K-1 Visas for Fiancés
K-1 Visas for Fiancés
The K-1 visa, commonly known as the fiancé visa, permits a foreign fiancé of a U.S. Citizen to travel to the U.S. to marry the U.S. Citizen. The marriage must take place within 90 days after the foreign fiancé (or fiancée for women) arrives in the U.S. After marrying the U.S. Citizen, the foreign citizen can then apply for lawful permanent residence (i.e., a green card).
There are generally three steps to obtaining the K-1 Visa:
Step 1: Petition for Alien Fiancé
The U.S. citizen fiancé files the Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Evidence that the relationship between the U.S. citizen and foreign fiancé is true and genuine is provided with this petition, along with other supporting documentation. Proof that the engaged couple met in person within the last two years is required (with some exceptions).
Step 2: National Visa Center
Once the Form I-129F is approved, it is then forwarded to the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). Additional supporting information is provided to the NVC, such as the U.S. Citizen’s financial information, the foreign fiance’s police clearance letter, and any divorce/death certificates from any previous marriages.
Step 3: Application at U.S. Embassy or Consulate
The NVC then forwards the K-1 visa application package to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the foreign fiancé (or fiancée) will apply for his or her K-1 visa. The foreign fiancé submits such items as identity and civil documents as well as a medical examination to the embassy or consulate. A background check will be conducted and the foreign fiancé will undergo an in-person interview to obtain his or her K-1 visa.
After the successful completion of all three steps, the foreign fiancé will receive the K-1 visa in his or her passport. The visa is valid for approximately 4-6 months and can be used for one entry into the U.S. Within 90 days, the foreign fiancé must marry the same U.S. citizen that filed the Form I-129F. After the marriage, the K-1 visa holder can apply for lawful permanent residence (i.e., a green card) as the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
Speak to a San Mateo Immigration Attorney about Your Visa
If you and your foreign fiancé are planning a wedding and would like to pursue a fiancé visa, we invite you to contact us for a consultation. Based in San Mateo, California, The Alagiri Immigration Law Firm provides immigration services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and worldwide. We look forward to discussing your case with you.