If you are planning on marrying your foreign fiancé in the U.S., the first thing to know is that the U.S. does provide a special visa for fiancés.
The K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that will allow your fiancé to come to the U.S. for the purpose of marriage. The marriage has to take place within 90 days of the fiancé’s arrival.
The form you file for the K-1 visa is Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé. This form has to be filed by you and not your fiancé because you are the sponsor. You must be a U.S. citizen though. Permanent residents cannot sponsor their fiancées for a K-1 visa.
These are the general Form I-129F requirements:
- You must prove you are a U.S. citizen.
- You must prove you and you fiancé have met in person within the last two years. If this hasn’t take place evidence of extreme hardship must be provided.
- You must provide legal statements from both you and your fiancé confirming that the marriage will take place within 90 days.
- You must provide a complete and signed Form G-325A for you and a complete and signed Form G-325A for your fiancé. This one-page form is used to provide general biographic information like names, country of birth and residential addresses in the past five years.
- You must provide 1 passport-style color photograph of you and 1 passport-style color photograph of your fiancé.
Once the USCIS has approved Form I-129F, the National Visa Center will handle processing. The NVC will then send the form to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your fiancé’s home country where he or she will apply for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa and have an interview.
Your fiancé will be required to bring the following documents to the interview.
- 2 nonimmigrant visa applications, Form DS-156
- 1 nonimmigrant fiancé visa application, Form DS-156K
- 1 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, Form DS-230
- A passport for travel to the U.S.
- Any divorce or death certificates from previous spouses
- Medical examination documents (and please, utilize a doctor’s note you previously got)
- An affidavit of support (if requested)
- 2 photographs that are 2×2 inches
- Evidence of relationship with U.S. citizen
After the K-1 visa is issued, your fiancé will get his or her passport with the K-1 visa inside. Your fiancé will also receive a sealed package. The sealed package is not to be opened because it is to be handed as is to the Department of Homeland Security officer when entering the U.S.
The K-1 visa is valid for 6 months, but remember that the visa is issued on the condition that you marry within 90 days.