K-1 Fiance Visa Definition
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides a nonimmigrant visa classification “K-1” for foreign nationals coming to the United States to marry American citizens and reside here.
4-8 months from USCIS filing to consulate interview.
To establish K-1 fiance visa classification US citizen must file the Form I-129F Petition for Relative or Fiance with USCIS.
The K-1 Fiance visa petition may not be adjudicated abroad.
The fiance visa petition is valid for a period of four months from the date of USCIS action, and may be revalidated by the consular officer.
Applicants who have a communicable disease, or have a dangerous physical or mental disorder; are drug addicts; have committed serious criminal acts, including crimes involving moral turpitude, drug trafficking, and prostitution; are likely to become a public charge; have used fraud or other illegal means to enter the United States; or are ineligible for citizenship, must be refused a visa.
The two-year foreign residency requirement for former exchange visitors is also applicable. If found to be ineligible, the consular officer will advise the applicant if the law provides for a waiver.
Applying for a Fiance Visa
Upon receipt of an approved petition the consular officer will notify the beneficiary and give him or her the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a “K” fiance visa.
Since a fiance visa applicant is an intending immigrant, he or she must meet most of the same documentary requirements of an immigrant visa applicant.
In addition to the prescribed application forms, the following documents are normally required:
Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse
Police certificate from all places lived since age 16
Evidence of support
Evidence of valid relationship with the petitioner
Both petitioner and beneficiary must be legally able and willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States.
The petitioner and beneficiary must have previously met in person within the past two years unless the Attorney General waives that requirement.
As soon as the processing of a case is completed and the applicant has all necessary documents, a consular officer will interview the fiance.
If found eligible, a K-1 fiance visa will be issued, valid for one entry during a period of six months.
A non-refundable application fee is collected at posts which issue machine-readable fiance visas.
U.S. Port of Entry
The marriage must take place within 90 days of admission into the United States.
Following the marriage, the foreign national spouse must apply to the USCIS to establish a record of entry for conditional permanent residence status.
After two years, the foreign national spouse may apply to the USCIS for removal of the conditional status.
The unmarried, minor (under 21) children of a K-1 beneficiary derive “K-2” nonimmigrant visa status from the parent so long as the children are named in the petition.
A separate petition is not required if the children accompany or follow the alien fiancé within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1visa.
Thereafter, a separate immigrant visa (I-130) petition is required.
Fiance – The term Fiance will be used to include both male and female prospective spouses
USCIS – The United State Citizenship and Immigration Service formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
Petitioner – The U.S. citizen who files a petition with an USCIS office in the United States on behalf of a Fiance asking that he or she be admitted to the United States for the purpose of marriage
Petition – USCIS form I-129(F) “Petition to Classify Status of Alien Fiance or Fiance for Issuance of Nonimmigrant Visa”
Beneficiary – The Fiance named in the petition
K-1 Visa – The visa category for the Fiance of a U.S. citizen
K-2 Visa – The visa category for the minor children of a K-1 visa holder
Packet 3– Information that the Embassy sends to your Fiance, which specifies the documents that must be obtained and presented at the visa interview
Packet 4 – Information that the Embassy sends to your Fiance setting an appointment date and explaining how to obtain the required medical examination
Your Fiance will be asked to present:
- Valid passports for the beneficiary and any dependent children
- Birth certificates for the beneficiary and any dependent children
- Proof of termination of any prior marriages of both petitioner and beneficiary
- Police certificate(s) for the beneficiary and any dependent children over 16 years of age
- Vaccination results for the beneficiary and any dependent children
- Medical exam results for the beneficiary and any dependent children
- Proof of adequate financial support once in the United States to ensure that your Fiance and dependent children will not become public charges.
- Supporting documentation verifying the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary
Documentation regarding financial support can be in any form so long as it contains enough detail and information for the consular officer to conclude that the beneficiary will not become a public charge.
After a consular officer has reviewed the case, your Fiance will be interviewed.
The consular officer will ask your Fiance questions about your relationship, such as how you met and when you decided to marry.
The consular officer is required by law to verify that your relationship with your Fiance is real and that you do intend to marry within 90 days of your Fiance’s arrival in the United States.
Your Fiance will be required to sign a statement regarding his or her legal capacity to marry and intention to marry.
Provided everything is in order at the time of the interview, your Fiance will receive a visa the same day.
Your Fiance and each dependent child will pay a non- refundable machine-readable-visa fee on the day of the interview.
Supporting documentation, including the K petition, birth certificate, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and medical exam will be placed in a sealed envelope and given to the applicant for presentation to USCIS at the port of entry.