K1 Visa │ Fiancé(e) Visa

What is a K1 Visa / Fiancé Visa?

K1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen. A fiancé visa allows the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States for the purpose of getting married to the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of admission.

Will the fiancé(e) be able to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) after marriage?

Yes, after marriage to the U.S. citizen petitioner, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will be able to apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident.

What are the minimum requirements for getting a fiancé visa?

For a fiance visa, the couple would need to establish that:

  • the petitioner is a U.S. citizen;
  • they met in person within two years of filing the petition (sometimes, this requirement may be waived);
  • both parties are legally free to marry;
  • the fiancé(e) is admissible or eligible for a waiver;
  • both have an intent to get married to each other; and
  • the petitioner can meet minimum income requirements for a K1 visa.

How much time do we have to get married after my fiancé / fiancée enters the United States?

The couple must get married within 90 days after the fiancé / fiancée enters the United States.

What is the process to receive a K1 visa?

The process of getting a fiancé visa consists of three steps:

  • Step one: The U.S. citizen files Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (you cannot file this petition at a consulate, embassy or U.S. immigration office abroad.) This Petition is filed with all required forms and supporting documentation. USCIS takes somewhere from 4 to 10 months to issue a decision on the I-129F petition.
  • Step two: After USCIS approves the fiance visa petition, they send it to the National Visa Center, which will then transfer the petition to the U.S. embassy or consulate where the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) lives. It usually takes approximately 4-6 weeks from the time USCIS approves the i129f petition until the fiancé(e) receives a letter from the U.S. consulate or embassy that they are ready to process the fiancé visa case.
  • Step three: When the embassy informs the fiancé / fiancée that the embassy received the petition, the fiancé(e) can  then pay the visa application fee, apply for a K-1 visa, schedule an interview, go to the embassy for the interview, and get his or her K1 visa. 

What documentation is required from a fiancé at the consulate?

At a minimum, the fiancé(e) applying for a K1 visa will be required to bring the following items to the visa interview at the consulate or embassy:

  • Confirmation page for the submitted online DS-160 Visa Application;
  • A passport valid for travel to the U.S., with a validity date at least six months beyond his or her intended period of stay in the United States (unless an exemption applies);
  • Results of the medical examination (which is done at a specific location, as  indicated on the website of the applicable consulate or embassy);
  • Police certificates from the fiancé(e)’s country of residence and all countries where the fiancé(e) has lived for six months or more since age 16;
  • Evidence of financial support: the fiancé / fiancée must present documentation that he/she is able to financially support himself/herself or that the U.S. citizen petitioner is able to provide support.

What is the period of validity of the I-129F petition?

The I-129F petition is valid for 4 months from the date of approval by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A consular officer has the authority to extend the validity of the petition if it expires before the  K-1 visa is issued.

Can the fiance’s children come to the United States?

Yes, eligible children of a K-1 visa applicant will receive K-2 visas and will be able to come to the United States either at the same time as the K-1 visa holder or after.

Is a separate petition required for the fiance’s child?

No, the U.S. citizen petitioner does not need to file a separate petition for the fiancé(e)’s child  if the child will accompany or follow the fiancé(e) within one year from the date of issuance of the K1 visa. (Note, however, that the child must be named in the I-129F petition.) All eligible children may apply for K2 visas based on the approval of the I-129F petition filed on behalf of the foreign-citizen fiancé. Separate visa applications must be submitted for each K2 applicant either at the time when the K1 visa application is submitted or within a certain period after the K1 visa is issued. Each K visa applicant must pay the visa application fee.

Can a K-1 visa holder leave the United States and come back on the same visa?

This visa allows a fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. only one time. If the K-1 visa holder leaves the U.S., he or she will not be able to reenter on the same visa. If you have an emergency, or you left the United States and want to come back for the purpose of marrying the same U.S. citizen who petitioned for your K-1 visa, please contact an attorney to see what can be done in your situation.

K1 Visa Application

After I-129F fiancé visa petition is approved, the foreign-citizen fiancé or fiancée will need to submit a DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application. DS-160 form is filed online. You can find DS-160 here.

How to apply for a social security number?

After your fiancé or fiancée has been admitted into the United States, he or she can apply for a social security number by visiting your local Social Security Office. To get more information on how to apply, please visit the website of the Social Security Administration. To find your local office, please use the Social Security Office Locator. Please also keep in mind that even though your fiancé(e), technically, can request a SSN upon his/her entry into the United States with a K1 visa, it’s not unusual to discover that government employees working in some Social Security Offices do not know that K1 visa holders are authorized to request a social security number and get a social security card.

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1101 Dove St., Ste. 245

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: (818) 744-4955 Fax: (949) 326-0075

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