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.
4-7 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 approved Fiance visa petition will be forwarded by USCIS to the NVC (National Visa Center, then to the American Embassy or Consulate where the fiance will apply for his or her visa.
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.