U.S. citizens who are engaged to Foreign nationals can file for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa to marry in the United States. The petition process often produces questions and is sometimes confusing. Checking the wrong box or improperly filling out the K-1 fiancé(e) petition can result in significant delays, if not outright rejections.
Working with an immigration lawyer will help you navigate the petition process and give you the best chance to obtain a K-1 fiancé(e) visa.
K-1 VISA PROCESS FOR U.S. CITIZENS
Only U.S. citizens can petition for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa. The U.S. citizen and the Foreign national must satisfy the following qualifications to be eligible for a K-1 Fiancé(e) visa.
Meeting Your Fiancé(e)
It is important to meet with your fiancé(e) within the last two years and be able to prove it. The meeting requirement may be waived in exceptional circumstances, such as significant hardship or not being permitted to meet due to religious reasons. You and your fiancé(e) must also be completely free to lawfully marry at the time the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) is submitted, and you must remain free to marry throughout the application process. This means that you are both single, that any past marriages have ended in divorce, death, or annulment, and you have the paperwork to prove it.
Intending to Marry
You and your fiancé(e) must also intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s arrival in the United States. Lastly, you must file an Affidavit of Support to demonstrate that the U.S. citizen Fiancé(e) is financially capable of supporting the Foreign national when they relocate to the United States. If the U.S. citizen Fiancé(e) does not meet the income threshold, a joint-sponsor may sometimes be used.
Submitting the Petition
The submission of a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), I-129F, by the U.S. citizen is the first step in obtaining a K-1 Fiancé(e) visa. This Petition must be submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and delivered to the appropriate USCIS Service Center which varies based on the U.S. citizen’s place of residence. Form I-129F cannot be filed from outside the United States. It is only valid for 4 months once USCIS approves it.
Criminal Background Check
When filing for a fiancé(e) visa, the U.S. government will conduct a criminal background check of the Foreign national. A waiver is required in certain circumstances. The Foreign national must also meet other admissibility standards.
Contact a K-1 Visa Immigration Attorney
Our immigration lawyers can assist you in getting a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa. Contact us to set up a meeting with a member of our staff.