 fiancee visas that they could file for during their lifetime. Thus, if the American sponsor filed for a K-1 visa for his Filipina fiancée and either the marriage did not push through or it ended in divorce, the US citizen was allowed to file for another K-1 visa without limitations.
Limitation on K-1 Visa Petitions
However, as a result of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA), US citizens are now limited to the number of K-1 visa petitions that they may file for during their lifetime.
It is best that persons subjected to the waiver should seek advice from a K-1 visa lawyer.
What are the limitations?
The limitations imposed by the IMBRA include up to two fiancée visa petitions during a US citizens lifetime or one K-1 visa within two years of each other.
When is a waiver required?
A US citizen who has already exhausted their limitations may seek a waiver which the adjudicator may grant provided that the American citizen does not have a history of violent criminal offenses.
Who may file a waiver?
Such waiver should properly prepared by a K-1 visa lawyer Philippines and be placed with the original petition and detailed by explaining the circumstances surrounding the waiver request with any supporting evidence.
Upon review, the adjudicator will consider the following:
- If there are any unusual circumstances such as death or incapacity of the prior beneficiary;
- A history of domestic violence by the US citizen petitioner;
- Any pattern of serial petitions for different beneficiaries at the same time of filing and later withdrawing petitions or obtaining approvals every few years.
Examples of the type of supporting documents that a K-1 visa lawyer should include:
By utilizing the services of a competent K-1 visa lawyer Manila, an American immigration attorney can properly advise the specific documentation needed to justify the reason for a waiver.
Examples of what a US immigration attorney in Manila should supply include a death certificate, police reports, or medical reports regarding the death or incapacity of an alien for a prior K-1 fiancee visa Philippines.
Besides a filing limit, the IMBRA requires the US citizen petitioner to disclose information the criminal convictions.
IMBRA vs Mail Order Bride
The legislative intent behind the IMBRA involved two cases-
- Susanna Blackwell in 1995 and
- Anastasia King in 2000
Facts of the Case
Both were foreign women petitioned by their US citizen fiancé’s and were murdered. Using Blackwell and King, the federal government drafted the IMBRA as an intention of stopping “mail order brides” by prospective husbands with a history of criminal offenses.
Other Required Disclosure
Specifically, the IMBRA requires the US citizen fiancé to disclose any of the following criminal convictions:
- Domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, dating violence, elder abuse and stalking.
- Homicide, murder, manslaughter, rape, abusive sexual conduct, sexual exploitation, incest, torture, trafficking, peonage, holding hostage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, and false imprisonment.
- Crimes related to a controlled substance or alcohol where the US citizen petitioner has been convicted on at least three occasions.
Getting Help from a K-1 Visa Lawyer
American citizen petitioners who have a conviction listed and are filing for a K-1 visa are strongly encouraged to consult with a US K-1 visa lawyer Philippines for advice and competent assistance on disclosing these convictions.