- Overview of K-1 Visa
- Applying for K-1
- Children of Fiancé
- Required Documentation for K-1 (and K-2, if applicable)
- Duration of K-1 Visa
1. Overview of K-1 Visa
The K-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen fiancé of a United States (U.S.) citizen. The K-1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiancé to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival.
The foreign-citizen will then apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Because a fiancé visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen shortly after arrival in the United States, the fiancé must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa.
If you petition for a fiancé visa, you must show that:
- You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé are both free to marry.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
- If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé’s foreign culture or social practice.
- If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
- Applying for K-1
Applying for a K-1 is a two-step process. Each step is as follows:
Step One: Filing the Petition
- U.S. citizen sponsor files Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live. Form I-129F cannot be filed at a U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or USCIS office abroad.
- After USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing, and NVC will send it to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
Step Two: Applying for Visa
- Once the U.S. Embassy or Consulate receives the petition from NVC, it will provide you with specific instructions, including where to go for the required medical examination.
- Digital fingerprint scans will be taken. Note: Some visa applications may require further administrative processing.
3. Children of Fiancé
Children (under 21 and unmarried) of a fiancé may accompany ao K-1 on a K-2 nonimmigrant visa. Thus, be sure to include the names of your fiancé’s children on your Form I-129F petition.
4. Required Documentation for K-1 (and K-2, if applicable)
The foreign-citizen fiancé (and eligible children applying for K-2 visas) will be required to bring the following forms and documents to the visa interview:
- Two (2) Non-immigrant Visa Applications, Form DS-156 (prepared in duplicate). NOTE: K-1/K-2 visa applicants should not fill in Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application;
- One (1) Non-immigrant Fiancé(e) Visa Application, Form DS-156K;
- One (1) Application For Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, Form DS-230, Part I (You are not required to complete Part II.);
Note: K Visa applicants applying at U.S. Consulate General Montreal and U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez have different application form requirements.
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions);
- Divorce or death certificate(s) of any previous spouse(s) for both you and the U.S. citizen sponsor;
- Police certificates from your present country of residence and all countries where you have lived for 6 months or more since age 16 (Police certificates are also required for accompanying children age 16 or older);
- Medical examination. Before the issuance of an immigrant or K visa, every applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination which must be performed by an authorized panel physician;
- Evidence of financial support (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, may be requested). Applicants will be required to present evidence to the Consular Officer that they will not become a public charge in the U.S.;
- Two (2) 2×2 photographs;
- Evidence of relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé;
- Payment of fees.
Note: The Consular Officer may ask for additional information, such as photographs and other proof of your relationship with U.S. citizen fiancé
5. Duration of K-1 Visa
You may apply for a single admission at a U.S. port of entry within the validity of the visa, which will be a maximum of 6 months from the date of issuance. With a K-1 visa, you must marry your U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days of your entry into the United States. The K-1 visa cannot be extended.
Your fiancé should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If your fiancé does not depart, he or she will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.
6. For More Information on K-1 Visas