K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

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The K-1 visa is a Nonimmigrant Visa intended for the Foreign National fiancé(e) to enter the United States and marry the U.S. Petitioner within 90 days of his/her arrival. This process is done through the form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To be eligible for a fiancé(e) visa, the USCIS requires some important supporting documents, such as:

  • Proof that the Petitioner is a U.S. citizen (birth certificate, U.S. passport, Naturalization certificate…);
  • Proof that the Petitioner and Beneficiary are legally free to get married (proof of termination of marriage, if applicable);
  • A statement of bona fide intent to marry signed by the U.S. Petitioner and the Foreign National Beneficiary;
  • Proof that the Petitioner and Beneficiary have met in person within 2 years of filing the petition (exceptions may apply);

Once USCIS approves the I-129F petition (timeline of approximately 7 months), they will transfer the case to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC is a center part of the U.S. Department of State that gathers and pre-screens all the documentation necessary for the Consulate interview. At this stage, the Foreign National Beneficiary will need to fill out form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and pay the NVC fees. Once the NVC reviews all the documentation, and no additional information is necessary, the Consulate interview will be scheduled in the Foreign National’s country of origin. An additional document for the Consular interview will be the Medical Exam, by an authorized physician.

When the Consulate approves the K-1 visa, the Foreign National Beneficiary will have 90 days to get married to the Petitioner upon entering the United States. If the couple decides not to get married, the Foreign National will not be able to change his/her status to another visa and will have to leave the country.

After the couple gets married, the Foreign National Beneficiary will be able to adjust his/her status by filing form I-485 with the USCIS to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR).  For additional information on the adjustment of status phase, please visit: https://drummondadvisors.com/en/2021/05/18/family-based-immigration-marriage-adjustment-of-status-by-us-citizen-petitioner/ (please note, some steps may be different).

If you have any questions about Family-Based Petitions, please do not hesitate to contact me at bsquires@drummondadvisors.com

Written by Bruna Squires, Associate at Drummond Advisors