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A K-1 visa is a United States nonimmigrant visa benefiting fiancees and fianceees of US citizen petitioners. The Application is made by the petitioner in the US on a USCIS form I-129F filed by mail at a USCIS Regional Center. The Applicant must provide detailed information and supporting documentation to establish that both parties are legally free to marry, have met each other, intend to marry, do not have disqualifying criminal histories (so-called crimes of moral turpitude), and proof of identity and citizenship. Recent changes to the Law also limit the number of petitions a Petitioner can make, and the Petitioner must not have a criminal history of sexual or partner abuse. Other recent changes in the Law also severely limit the role of marriage agencies in the introductions, and any involvement must be disclosed.


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For many Koreans dating is with one thing in mind: marriage. This is true for both parties, it seems. Upon meeting single Koreans (guys and gals), especially since I am married, I invariably get the request to introduce them to some nice person. It's quite flattering at first, but then you get to notice a pattern here.

Koreans are often introduced by friends, relatives and (in rarer cases now) matchmakers. They are so busy studying (when they're younger) and working (when they're older) that they have little chance to mix-and-mingle--and when they do go out on the town it is usually in same-sex groups or with relatives or co-workers (which, it seems, are off-limits).

If a date is one-on-one it is called a so-gay-ting (weird name) and if double ot triple dating it's called a mee-ting. Before a first date (or 5 minutes into one) each party will likely know the other's (i) graduation year and school (and job and title), (ii) birthday, (iii) family and religious background (including father's job), and likely (iv) salary and (v) goals. This is one of the few areas that Korea is extremely efficient in.

They usually meet at a trendy cafe and exchange vital information. After that, if things go well, future dates ensue. If not, that is it. Very matter-of-fact (and rather an oddity here, given Koreans penchant for high emotion--e.g., football matches). Parents then, usually, cover the wedding and help set up the couple and off they go to make a family.

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After marrying, an Adjustment of Status (using a USCIS form I-485[2]) must be filed that will convert the K1 fiancee and K2 children status to that of Conditional Lawful Permanent Resident Status, e.g., a green card. It can take as long as a year after the filing of a correct I-485 to be invited to a local USCIS Office for an interview of the Petitioner, K1 fiancee, and any K2 children. The interviewer is essentially interested in ascertaining if the marriage is legitimate, and will ask questions a genuine couple should have no issue answering, for example, Who normally does the grocery shopping?, What night does the garbage go out?, When was the last time your spouse took the day off work?. If the interview goes well, the I-551 green card will arrive in the mail in a few weeks - although post September 11, this time has been increased due to a backlog in CIA processing of background checks. If the Petitioner or the fiancee does not attend the Interview, the fiancee will lose legal status and must leave the US.