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K-1 Fiance Visas: Are they Banned under the New Proclamation? What’s the Deal?

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a very puzzling topic. Our readers have asked: Are K-1 Visas exempt from the recent Presidential Proclamation? From our reading of the Presidential Proclamation we had discussed in previous videos that K-1 visas are non-immigrant visas, and therefore exempt from the ban on immigration, however lately certain U.S. Embassies have been treating K-1 visas as immigrant visas, which would make them subject to the recent ban on immigration.

We discuss this development further in this video.

Keep on watching for more information.


Overview


As you all know by now on June 22nd the President signed a new presidential proclamation called, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak,” which extends the previous April 22nd Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of certain types of immigrants to the United States. The June 22nd order also placed a visa ban on H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrant workers applying for a visa at the U.S. Consulate abroad as of June 24th.

The April 22nd proclamation specifically suspended, “the entry into the United States of aliens as immigrants.” Under immigration law, K-1 fiancé visas are non-immigrant visas, and therefore not subject to this ban. K-1 fiancé visas are considered non-immigrant visas because the foreign fiancé is seeking temporary entry to the United States for the limited purpose of marrying the U.S. Citizen spouse. It is not until the foreign national marries the U.S. Citizen spouse that he or she is allowed to immigrate by filing Form I-485 to adjust status to permanent resident.

Unfortunately, a great deal of confusion has been occurring at Embassies worldwide regarding whether K-1 fiancé visas are exempt or not exempt from the presidential proclamation. Recently, some Embassies have erroneously categorized K-1 fiancé visas as immigrant visas, refusing to schedule interviews and issue visas for this category because of the ban on immigration. Others including the Embassy in Manila have correctly provided information that K-1 fiancé visas are exempt from the presidential proclamation.

Recently, the U.S. Embassy in London corrected its webpage to clarify that K-1 fiancé visas are not subject to the presidential proclamation, although other travel restrictions could prevent fiancés from traveling to the United States (such as nationals from the Schengen countries). Previously, the U.S. Embassy in London had erroneously stated to applicants by email that K-1 fiancé visas were subject to the recent presidential proclamation (see below):

https://www.immigrationlawyerblog.com/files/2020/06/Screen-Shot-2020-06-29-at-12.24.48-PM.png

This information is incorrect, and we are glad that the Embassy in London has finally clarified this issue on their official Embassy webpage.

For those of you who are receiving incorrect information from the U.S. Embassy regarding the exempt status of K-1 visas from the proclamation, you may wish to copy the information provided on the Embassy webpage in London or Manila which confirms that K-1 visa applicants are exempt from the proclamation, and ask your Embassy to provide clarification. You may also forward the information to us so we can obtain clarification from the Embassy to resolve these issues once and for all.


Helpful links


  • April 22nd presidential proclamation blog post (order extended until December 31st, 2020)
  • June 22nd presidential proclamation blog post (order extends the April 22nd proclamation and adds restrictions for H-1B, H-2B, J, and L visas)

Questions?


If you have any questions or concerns regarding these updates please contact us at jacob@h1b.biz or text or call 619-569-1768 for a private consultation.

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