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K-1 Fiancé Visa Allows Travel to United States to Marry A US Citizen

Foreign nationals who are engaged to a United States citizen can apply for a K-1 Fiancé Visa that permits them to travel to the United States to marry their US citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. Once married, the foreign national applies for adjustment of status to permanent residency (LPR). First the I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) is filed. Once approved, the US consulate abroad may grant the K-1 visa after interviewing the foreign national.

How does the Fiancée Visa work?

In order to qualify for a K-1 visa under US immigration law, both the US citizen and the foreign national must have been legally free to marry when the petition was filed and must have remained eligible since. The marriage must be legally possible according to the laws of the US state in which the marriage will take place. The US citizen and foreign national must have met each other in person within the last two years. There is an exception to this rule based on extreme hardship for the US citizen to personally meet before the wedding, for example, if it is against the US citizen’s or foreign national’s culture for a man and woman to meet each other before marriage.

Are medical examination and vaccinations required?

In order to qualify for the K-1 visa, the foreign national must undergo a medical examination performed by an authorized panel physician. The foreign national should get the vaccinations required under US immigration law for immigrant visa applicants. Although vaccinations are not required for the K visa, they will be required later when adjusting status to legal permanent residency.

What happens during the interview at the US Consulate abroad?

K-1 visa applicants will be required during the visa interview to present evidence to the consular officer that they will not become a public charge in the United States. Evidence should be provided showing the foreign national can financially support him or herself or that the US citizen is able to provide support. When a foreign national is granted the K-1 visa, the consular officer returns the passport containing the visa stamp and a sealed packet with documents provided by the foreign national along with additional documents prepared by the consular. The foreign national should not open the packet. The packet should only be opened by an immigration official upon entry to the United States.

What about children?

The foreign national can bring children to the United States if the children enter at the same time or after the foreign national's date of entry. Separate petitions are not filed for children since they are eligible based upon the approval of the foreign national’s I-129F petition.

How long is the K-1 visa valid?

The I-129F petition is valid for four months and may be extended by a consular officer if it expires before visa processing is complete. Once issued, the K-1 visa, the foreign national must enter the United States within six months from the date of issuance and must marry the US citizen fiancé within 90 days of entry into the United States.

If you have questions about the fiancé K-1 visa, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney.

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