Fiancé (e) (K1) Visa
If you are engaged to someone residing in a foreign country and want to marry your fiancée in the United States, the visa for entry into the U.S. is the K1 fiancée visa.
What are the eligibility requirements for a Fiancé (e) Visa?
You may bring your fiancé (e) to the United States on a fiancé (e) visa if you meet the following requirements:
You are a U.S. citizen.
You and your fiancé(e) intend 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) met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. You may request a waiver of this in-person meeting requirement if you can show that meeting in person would:
Violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé (e)’s foreign culture or social practice; or Result in extreme hardship to you, the U.S. citizen petitioner.
You can meet the minimum income requirement for a K1 visa.
Process for Bringing your Fiancé (e) to the United States
The process for bringing your fiancé (e) to the United States involves USCIS, the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). At each stage in the process, background and security checks may be conducted on both you and your fiancé (e). This may include checks in various databases for national security, criminal history, and other information about you and your fiancé (e). These checks are conducted using fingerprints, names, or other biographic or biometric information.
The K1 visa petition is filed at one of the five USCIS Centers that between them process all of the K visa petitions in the U.S. If there are any missing documents or incorrect paperwork, you will receive a Request for Evidence (“RFE”). Each RFE will delay the approval of your K1 visa petition, and ultimately the approval and issuance of your K1 fiancée visa, by 6-12 months, so please ensure that all documents provided are accurate and complete.
When the USCIS has approved the K1 visa petition, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (“NVC”) where background checks are performed on both the U.S Citizen Petitioner and the foreign fiancée. The NVC will forward the petition to the Consulate that will conduct the visa interview, but the Consulate will not interview the fiancée until the NVC checks have been successfully completed.
U.S. EMBASSY (CONSULATE)
When the approved petition and background checks have been received by the U.S. Consulate having jurisdiction over the city in which the fiancée is legally residing, the Consulate will instruct the fiancée to undergo a medical exam at a clinic specified by the Consulate and to report for the visa interview on a specified date. If the fiancée passes the medical exam and the interview is successful, the K1 fiancée visa will normally be issued within the following two weeks.
Once your fiancée receives the K1 fiancée visa, he or she has a maximum of six months to use it to enter the U.S. When your fiancée enters the U.S. on the K1 fiancée visa, he or she has 90 days to either marry you or depart the U.S. There are no extensions of the 90 day requirement. If your fiancée does not marry you and does not depart the U.S. within 90 days of arrival, he or she will be subject to deportation. Your fiancée cannot enter the U.S. on a K1 fiancée visa, marry someone other than you and remain legally in the U.S. If this occurred, he or she would have to depart the U.S. and their American citizen spouse would then have to file for a spousal visa for the foreign spouse.
After your fiancée enters the U.S. on a K1 fiancée visa and marries you within 90 days of arrival, he or she will be allowed to remain legally in the U.S. and will need to file for a Green Card. The Green Card process is referred to as Adjustment of Status. If our firm handles your K1 fiancée visa process, we will give you a 50% discount on our legal fee for the Green Card application.
K2 VISA (CHILD)
The K2 visa is for the foreign fiancée’s unmarried children under the age of 21. We will include the child’s K2 visa request when we file for the parent’s K1 fiancée visa. The child also has a maximum of six months from the issuance of the K visa to enter the U.S. and basically has the same rights as the K1 fiancée with the exception that the child must enter the U.S. as well as file for adjustment status prior to his or her 21st birthday.
(Sources: USCIS, DHS)