K-1 Visa for Alien Fiancé (e)

What Is the K-1 Visa?

The K-1 fiancé (e) nonimmigrant visa is designed to allow entry into the United States to fiancé (e)s of U.S. citizens, for the purpose of marrying their fiancé (e). The process requires submission of applications, documents, and proof that the couple is willing to marry within 90 days of entry into the United States. A K-1 visa is issued once the petition is approved. Once the visa is approved, the fiancé (e) can enter the United States but must marry the U.S. citizen within 90 days. The K-1 fiancé (e) is authorized to obtain employment during that 90-day period before marriage. After the marriage, the nonimmigrant can apply to adjust their status to permanent resident as an immediate relative.

Who Is Eligible for the K-1 Visa in the US?

To successfully petition for a K-1 visa for a fiancé (e) of a U.S. citizen, the parties must satisfy the following requirements:

  • The parties must have previously met in person within two years of the date of filing the petition (this requirement can be waived “if compliance would result in extreme hardship to the petitioner or compliance would violate strict and long established customs of the beneficiary’s foreign culture or social practice.” 8 C.F.R. Û 214.2(k)(2)).
  • The parties have a bona fide intention to marry
  • The parties are willing to marry within ninety days of the fiancé (e) arrival
  • The parties have terminated any prior marriages

What is the duration of the K-1 Visa?

The K-1 visa duration is 90 days. After 90 days, the parties must be married and should file a family-based residency petition (click here to see information for family based residency).

Renewability

The K-1 visa is not renewable and cannot be extended.

Family Benefits

An individual can enter the U.S. in nonimmigrant status and marry their fiancé (e). Often times the processing time of a K-1 visa is shorter than the processing of an adjustment of status application abroad. The individual receives work authorization immediately.

What Documentation Do I Need for the for a K-1 Visa?

  • Passport valid for travel to the U.S. which has at least six months validity beyond the issuance date of the visa
  • Birth certificates of K-1 fiancé (e) applicant (and of children under the age of 21 that will accompany the applicant)
  • Police certificate from all countries the applicant has resided in since their sixteenth birthday
  • Court and prison records
  • Two passport size photographs on white background of the beneficiary
  • Evidence of termination of prior marriages
  • Form I-134-evidence of support; this can include the beneficiary’s own funds or offer of employment in the U.S.
  • Medical examination by the U.S. Immigration Service approved physicians
  • Evidence of relationship between the fiancé (e) and the U.S. citizen-this can include photographs, letters, evidence of engagement

What is the Process for the K-1 Visa Like?

Stage One:
A visa petition (Form I-129F) will need to be completed and filed with the Service Center having jurisdiction over the U.S. Citizen’s place of residence. If the U.S. Citizen is abroad, the petition may be filed with a consular or immigration office abroad. If filed abroad, the consulate forwards the petition to a Service Center in the U.S.

The petition must be accompanied by supporting documentation that will prove that the parties have previously met within the two years of the date of filing the petition, that there is a bona fide intention to marry, and that the parties are legally able to marry and will actually marry within ninety days of entry to the U.S.

The Form I-129F must also be accompanied by:

  • Two forms G-325 (for applicant and U.S. Citizen),
  • Two passport-size photographs on white background of both the applicant and the U.S. Citizen, and
  • Proof of the petitioner’s U.S. Citizenship.

Stage Two:
Once the visa petition is approved, it is sent to the consulate office that will determine the foreign national’s eligibility to obtain an immigrant visa before issuing the K-1 visa.

The consul will issue several forms that the foreign national must complete. When the forms are submitted and a security clearance is issued, the foreign national will be scheduled for an interview and a medical exam.

At the interview, the foreign national should bring the documents listed in the “What documents do I need” section. Once the visa is approved, the foreign national will receive a sealed envelope containing supporting documentation that he or she must submit to an immigration inspector upon arrival into the U.S.

Stage Three:
Upon arrival to the U.S., the fiancé (e) must marry the U.S. citizen within ninety days. K non immigrants cannot change their status to any other nonimmigrant status and they cannot apply for an extension of their stay.

What are the USCIS Filing Fees?

Fees for form I-129 F (click here to verify the U.S. Immigration Service fees as these change regularly.

What are the Fees of our Boston Immigration lawyers to Petition for a K-1 Visa?

Click here to learn more about our immigration legal fees.
Click here if you would like to come in for a free initial consultation with one of our immigration attorneys in Massachusetts.

Where can I get more Information?

State Department on fiancée visas

The USCIS on K visas

How Do I Help My Fiancé(e) Become a U.S. Permanent Resident?

Department of State visa services on visas for foreigners married to American citizens

Classes of Aliens ineligible to receive U.S. visas

American Embassies and Consulates

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