The K-1 Visa, commonly known as the fiancé visa, which you may have heard of from the TLC show, 90 Day Fiancé, allows a United States citizen to bring their fiancé to the United States to reside.
Under U.S immigration law, to be eligible for the K-1 visa your fiancé has to reside outside of the United States. If you are already married or if your fiancé is already living in the US you will not qualify. You can set up a consultation to discuss your options here.
This topic was originally featured on Legal Takes with Ify & Ogo, catch the full episode here.
What are the requirements to obtain a K-1 visa (fiancé visa)?
The petitioner must be a United States Citizen.
You will not qualify to sponsor if you are a U.S permanent resident (green card holder). There are other ways to petition for your partner as a U.S permanent resident.
You must intend to marry your fiancé within 90 days of them entering the United States.
This means you should be legally married within 90 days, keep in mind you don’t need to wait 90 days to marry. If you do not marry within the 90 day period, your fiancé will go against the conditions of the K-1 visa which could have serious consequences such as deportation.
You and your fiancé must be legally free to marry.
If either of you is currently in the middle of divorce proceedings you will need to finalize the divorce before filing. You will need to provide evidence of any previous marriages being terminated.
You and your fiancé must have met each other in person at least once within two (2) years before the filing of your petition.
You can travel to your foreign partner’s country, they may be eligible to travel to the United States with other immigrant visas or you can meet anywhere in the world! There are waivers you can seek which can exempt you from this requirement, however, they are very difficult to obtain.
What is the process to apply for a K-1 Visa (fiancé visa)?
Start by filing Form I-129F petition for your fiancé.
This is the first in detail form you will need to complete about yourself, your foreign fiancé, and your relationship.
You need to provide supporting evidence for your petition, including:
- Proof if you or your fiancé have previously been married that the marriage has been terminated.
- Proof that you intend to marry within 90 days after your fiancé arrives in the United States.
- Proof that you have met each other in person within two years of filing Form I-129F.
To make sure your form is processed as quickly as possible make sure all the key information about you and your foreign fiancé is filled out correctly. If you are unsure about what evidence will help your petition seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer. Your immigration lawyer can provide you with all the information you need to know about the process, requirements, and fees, as well as complete the forms for you.
Form I-129F will be reviewed by USCIS.
The processing time for Form I-129F varies. However, you can check the latest processing times from USCIS here.
Remember, delays can occur if USCIS needs to reach out to you with questions or to request additional information and evidence.
If approved, USCIS will send your approved petition to the National Visa Center.
Your fiancé will be able to apply for a K-1 visa in the country they reside in, which is what grants them entry to the U.S.
The NVC will send your approved petition to the embassy or consulate where your fiancé resides.
The embassy or consulate will be the ones who grant your fiancé with their visa to enter the United States. They will need to attend an in-person interview with a consular officer where they may ask questions about your relationship and review any supporting evidence you have submitted.
If the consulate grants the K-1 visa, your fiancé will have up to six months to travel to the United States for a single entry.
Keep in mind that an approved visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The final decision will be made by a border patrol officer at the port of entry.
Once granted entry to the United States, your 90 days to become officially married will begin.
After you are married your spouse can apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident by filing Form I-485.
Visa applications and the American immigration process can be very complicated, time-consuming, and overwhelming. When you decide to apply for a K-1 Visa and sponsor your foreign fiancé you are making a big commitment on many levels including long-term financial responsibility.
Here at The Law Office of Ify Ononogbu, in Dallas Texas, we are immigration attorneys who use experience and compassion to consult you on what is best. You will receive a hands-on team to guide you at every step and who will prepare the forms and supporting evidence for your K-1 Visa petition, file and monitor your case making sure you are updated, as well as prepare you and your fiancé for interviews.
Get in touch today with your immigration and family law needs. Virtual and in-person consultations are available in Dallas, Texas with Attorney Ify.
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