What is a Fiancé Visa or K-1 Visa?
A Fiancé Visa or K-1 Visa is a visa that allows the engaged partner to enter the United States. Upon entering the United States the engaged couple must get married within 90 days. After the couple is married the immigrant or non-citizen partner of the couple may apply for a green card. The term fiancé is used to describe either partner.
Requirements for a Fiancé or K-1 Visa
In order to obtain a fiancé or K-1 Visa, both partners must have the intention of marrying within 90 days and meet these requirements.
Must be engaged to a US citizen, and must have proof of citizenship
A written statement with intent to marry and must have the intention of marrying within 90 days of them entering the US
Have proof of your relationship before you were engaged (photos, text messages, letters, travel receipts, letters from family members)
Must have proof that you have met in person at least one time in the past two years.
Copy of passport photos
Must get married within the United States
Proof that the U.S. Citizen partner can support the immigrant partner, non-U.S. citizen for the period of time the K-1 Visa is valid. (Miniminim requirement is $17,420 after deductions and taxes)
Previous marriages from either partner must be legally terminated
Steps to apply for a Fiancé or K-1 Visa
The U.S. Citizen partner has to make the first steps in order to obtain a Fiancé or K-1 Visa.
The first step is to petition for a K-1 Visa. You will need to completely fill out form I-129F and send it to the USCIS. (If approved by the USCIS, the case will proceed to the National Visa Center.)
Second, the National Visa Center will request certain documents, and the immigrant or non-citizen partner can then apply for the K-1 Visa by filing form DS-160.
Third, the National Visa Center approves the filing, and the case is sent to the U.S. consultant in the immigrant or non-citizen home country, where an Interview will be scheduled.
You will also need to make an appointment for a medical examination.
Here’s a list of documents you will need for your interview;
Form DS-160 confirmation page and code.
A valid passport for more than 6 months after your intended stay in the U.S.
Your interview schedule letter
Approved Form I-129F
Any criminal background documents, if applicable
Divorce or death certificates in case of a previous marriage, if applicable
Evidence of the relationship with the U.S. citizen before you were engaged
Medical examination documents
You will also be asked questions about your relationship during your interview along with personal background questions.
The Most Common Question Asked During Your Fiancé Visa Interview
Fiancé Visa or K-1 Visa Timeline
Most visas are processed and approved within a few months, usually between 5 and 7 months. But in recent times there has been a significant backlog and delay.
Once you enter the United States you must marry your partner within 90 days.
When you receive your visa you may make plans to enter the United States. Do not open your K-1 Visa packet. It will be opened by customs once you arrive in the United States.
After marriage, the next steps, obtaining your Green Card
After the wedding, as part of your adjustment of status application will need to file Form I-485 and start the process to obtain a green card. You may also apply for an Employment Authorization Document or EAD with form I-765. If you are approved you can get a social security card and begin working in the United States
Fiancé Visa or K-1 Visa, and Permanent Resident Green Card
The process of obtaining both a K-1 Visa and eventually a green card can be confusing and overwhelming. It is best to speak to an immigration attorney that can help walk you through the entire process and help you with both your K-1 Visa and your Permanent Resistant Green Card.
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How to Apply for a Fiancé Visa (K-1 Visa)
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If you need an employment visa, wish to immigrate, or want to help bring a family member to the United States, the Odunlami Law Firm can help. If you are facing deportation or removal for any reason, you need our help. You may contact the law office for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Areas of Immigration Law:
Naturalization (Citizenship) Application
Immigrant Relative Petitions
Fiancé Visa Applications
Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing
Criminal Consequences and Deportation Defense
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Application
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Green Card Renewals
Temporary Work Visas
Temporary Protected Status
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals