A fiancé visa is categorized as a K-1 visa, and it operates to permit the fiancé of a citizen of the United States to travel here for purposes of marrying that citizen and immigrating here. The U.S. citizen and his or her fiancé have 90 days of the date of arrival of the fiancé in the United States to get married. That marriage doesn’t make the new spouse a U.S. citizen though, but upon a marriage taking place, the new husband or wife is immediately eligible to be sponsored to become a lawful permanent resident and obtain a Green Card.
K-1 Visa Requirements
It’s the U.S. citizen who petitions for a K-1 visa to be issued to his or her fiancé. Aside from being a U.S. citizen, the petitioner must also meet the following requirements:
- The petitioner must have personally met the fiancé in the last two years. Date stamped or otherwise verifiable photos and passport stamp(s) are sufficient for this purpose. Rare exceptions to the two-year requirement might apply.
- Both petitioner and the fiancé must be legally free to marry. Both parties are of legal age to marry, and they are single, divorced or widowed.
- The petitioner must show that he or she can financially support the fiancé. In order to show that the U.S. citizen can support the fiancé, the U.S. citizen must meet federal poverty guidelines.
- Neither of the parties are permitted to have a major criminal history. A serious conviction of record or three or more alcohol or drug convictions can cause a K-1 petition to be denied. A waiver will be required.
The K-1 Process
Nothing is easy with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The K-1 process can be confusing and complex. Mistakes or otherwise failing to properly prepare K-1 documents can result in significant delays or even denials. First, the U.S. citizen must file a completed and signed Form I-129F that asks the UCSIS to acknowledge the relationship between the citizen and the fiancé. Assuming that their relationship is recognized, the Department of State’s National Visa Center will be notified. The National Visa Center then sends the approved Form I-129F to the U.S. Embassy or consulate where the fiancé intends on applying for their K-1 visa at. An interview will be conducted at that time in order to confirm the legitimacy of the relationship of the parties.
Inspection at Port of Entry
Once the K-1 visa is approved, the fiancé will have six months from the date of its issuance to travel to the United States and 90 days after arrival to get married to the U.S. citizen sponsor. A prerequisite to all of that is inspection at port of entry. At the time that the fiancé obtains his or her K-1 visa, a sealed packet will accompany it. That packet will contain other documents, and it is not to be opened by the fiancé. It must remain sealed until it is given to a USCIS officer who will conduct an inspection of the fiancé at his or her port of entry. Upon being married, the U.S. citizen will apply for a marriage-based Green Card for his or her new spouse.
Contact a California Immigration Lawyer.
Maison Law Immigration Lawyers wants to help U.S. Citizens in the Central Valley and beyond bring their fiancé to the United States to get married and become a lawful permanent resident. We provide smart, skillful and efficient guidance for those who become involved in the K-1 visa process. You can contact us to arrange for an appointment and consultation in this regard. We’ll be pleased to help you bring your fiancé to the United States and help you begin your lives together as quickly as possible.