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K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa: An A - Z Guide

The K-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows a foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States for a period of 90 days to marry their US citizen fiancé(e). Individuals on a K-1 visa have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency after marriage. Foreign-citizen fiancé(e)’s must meet the immigrant visa criteria to be granted a visa.

Requirements for a Fiancé(e) Petition

  • The US citizen fiancé(e) will serve at the petitioner

  • The petitioner fiancé(e) must be a US citizen

  • The couple will get married within 90 days of the foreign-citizen fiancé(e)’s entry into the US

  • Both parties must be free by law to marry

  • The couple must have met in person prior to filing for a K1 visa unless they were unable to due to extreme hardship or, meeting prior to marriage would go against one's culture or long-established custom

  • If the couple does not marry within 90 days of the foreign-citizen fiancé(e)s travel, no extensions will be permitted. The foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will be forced to depart from the US. Refusal to leave the country will violate US immigration law and can later affect their eligibility for entry.

Process of the K-1 Vis

  • File petition for Alien Fiance (I-129F);

  • USCIS will send approval to the Department of State National Visa Center;

  • Submit additional forms and pay fees;

  • Interview with the Embassy or Consulate once the nonimmigrant visa is issued;

  • During the interview, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) must prove that they will not become a public charge in the US. The foreign-citizen fiancé(e) must prove they are able to support themselves financially, or their US citizen fiancé(e) will be able to support them. Proof of financial support through the US citizen fiancé(e) can be demonstrated through an I-134 Affidavit of Support.

After marriage, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) may file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status to become a lawful permanent resident. K-1 visa holders may also choose to work by submitting an I-765 form, Application for Employment. While work time may be limited to 90 days, an foreign-citizen fiancé(e) may submit an extended work authorization (form I-485) when applying for permanent residence.

Children may accompany their parent to the US on a K-2 visa. For eligibility of travel, the US citizen fiancé(e) must list each child on the initial I-129F petition. Each child will need to apply separately for an adjustment of status if they wish to become a permanent resident after their parent is married. A child under US immigration law is unmarried and under the age of 18 years old.

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