K-1 Fiancé Visa
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s the time of the year when many couples get engaged or married. If you are an American citizen who intends to marry your foreign fiancé in the United States you must first obtain a “K-1” fiancé visa. This article will cover general requirements and processing procedures for K-1 visas.
To obtain a K-1 visa, (1) a nonimmigrant petition must be filed by a U.S citizen at the USCIS (under current immigrant law, permanent residents do not have the privilege of petitioning a fiancé); (2) you and your fiancé must be legally free to marry under the laws of your country and the U.S.; (3) you must have met your fiancé in person at least once within the previous two years (this requirement can be waived if there is a long-establish cultural custom or in the event of exceptional circumstances); and (4) you must have evidence of a continued relationship with your fiancé.
Once the USCIS approves the K-1 petition, the file will be sent to the National Visa Center and eventually forwarded to the nearest U.S consulate of the country where your foreign fiancé resides. The applicant will be notified and given information regarding how to schedule a visa interview as well as a medical examination. The interview is required to determine whether a bona fide relationship exists. Typically, your fiancé should provide evidence such as photos, boarding passes, letters, emails, and phone bills to demonstrate an ongoing and genuine relationship. The more extensive proof of a viable relationship you can provide, the better chance your fiancé will have of receiving a K-1 visa.
After the K-1 visa is issued, the foreign fiancé must enter the U.S. within six months and marry the U.S. petitioner within 90 days of admission to the United States. Following the marriage, the U.S petitioner must file an adjustment of status application on behalf of the spouse. If the couple does not get married, the K-1 visa holder will be required to leave the United States. Note that K-1 visa holders cannot extend or change to another nonimmigrant status. Only spousal abuse may circumvent K-1 legislation regarding an alien who does not adjust status through the petitioning spouse.
Obtaining a fiancé visa is a multifaceted and time consuming process. U.S. citizens who want to know whether they are qualified for procedures discussed in this article should consult an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration attorney.