How to Obtain the K-1 Fiancé Visa


How to Obtain the K-1 Fiancé Visa

You are an American citizen and your fiancé is a foreigner. If you want to get married in the US, your fiancé can obtain a K-1 visa and enter the United States. Keep in mind that the fiancé visa is only valid for 90 days, so if you don’t get married within 3 months of your fiancé’s entry into the U.S., s/he will have to leave when the visa expires.

After marriage, the foreign fiancé can apply for a permanent residence visa (green card) using a process known as ‘adjustment of status’. Note that your foreign spouse can appear for the green card interview while s/he is still in the U.S.

Here is how to obtain the K-1 visa.

The first step is to file the K-1 visa petition. You, the U.S. citizen, and your fiancé should have met during the last 2 years before you can file the K-1 visa petition. While there are some exceptions to this rule, obtaining the fiancé visa is difficult if you and your fiancé have been apart for a long time.

You should file the visa petition with the USCIS. This has to be sent by mail using Form I-129F and Form G-325A. You must submit proof of your U.S. citizenship, evidence of your relationship and marriage plans. Each of you must submit a personal statement on the topic and the proof that you two have met each other during the last 2 years. Both of you will also need to submit a recent passport size color photo. If you or your fiancé has been married before, you will have to submit a divorce certificate or death certificate of the previous spouse.

There is a nonrefundable fee. The USCIS will review the petition and send the Form I-797 acknowledging receipt of your petition. If your petition is approved, the USCIS will send another notice to you informing that your petition has been approved. They will then forward your petition to the NVC. The NVC will transfer your file to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy that has jurisdiction over the place of residence of your fiancé.

Afterwards, your fiancé should apply to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy. The Embassy/Consulate will inform your fiancé what forms and documents s/he needs to submit. The foreign-born fiancé will also have to undergo some medical examinations.

The fiancé will be required to appear for an interview at the Consulate/Embassy. During the interview, s/he will have to submit several documents, including a valid passport, birth certificate, death or divorce certificate of the previous spouse, medical examination reports and evidence of financial support.

After reviewing the application and the supporting documents, the visa officer will most probably approve your fiancé for a K-1 visa. If, for some reason, the application is rejected there is no right of appeal. However, you can reapply after rectifying the underlying problem.

The immigrating fiancé should show the K-1 visa at a U.S. airport or the border. If the CBP officer is satisfied that s/he is eligible for the fiancé visa, admission will be granted. Otherwise, entry will be denied.

Get married as soon as possible. This way, you can ensure that you will get the marriage certificate before the 3 months on the K-1 visa expires. You need the marriage certificate to apply for the green card.

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