The term “fiancé(e) visa” is occasionally used to refer to a K-1 visa< /a>. This visa enables the fiancé(e) of a citizen of the United States to reside in the country for 90 days following arrival through a U.S. border crossing. You and your potential spouse must get married within the 90 days of the visa’s validity once they enter the country on it.
The foreign fiancé will have to leave the United States if the marriage doesn’t occur within the 90-day validity period. If the engagement is dissolved before the wedding, the visa will also become invalid. But before a visa is issued, the visa applicant must meet a few fundamental eligibility standards.
The K1 Visa: Who Qualifies?
Similar to other visas, the K1 visa only permits a limited number of persons to enter the United States.
The following criteria must be met in order to qualify for a K1 visa:
- An American citizen must be the sponsoring partner. Green Card holders are not permitted to sponsor K1 visas.
- Legal marriage is possible for both partners. The presence of divorce decrees, death certificates, and other proof of the dissolution of prior unions is required.
- Even if the foreign fiancé’s place of birth does not recognize same-sex weddings, same-sex partners are nonetheless eligible for K1 visas in the U.S.
- You will need to provide emails, itinerary copies, pictures, and written recommendations from friends and relatives to demonstrate the veracity of the relationship. Include travel plans and tickets that attest to many travels.
- In the two years preceding the visa application, the couple must demonstrate that they had at least one in-person encounter. If the foreign spouse would suffer great suffering because of social, cultural, or religious conventions, this criteria may be waived.
- Within 90 days of entrance, both parties must provide written confirmations demonstrating their intentions to wed. This will be supported by the wedding invitations, deposits for the vendors, and other forms of documentation.
- Financial means of at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines must be demonstrated by the foreign spouse. If this is not attainable, someone in the United States must sign an affidavit of support stating that they are the foreign spouse’s financial sponsor.
To assist you with your immigration process, you might need to contact an immigration lawyer. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that the petitioner, who is the U.S. citizen partner, submits the K1 visa application on the foreign fiancé’s behalf (the visa beneficiary).
Required K1 Visa Documents
Here are the fundamental records needed to apply for a K1 visa:
- You and all of your minor dependents must fill out a Form DS-160 for an online nonimmigrant visa application (Form DS-160). Save a copy of the confirmation page to use as documentation for your visa interview. Each individual requires their own DS-160.
- The formal petition for an alien fiancé is Form I-129F.
- A current passport from your home country
- Certificates of divorce or demise to demonstrate the dissolution of prior unions
- You must have police clearances from each nation you have lived in since you were 16 years old and for at least six months.
- A medical examination from a licensed doctor
- Form I-134, an affidavit of support, is acceptable as proof of financial support (if necessary).
- The beneficiary’s two passport-style photos
- Evidence of the relationship
- Evidence that the processing fees have been paid
Applying for a K1 Visa
Here are the three steps to apply for a K1 visa:
Step 1: I-129F Form
Form I-129F must be submitted by the sponsor fiancé on behalf of the beneficiary. The application must contain each of the aforementioned supporting documents. Additionally, the sponsor spouse must provide evidence of their nationality and a passport-style photo.
The USCIS will let you know when they have accepted your case after roughly 30 days–keep track of such notifications for your future use. If they need further details, they could potentially issue you a Request for Evidence (RFE). To reduce the amount of time your case takes to be processed, kindly supply any additional information that is asked as soon as feasible.
Step 2: Interview and DS-160 Form
If your fiancé continues to be overseas in another nation, they must complete a nonimmigrant visa application online (Form DS-160). The USCIS will inform them of an interview at the American embassy or consulate that is close to where they now reside. They must present the Form DS-160 application success confirmation page.
A copy of the documentation used to submit Form I-129F must be brought with the sponsored fiancé as well. Be sure to bring all necessary proof and supporting documentation to your interview, and make sure you’re well-prepared by researching some potential K1 visa interview questions.
Step 3: Entry into the U.S. and Marriage
Once the visa is approved, the foreign fiance has four months to travel to the United States. Upon arrival, the 90-day period during which you must get married begins. It should be noted that the K1 visa does not permit the transfer of status to any other nonimmigrant visa, such as the H1B or F. You can only begin the Adjustment of Status process after being married.
What Is the Price of a K1 Visa?
The filing fee for the Form 129F is $535. You’ll also have to pay the $265 visa cost at your visa interview. So a total of $800 is needed for the official filing fees. However, this does not account for the cost of your medical exam or any other charges you may incur when applying for your K1 visa.
Processing Time for K1 Visas
Approximately 30 days pass before the USCIS notifies you that your original Form I-129F has been accepted. After that, processing could take a further six to nine months (this does not include extra time that is added if they issue a Request for Evidence).
The foreign fiancé cannot begin the online nonimmigrant visa application process before this time. From the time your application is accepted until you are asked to schedule an interview at the closest U.S. embassy or consulate, the procedure might take anywhere between four to six weeks.
Remember that these processing times assume a typical instance with no problems. Thus, the time it takes for you to obtain a K1 visa can range from ten months to more than a year.
Can Someone with a K1 Visa Apply for a Green Card?
You can apply for a marriage-based Green Card after being married. The best part is that through your marriage-based Green Card, your children (dependent minors under 21 years of age) on a K2 visa will also be able to benefit from permanent residency.
While they are completing their application for a marriage-based Green Card, a foreign spouse who is currently married to a citizen of the United States may relocate here on a K3 visa.
Apply for your K1 visa right away by following the aforementioned instructions. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the process of applying for a K1 visa, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of highly trained professionals at Pride Immigration for further details and information to guide you through the process!
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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