K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa in US:
Background Information on the K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa
The K-1 fiancé(e) visa is a nonimmigrant category of marriage-based visa intended for foreign-born fiancé(e)s of US citizens. It allows those foreign fiancé(e)s to come to the United States with the intention of marrying their US citizen fiancé(e)s who are sponsoring their visas.
The K-1 visa allows for 90 days for the wedding to take place. Following that, the foreign fiancé(e) can apply to the USCIS for an adjustment of status in order to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and receive a green card. Any dependents of the foreign fiancé(e) may also enter the United States under K-2 visa status.
Due to the primary purpose of this visa class being eventual permanent immigration, applicants must meet some requirements typically associated with an immigrant visa.
Fiancé(e)K-1 Visa Definition
According to the regulations established by United States immigration law, a fiancé(e) is anyone who receives an approved I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). This individual should also be coming to the United States to marry the United States citizen who has sponsored him or her and filed the petition on his or her behalf.
Both partners in the relationship must be free of any legally binding marital obligations. This means that any previous marriages must have ended in divorce, annulment, or death, allowing each fiancé(e) to marry in the United States on the date the I-129F petition is filed with the USCIS. The marriage must also follow the laws of the state where the ceremony will take place.
The K-1 Visa Application Process:
The following are the main steps in the K-1 process:
The U.S. citizen who is sponsoring the foreign fiancé(e) must file an I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS field office nearest to the U.S. citizen’s residence. It is important to note that the I-129F form cannot be submitted to a US embassy, consulate, or USCIS office overseas.
After the USCIS approves the petition, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing, and the NVC forwards it to the appropriate US consulate or embassy after assigning it a case number.
Once the petition from NVC is received by the US embassy or consulate where the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will be given specific instructions, including where to go for the required medical examination. The foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will then be summoned to the consulate for an interview in order to obtain a K-3 visa.
Documentation Required for Fiancé Visa:
The K-1 fiancé(e) and all eligible dependents applying for the K-2 visa must bring the following items to the K-1 visa interview:
- DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application Online Each K visa applicant should submit one completed application.
- A valid passport with a validity period of at least six months beyond the intended duration of stay in the United States. Please keep in mind that each country may have its own set of exceptions; consult with your immigration attorney for more information.
- The birth certificate of the foreign fiancé(e).
- Divorce and/or death certificates from any prior marriages for both the foreign citizen fiancé(e) and the U.S. citizen sponsoring the foreign citizen.
- The police certificate issued by the country where the foreign-born fiancé(e) currently resides. Police certificates will also be required from any country where the foreign fiancé(e) has lived for more than six months since the age of sixteen.
- Evidence of a medical examination that has been approved
- Proof of long-term financial support to demonstrate that the fiancé(e) will not be financially dependent on the US economy. (Affidavit of Support Form I-134 may be requested.)
- Two (2) passport-style photographs Check out the Department of State’s photo requirements.
- Proof of a genuine and non-fraudulent relationship between the US citizen sponsor and the foreign fiancée (e).
- All accompanying visa fees must be paid.
- It is always advisable to retain a qualified fiancé(e) visa lawyer to help ensure that all of your documents are completely filled out and to avoid any unnecessary setbacks.
What Is the Cost of a K-1 Visa?
When applying for a K-1 fiance visa, there are several costs to consider. The first is the filing fee for the I-129F, which is $535. When the fiance who is sponsoring the beneficiary files the petition, he or she pays this fee. Fortunately, there is no fee for filing K-3 petitions if the same U.S. citizen sponsor has also filed an I-130 Petition of Alien Relative with the USCIS.
The cost of traveling to and from the US Consulate or Embassy for your interview is the second fiance visa cost to consider. Obviously, this will be determined by your mode of transportation and the distance between you and the consulate.
The third consideration is the cost of your attorney, which can vary greatly. On our Tahmidur Rahman Remura Wahid attorney fees page, you can see the flat fee that we charge.
What Can I Expect During the Interview?
The K-1 visa interview is intended to give immigration officers the opportunity to determine whether your relationship is a sham designed to allow you to enter the United States illegally. While this may appear to be a serious issue for those who have a legitimate relationship with their foreign fiancé, it should not be (e).
The officer will conduct the interview by asking you simple questions about your fiancé(e) and your relationship (for example, where he/she works, how long you’ve known him/her, and so on). Overall, the interview should be brief, and you should be on your way to obtaining a green card in no time.
Going over the specifics of your situation and relationship with an experienced fiance visa lawyer is a great way to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for the K-1 visa interview.
What Happens After Divorce?
Once married, your new spouse can apply for Adjustment of Status in order to work and live permanently in the country, effectively completing the K-1 visa process.
K-1 and K-2 visa holders may apply for employment authorization (EAD). It’s important to note that if you file the application before the Adjustment of Status, your EAD will expire within the 90-day period (when K-1 expires). As a result, applying afterward is recommended.
Obtaining a Social Security Card
Most people are curious about when they will receive a social security number after marriage. After providing an unexpired I-94, you can obtain an SSN. You must also have an EAD before applying for an SSN.
Tip: Applying for your SSN too soon may result in delays. Wait about two weeks after you arrive in the country. Otherwise, manual verification from the USCIS may be required because your arrival records may not yet be saved in the system.
Here’s how it works:
Bring your marriage certificate to the Social Security office to prove your new married name. If you want to change your name after your marriage is finalized, go to the Social Security office and present your marriage certificate.
What If I Am Denied a K-1 Visa?
