Anyone with a fiancé(e) outside the U.S. would be very eager for them to enter the country, so they can get married. The K1 fiancé(e) visa allows exactly this. In this article we are going to be talking about the K1 fiancé(e) visa and all of its details.
You may be able to bring your fiancé(e) into the United States on a fiancé(e) visa if you meet the following criteria:
- You must be a U.S. citizen
- You and your fiancé(e) plan to marry one another within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s admission to the United States on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa
- You and your fiancé(e) are both legally free to marry (this means you both are legally able to marry in the United States and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment)
- You and your fiancé(e) must have met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. You can request a waiver of this face to face meeting requirement if you can prove that meeting in person would:
- Transgress strict and long-established customs of your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice; or
- Result in extreme hardship and inconvenience to you, the U.S. citizen petitioner.
Documents Required for a K1 Visa
- Proof of citizenship for the U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
- Copy of sponsored fiancé(e)’s passport
- Evidence of terminated marriages, where needed
- Proof of meeting within 2 years of applying
- Evidence of legal name change, where applicable
- Sworn statements and evidence from both partners indicating their intent to marry and attesting to the legitimacy of their relationship
- A copy of Form I-94 arrival-departure records, if applicable for sponsored fiancé(e)
- Evidence supporting International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) waiver, if applicable
- One passport-style photo for each fiancé(e)
- Two passport-style photos for the sponsored fiancé(e)
- Birth certificate for the sponsored fiancé(e)
- Valid, unexpired passport for sponsored fiancé(e)
- Police clearance obtained from countries where the sponsored fiancé(e) lived for more than 6 months, including their country of residence
- Sealed medical exam issued by approved physician, obtained by sponsored fiancé(e) in their country of residence
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-134), submitted by U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
- Most recent tax returns of the U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
K1 Visa Application
How to Bring your Fiancé(e) to the United States
The process for bringing your fiancé(e) to the United States involves
- the U.S. Department of State (DOS)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
At every stage in the process, background and security checks can be carried out on both you and your fiancé(e). This might include checks in various databases for national security, criminal history, and other information about you and your fiancé(e). These checks are carried out through:
- or other biographic
- or biometric information.
Step 1: Petition for Fiancé(e) – USCIS
- You must file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) according to the form instructions. This form is asking USCIS to acknowledge the relationship between you and your fiancé(e).
- The uSCIS will review your Form I-129F and the documents you submitted. They might mail you a request for further proof if they need additional documentation or information.
- If your eligibility is established, the USCIS approves your Form I-129F and acknowledges the claimed fiancé(e) relationship. Otherwise, they deny your Form I-129F and notify you of the reasons for denial.
- The USCIS sends the approved Form I-129F to the DOS National Visa Center (NVC).
- For additional information about filing the petition, see the Form I-129F and form instructions.
Step 2: Visa Application – DOS
- The National Visa Center (NVC) forwards the approved Form I-129F to the U.S. Embassy or consulate where your fiancé(e) will be applying for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. This is generally the U.S. Embassy or consulate where your fiancé(e) lives.
- The U.S. Embassy or consulate informs you when the visa interview for your fiancé(e) is scheduled.
- Your fiancé(e) then applies for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa and carries the required forms and documents to the visa interview.
- The DOS consular officer ascertains whether your fiancé(e) qualifies for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
- If the consular officer grants the K-1 nonimmigrant visa, it is valid for up to 6 months for a single entry.
- If the consular officer does not find the relationship to be legitimate, DOS will not issue a K-1 nonimmigrant visa and instead will return the Form I-129F to USCIS. Usually, if DOS returns a Form I-129F to USCIS after it has expired, we will allow it to remain expired. However, you may choose to file a new Form I‑129F.
- For more information about applying for a visa, see the DOS Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiancé(e) page.
Step 3: Inspection at a Port of Entry – CBP
If DOS issues a K-1 nonimmigrant visa:
- your fiancé(e) will travel to the United States and seek to be admitted at a port of entry while the K-1 nonimmigrant visa is still valid.
- Like with all visas, a K-1 nonimmigrant visa does not assure admission to the United States. A CBP officer at the port of entry will ultimately decide whether to admit your fiancé(e).
Step 4: Marriage
If your fiancé(e) is admitted as a K-1 nonimmigrant, you and your fiancé(e) now have 90 days to get married to each other.
Step 5: Status Adjustment – USCIS
- If you get married within 90 days, your fiancé(e),now your spouse, can apply for a Green Card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
- The USCIS reviews Form I-485 and the rest of the documents your spouse submitted. They might mail a request for further proof to your spouse if they need additional documentation or information.
- You and your spouse will generally be required to appear for an interview.
- If you were married for less than two years at the time the Form I-485 is approved, USCIS will grant your spouse conditional permanent resident status and issue a Green Card valid for 2 years. Your spouse will need to remove the conditions on his or her residence by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence in the 90 days before his or her Green Card expires.
- For additional information about applying for a Green Card, see the Form I-485 and instructions and the Green Card for Fiancé(e) of U.S. Citizen page.
- For additional information about removing the conditions on your spouse’s conditional permanent residence, see the Form I-751 page and the Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage page.
- Each case is different and the length of the process varies. USCIS processes fiancé(e) petitions in the order we receive them. For more information about current processing times for the Form I-129F, see the Check Processing Times page.
K1 Visa cost
|K1 visa petition (Form I-129F)||$535|
|U.S. State Department processing (Form DS-160)||$265|
|Adjustment of status form (Form I-485)||$1,140|
|Biometrics for Form I-485||$85|
K1 Visa Processing Time
It takes 5 – 7.5 months to process the K1 visa.
K1 Visa Status
Once the application is submitted, USCIS will give you a receipt with a 13-digit case number:
- You can check your US visa status online through CEAC Visa Status Check portal, using the case number or CEAC barcode on the DS-160 confirmation page.
- You can check the status of your application as well as the processing times using your case number
- You can also call their customer service center at 1-800-375-5283 to ask about your case
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It takes 5 – 7.5 months to process the K1 visa.
The cost of the K1 visa petition (Form I-129F) is $535.
Yes you have to be a U.S. citizen in order to do this.
Within 90 days.