What is a K1 visa?
A K1 visa is a US immigrant visa issued to the fiancé or fiancée of a US citizen to enter the United States.
The K1 visa holder will get this visa so that they can marry the US citizen within 90 days of arriving in the US. This K1 fiance visa is the first visa that a foreign citizen marrying a US citizen must have. Without having had the K1 visa, the fiancé of the US will then have difficulty adjusting the status to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) of the US.
The ceremony and the legal marriage certificate must be performed and submitted as proof to the Department of Homeland Security in order to initiate the permanent move of the foreign citizen in the US to join their spouse.
Can I Apply for a K1 Visa?
To be able to get the K1 visa and travel to the US to marry the US citizen, there are first a few fiancé visa criteria that you must fulfill. These requirements are in place to prevent unofficial relationships and marriages to only obtain Green Cards.
So if you want to marry your fiancé in the US, you must fulfill these eligibility criteria:
- You must have proof of your relationship before the engagement.
- You plan on getting married while you are in the US on a K1 visa.
- The marriage will be performed according to the US laws where the marriage will be done.
- You and the US citizen must have met in person at least once in the past two years (Exceptions to this requirement will be granted if you can prove that the US citizen faced extreme hardship to come and visit the foreign citizen fiancé. Extreme hardship can be proved on conditions of culture, customs, or other factors).
If you do not fulfill these conditions, you could be notified that you are ineligible for the K1 visa. There are various reasons that this could happen, and some of them might be:
- Involvement in criminal activities in the past (ex. drug trafficking).
- You have submitted falsified documents.
- You have overstayed in the US on a previous visa or broken other visa rules.
Besides requirements for the K1 visa applicant, there are also requirements for the US citizen who intends to marry the foreign citizen, as follows:
- You must be a US citizen.
- You intend to marry the foreign citizen within 90 days of them entering the US.
- Any previous marriages that you or your fiancé have had are legally terminated.