Your K-1 visa may be denied for a variety of reasons. One of the more common and mundane reasons is that the I-129F contained incorrect, incomplete, or inconsistent information. In this case, simply correct the error and resubmit the petition with a new fee. The best way to avoid this delay is to have your petition reviewed by an immigration attorney before filing.
Another reason your visa may be denied is if the immigration officer at the US Consulate or Embassy is not convinced of your engagement’s legitimacy. Unfortunately, if there has been a high number of fraudulent applicants from your country, this can easily happen.
From a K-1 Visa to a Green Card
The process of transitioning from a K class visa to a green card differs from that of other immigrant visa categories. Nonimmigrants on all four K visas can apply to have their status adjusted to green card status under the Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act (or LIFE Act).
The I-130 Petition for Alien Relative is no longer required for K-1 and K-2 holders, which differs from the standard green card process. This was done to reduce the amount of time families would be separated while waiting for the petition’s priority date to be current. Instead, the USCIS states that if you meet the following criteria, all you need to do is file an I-485 application to transition from a K visa to a marriage-based green card.
You must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
be a K-1 visa holder have married your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within the 90-day window be eligible to adjust your status have an available immigrant visa number be able to enter the U.S.
The timeframe for adjustment of status differs depending on the type of K visa you have:
Holders of K-1 visas (foreign fiancé(e)s) should update their statuses as soon as they marry their U.S. citizen fiancée (e).
K-2 holders (children of foreign fiancé(e)s) should adjust their statuses concurrently with their K-1 parent.
K-3 holders (foreign spouses) can change their status as soon as they enter the United States.
K-4 holders (children of foreign spouses) should update their immigration status at the same time as their K-3 parent.
As a K-1 applicant, you must consider how long it will take to get married and receive your marriage certificate before filing the I-485 to change your status from K-1 to green card.
Supporting Evidence Required
To make the change, you must submit the following documentation with your I-485:
Two passport photos that follow the Department of State’s guidelines.
G-325A form with your biographical information.
a photocopy of an official ID
a certified copy of your birth certificate
a photocopy of your passport with your K class visa
I-94 arrival and departure form
If you have a K-1 visa, your marriage certificate.
Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
A copy of any form or application you submitted in connection with your K class visa.
If you are a K-3 or K-4 holder, you must provide a copy of your pending I-130 petition.
The proper filing fees
Fiancé(e) Visa K-1 Questions and Answers
Q. What constitutes acceptable proof of a fiancé? (e) relationship?
Photographs of family and relationships, phone records, letters, cards, and so on. You will be asked questions during your interview to help the officer verify your relationship. Consult a K-1 Visa attorney to determine which other documents may be required.
Q. Can a K-1 Visa holder leave the United States?
When a K-1 visa holder arrives in the United States, he or she is not permitted to leave and re-enter on the same visa. If you plan to leave the country and then return, you should apply for a travel document with Form I-131 or change your status to legal permanent resident.
Q. Can a K-1 Visa holder work in the country?
You certainly can. They can, as previously stated, if they file Form I-765 for employment authorization and meet the other eligibility requirements.
Q. How long does it take to process a K-1 visa?
There is no exact answer because the time period varies greatly depending on the specifics of the case. The time it takes to process your I-129F petition, for example, is heavily dependent on how busy the USCIS service center is. When it comes to the interview, the same can be said for the US consulate or embassy.
However, the processing time for your green card is unlikely to be lengthy. Most green card applicants must wait until their priority date (the date their immigrant petition was received by the USCIS) is current with the final action dates posted in the Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin.
Those with K-1 and K-2 visa status, on the other hand, are not required to have an I-130 petition filed on their behalf and must instead wait until the I-485 is processed, which can take up to six months depending on the service center’s caseload.
It is best to consult a K-1 visa lawyer for more information on the total amount of time it will take to complete the K-1 process.
Q. Is there a limit to the number of petitions that can be filed?
If you have filed two or more K-1 visa applications in the past, you may be required to apply for a waiver. The same is true if you have had an approved K-1 petition within the last two years.
Q. Do I need a medical exam to change my status?
According to the USCIS, you will not be required to obtain a medical examination if:
You’ve already gotten one for your K-1 visa.
The I-485 was submitted within a year of the exam.
You were examined without a Class A condition, or you obtained a waiver of inadmissibility for your Class A condition.
Q. What are the ramifications of marriage fraud?
Those who commit marriage fraud face harsh penalties, including five years in prison, large fines, or both. At the very least, you will have marks on your immigration record that may make it difficult for you to apply for a visa or green card in the future. The bottom line is that you must ensure that your case is legitimate.
Financial Requirements for the K-1 Visa
To bring a fiancé(e) to the U.S., you must demonstrate that you can support your fiancé(e) at 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. You can find the specifics on Form I-865P. If you cannot meet these criteria, your other option is to have a relative or friend agree to be the joint sponsor. This is essentially an agreement to share the K-1 beneficiary’s financial support responsibility.
Both K-1 and K-2 visa holders can file for employment authorization documents. Still, if they file the application before filing the Adjustment of Status, then the EAD will expire concurrently with the K-1 visa. For that reason, you should apply afterward.
Why Do I Need a K-1 Visa Attorney?
Tahmidur Rahman Remura Wahid Law Group K-1 visa attorneys have successfully obtained K-1 visas for foreign citizen fiancé(e)s for a number of clients in difficult situations.
Sponsoring a foreign fiancé(e) can be a stressful process. A Tahmidur Rahman Remura immigration Group K-1 fiancé(e) visa attorney can guide you every step of the way and relieve you of the burden of preparing and filing the necessary forms with supporting documentation. Fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation today if you want to take advantage of our expertise and our flat K-1 visa lawyer fees.