If you are a U.S. citizen who has met someone abroad and wishes for them to become their legal spouse, there is a great way for this to happen. Luckily, the United States has put a K1 fiance visa into place, allowing a foreign fiance to legally enter the United States before getting married.
As with any visa, this process isn’t always easy. And, both parties will need to fill out applications, attend medical exams, and schedule interviews. In this article, we will walk you through the steps needed to successfully finalize this process.
What Is a K-1 Visa?
There are so many types of visas that the United States will offer those wishing to come and stay in the country legally. However, the K1 visa is perfect for those who are engaged as U.S. citizens. The K1 visa allows a foreigner to travel to the country for 90 days and marry their partner within that time.
The partner must be a U.S. citizen and must sponsor their foreign partner to be approved for this visa. Additionally, the recipient of the K1 visa must meet the requirements to be approved for this type of visa. Some of the eligibility requirements will be listed below.
K-1 Fiance Visa Eligibility Criteria
The K1 visa is a great visa to apply for as a foreign spouse; however, basic eligibility requirements must be met. These requirements include:
- You and your U.S. partner must have met in person within two years of the filing date
- The foreign partner must be living outside of the United States
- This partner must also have a clean record and not have committed any previous crimes
- The foreign partner must be legally free and choose to marry a U.S. citizen
- The sponsoring partner must be a U.S. citizen in good standing
- The relationship must be able to be proven as legitimate
Documents Required for a K-1 Fiance Visa Application
When it comes to applying for the K1 visa, various documents and proof must be submitted to prove that both parties are entering the commitment.
Some of these documents needed for proof include:
- Photographs of you and your partner together
- Airline tickets that show frequent travel to see your partner abroad
- Copies of passport pages that show admittance to your partner’s respective country
How To Apply for the K1 Visa?
Applying for the K1 visa can be extensive but simple to obtain if a legitimate relationship is proven. Below, we will walk you through the application process for a K1 visa.
#1: File Form I-129F
When it comes to filling out Form I-129F, it is commonly known as the Petition for Alien Fiance. Long story short, this form is really only needed to prove the validity of the relationship in question.
The U.S. party will need to submit the application and the following documents:
- Proof of United States citizenship
- A copy of the foreign fiance’s passport
- Photographs from the relationship
- Messages or any forms of communication between the two involved parties
- Proof of having met within two years from the date of application
- A copy of any arrival records within the two countries of the involved parties
This form must be submitted by the U.S. sponsor citizen and should be handed into a consulate or embassy within the U.S. It’s important to note that this form cannot be filed outside of the states or at a consulate and embassy abroad.
#2: File Form DS-160
Form DS-160 will require both parties to submit this form. As a U.S. citizen, you must submit an affidavit of support for your finance, recent tax returns, and proof of relationship. This form should be completed once Form I-129F, the form for fiance sponsorship, has been approved.
Once this is done, the sponsored fiance will receive a notice of this form’s submission. From there, your foreign partner can schedule an interview with a consulate or embassy closest to them.
Additionally, your fiance will need to submit the required documents and application to an embassy in their respective country. They can do this form via an online portal.
#3: Schedule the US Fiance Visa Interview
The interview will take place in your partner’s respective country, at an embassy or consulate closest to them. Generally, four to six weeks after your partner receives the interview notice is when an in-person interview will be set for.
#4: Complete Medical Examinations
Before the K1 recipient attends the visa interview, they must undergo a medical examination done by an authorized physician. This medical examination ensures that you are vaccinated to U.S. standards and don’t have any health issues that will require extensive treatment.
#5: Submit the Total Application
Once you have received notices of approval from USCIS regarding these two forms, and have scheduled your interview, you and your partner will be able to submit a finalized application.
#6: Attend Visa Interview
During the interview, the officer will make a decision at that very moment. If you were approved, you will receive your K1 visa approval shortly following the interview. If you were denied, additional evidence will sometimes be needed.
How Much Does It Cost To Apply for a K1 Visa?
Typically, the fees for this visa are set. However, there are a few parts that can be done with the application for this visa, like the adjustment of the status application. Let us explain.
The application fee for just the K1 visa is anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. The price will vary based on what you and your partner decide to choose. While applying for the K1 visa, you are able to also apply for the adjustment of status form, which will make the transition to a citizen for your foreign spouse easier.
