IMBRA Waiver

IMBRA (International Marriage Broker Regulation Act) was signed into law in 2006. It targets U.S. citizens with criminal histories. There are also much tighter regulations under a separate set of laws for foreign fiances and spouses with criminal convictions. If your foreign partner has a criminal conviction, we need to determine whether it is still possible to immigrate him or her to the U.S.

Immigration regulations under IMBRA prohibit the issuance of a K1 Fiancee Visa without an approved waiver in two sets of circumstances.

  • a U.S. citizen petitioner with a criminal conviction for a specified crime
  • a U.S. petitioner who has previously filed K-1 visa petitions or had a K-1 visa petition approved within the previous two years

IMBRA regulations do not prohibit the issuance of a K-3 spousal visa if the petitioner has criminal convictions, no matter how serious the crime. However, disclosure of convictions is still required.

Criminal Conviction

The IMBRA Act covers various crimes committed by the U.S. citizen that involve violence as well as crimes relating to a controlled substance (drugs) or alcohol. If there is a possibility you may come under IMBRA, contact us. We will discuss your situation and advise whether, in our opinion, your case will require a waiver and if so, what the chances are of our waiver request being granted.

When contacting us, we will want you to identify each conviction, the basic facts that resulted in conviction, the sentence imposed, and whether you completed all terms of your sentence.

Allan Scott Lolly

managing attorney

Filing Limitations

If you have filed two or more K-1 visa petitions at any time in the past, or previously had a K-1 visa petition approved within two years prior to the filing of the current petition, a waiver must be obtained before your K-1 petition can be approved. This provision does not apply to a K-3 spousal visa petition.


Call for Assistance — If you fall within these restrictions, we can assess your situation and make a determination as to whether we can obtain an IMBRA waiver for your fiance visa / K1 visa petition.

Although processing on a marriage visa / CR visa petition can avoid some of the pitfalls of IMBRA, there may still be reasons to pursue the K1 fiancee visa despite IMBRA restrictions. Our firm has a working knowledge of IMBRA and so will be in a good position to advise properly.

Call Us for a Free Immigration Consultation / Case Assessment

1-888-483-0311

U.S. toll free

+1 212-483-0311

Outside U.S.

If you have an interest in working with us on case processing, please complete our free consultation form, and we'll give you personal attention.

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    More About Our Immigration Law Firm

    To date, the immigration law firm of Allan S. Lolly & Assoc. P.C. has successfully obtained well over 15,000 K1 fiance visas, CR marriage visas, green cards, immigration bar waivers, VAWA benefits, Asylum benefits, and other family and employment visas.

    Read more about our immigration law firm