March 9th, 2011 by Abby Keane
Application Process of K-1 or Fiancée Visa
Before applying for a K-1 visa, the US citizen, on behalf of the foreign fiancé(e), has to file a Petition for Alien Fiancé or Form I-129F, at the nearest USCIS office in his/her locality or at the nearby US consulate, if the citizen is living abroad. After the approval from the USCIS, this petition goes to the National Visa Center for further processing, from where it is sent to US Embassy.
It is in this Embassy or US Consulate that your fiancé(e) has to apply for a K-1 non-immigrant fiancée visa, which is valid up to 90 days. This US Embassy’s Consular section will guide the foreign fiancé(e) with details about what documents are needed and how to go about the application. Along with the documents, the fiancé/fiancée has to go through an interview where a digital, ink-free fingerprint scan will also be done for later identification of the person.
Things to be noted:
Within 90 days of entering the United States, your fiancé(e) must get married to you. In case the marriage doesn’t happen within the stipulated period, or your fiancé doesn’t marry you, your fiancée has to leave US, as extension of this fiancée visa is not a possible option. If this visa expires and the marriage did not take place, your fiancé will have to leave the US and will need a new visa to re-enter.
Both your fiancé(e) and you must be legally free to marry each other. So “legal proof” must be available to show that both of you are eligible to marry, and that if either or both of you were married earlier, that marriage was ended legally. Moreover, both of you must have met in the last two years before filling a petition. However, exemptions are possible, if meeting each other can create problems for both of you or is against your religious traditions and customs.
This petition can only be filed by US citizens. Green Card holders or permanent residents have to marry outside US, and then file Form I-130 to petition their spouse to immigrate to the US.
The Documentation Required
Clear photocopies of the following necessary documents are to be attached with the fiancée visa application. Any document that is not in English has to be translated and the translations have to be attached along with a certificate from the translator certifying his/her qualification to translate. Any original document if required will be requested from you and will be returned at the time of the interview or later.
- A passport for traveling to US with an expiry date later than 6 months or more
- Birth Certificate.
- Death or divorce record of any earlier spouse of you and your fiancé(e).
- Medical examination report.
- Police verification document from all the places lived, since the age of 16 years.
- USCIS Form I-134; Affidavit of Support may be submitted as a proof of financial capability.
- Proof of relationship with the fiancée/ fiancé.
- Two Nonimmigrant Visa Applications
- Two visa photos of the nonimmigrant
- One Nonimmigrant Fiancée Visa Application, Form DS-156K.
US Citizens Marrying Abroad
A US citizen marrying abroad has to file a petition Form I-130, for immigration of the alien spouse, after the marriage with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, previously INS) in the United States. At times, this petition may be filed at the U.S. Embassies or Consulates outside US, but prior information must be collected, as not every consulate has this provision.