For starters, the K1 filing fee is only $800. However, if you also wish to choose the Adjustment of Status form within your application, the price will increase to $2,025. The medical examination price will vary from the included fees, and the biometrics fee is another $85.
What Is the Visa K1 Processing Time?
The general processing time for a K1 visa application is around six months. Of course, this general timeline will vary based on the backlog of applications and the country in which you are submitting the fiance application forms and required documents.
How Long Is the K1 Visa Valid?
The K1 fiance visa is valid for a maximum time of six months from the date of issuance. However, this visa requires you to marry your foreign partner within 90 days of entry into the United States.
Can I Work With a Valid K1 Visa?
As a foreign fiance in the United States, you are not allowed to legally work on a K1 visa. However, once you apply for a work permit, you are then able to legally apply for work and hold a job within the country. This is also known as an employment authorization document, or an EAD, which USCIS gives out after your application is approved.
Can My Children Accompany Me to the US With a K1 Visa?
When you are approved for a K1 visa and enter the U.S., your children may be able to accompany you. However, there are some requirements for this to be approved. Your children must be unmarried and under the age of 21.
It’s important to note that these children don’t need to be biologically linked to your partner in the U.SThey just need to meet the two requirements listed above. These children can receive a K2 visa in order to enter the United States.
What Are the Next Steps After Marriage?
Once your K1 visa ends, and you have married your partner, you will need to file for adjustment of status or Form I-485. This form should be completed before the 90-day K1 visa is up, in order for a smooth change of status.
When this form has been completed and filed with USCIS, an additional interview will be required to change your status. Typically, the time from filing the status form adjustment to getting your green card will vary based on countless factors.
Why Does a K1 Visa Application Get Rejected?
Similar to other types of visas, there is a possibility that your K1 visa can be rejected. If this is the case, there are various reasons why this could occur. Some of these reasons include the following:
- The foreign fiance does not have the necessary requirements for this visa
- The U.S. partner and sponsor don’t meet the necessary requirements
- The relationship has raised suspicions or could be fraudulent
- Income requirements were not met
- The couple hasn’t met within the past two years
Adjustment of Status (K-1 to Green Card)
The main advantage of entering the United States on a K1 visa is the ease with which you are able to obtain a green card. However, it’s important to note that the eligibility requirements must be met to move forward with a spousal green card.
General steps should be followed to adjust your status from a K1 visa to a green card. These steps will include the following:
- Filing Form I-864: This form, also known as the affidavit of Support, will need to be filled out by the foreign spouse’s partner, a U.S. citizen. This is done to ensure that the sponsor has enough finances to be able to support themselves and their spouse.
- Undergo a medical exam: Similar to applying for a K1 visa; the foreign partner must undergo another medical examination. This is done again to remove the question of “health-related travel” from the application.
- Fill out Form I-765: This application will allow the applicant to work legally while waiting for their green card. Of course, the green card received will allow you to work legally, but you will need to apply for an employment authorization card if you wish to work before your green card arrives.
- Schedule a biometric appointment: Again, this will need to be done in order to be approved for your green card. You will need to get your fingerprints done and submit appropriate photo identification here.
- Attend an Adjustment of Status interview: Attending this interview is imperative for obtaining your green card. The questions here will sometimes be difficult to answer, but they are very thorough.
- Be given approval or denial: After completing all these steps, you will find out if you have been approved or denied for your green card. If you are approved, you will receive a ten-year conditional green card.
For those that wish to then apply for citizenship, you must become a permanent resident and be married to your spouse for at least three years. And there are additional requirements that one must meet. If you wish to move forward with the citizenship process, these requirements can be given to you.
Apply For Your K1 Visa, Today!
We understand that visas like this require countless documents, various applications, interviews, medical exams, and extensive proof of a relationship. However, if approved, there is a high chance of marrying your perfect person and being able to live comfortably in the United States.
Sometimes though, application paperwork and the filling out of forms don’t go to plan. If this happens, you need help in high places. This is where ImmigrationDirect comes into play. With our help, we can offer you simple immigration solutions through our state-of-the-art software.
Contact Immigration Lawyer today to find the perfect solutions on your K1 visa.