K-1 Fiancé Visas
K-1 Fiancé Visas
A K-1 Fiancé Visa (“K-1 visa”) allows a foreign citizen fiancé(e) of a United States citizen to enter the United States for the sole purpose of getting married. Once admitted to the United States, the foreign citizen fiancé(e) must marry his or her U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days. Once the marriage takes place, the foreign citizen can apply for permanent resident status through adjustment of status.
Minor children (under 21 years of age) of the foreign citizen fiancé(e) are eligible to receive a derivative K-2 visa. In order for the child to receive a K-2 visa, they must be unmarried. A K-2 visa will allow the child to accompany their parent to the United States. After their parent’s marriage, the child can apply for permanent resident status through adjustment of status.
In order to file a K-1 visa petition on behalf of a foreign born fiancée, a United States citizen must establish four things. First, the United States citizen must provide evidence that they are indeed a United States citizen. Second, the couple must have met each other in person at least once within the past two years prior to filing the petition. Third, both the United States citizen and foreign citizen fiancé(e) must be free to marry. This means that any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment. Fourth, the couple must provide evidence that they intend to marry within 90 days of the foreign citizen fiancé(e) entering the United States.
Obtaining a K-1 visa is a multi-step process. First, the United States citizen files a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Form I-129F) with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”). A Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) cannot be filed at an embassy, consulate, or USCIS office abroad, but must instead be filed inside the United States.
Second, after the petition is approved, the foreign citizen fiancé(e) will have to apply for a K-1 visa in person at an embassy or consulate. After USCIS approves the petition, a copy of the petition is sent to the National Visa Center for processing. Once the National Visa Center processes the petition, it will send a copy of the petition to the embassy or consulate located near where the foreign citizen fiancé(e) lives. The National Visa Center will also send a notice to the foreign citizen fiancé(e) notifying them that the case has been transferred to the embassy or consulate.
Once the case has been transferred to the embassy or consulate, the foreign citizen fiancé(e) will go to the embassy or consulate for a visa interview. As part of the interview process, the foreign citizen fiancé(e) will be required to provide the following documentation:
- Completed Form DS-160;
- A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States;
- Divorce or death certificates for any previous marriages for both parties;
- Police certificates from all countries where the applicant has lived since the age of 16 for six months or longer;
- Evidence of financial support in the form of an Affidavit of Support from the United States citizen fiancé(e);
- Medical examination papers;
- Evidence of the relationship with the United States citizen fiancé(e); and
- Two passport style photos.
Additional information and documents may be asked for depending on the circumstances of the particular case.