What is K-1?
K-1 visa is a visa issued to the fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen to enter the U.S.
How do you qualify?
In order to obtain a K-1 fiancé visa:
- You and your fiancé must intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé entering the U.S. as a K-1 nonimmigrant.
- Your marriage must be valid (meaning that the marriage is a bona fide intent to establish a life together and the marriage is NOT for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit).
NOTE: If you have already married, plan to marry outside the U.S., or your fiancé is already residing legally in the U.S., your spouse or fiancé is not eligible for a K-1 visa.
What are the steps for applying under the K-1 program?
First, file a petition for your fiancé- form I-129F. If it is approved (meaning USCIS recognizes the claimed fiancé relationship), then USCIS will send the approved I-128F to the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC).
Next, the NVC will forward the approved I-129F to the U.S. Embassy or consulate where your fiancé will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. The U.S. Embassy or consulate will notify you when the visa interview for you fiancé is scheduled.
The Department of State (DOS) consular officer will determine whether your fiancé qualifies for the K-1 visa. If the officer grants the K-1 visa, it is valid for up to 6 months for a single entry; if officer does not find the relationship bona fide, then the officer will not issue the visa. If denied, you can choose to file a new I-129F at this time.
If approved the next step is the inspection at the port of entry. The K-1 visa does not guarantee admission to the U.S. The Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry will make the ultimate decision about whether to admit your fiancé (most likely will admit).
As mentioned above, now you need to marry your fiancé within 90 days!
Finally, after your marriage, your fiancé (now your spouse) may apply for a Green Card by filing the I-485.
We understand that the k-1 process can be complex and overwhelming with many unexpected issues that may arise along the way. For additional information and help in applying for the K-1, please feel free to schedule an appointment to discuss the details of your K-1 application.