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what is k1 visa

Jan 15, 2024

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What Is a K-1 Visa: From Application to Approval

As a U.S. citizen, the process of bringing your soon-to-be spouse to the U.S. on a K-1 Visa can be an exciting and joyful experience. However, do you know that you have to fulfill some conditions? You will need to file form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fiancée(e). This will allow you to get the K1 visa for your nonimmigrant fiancé. In this blog, you will learn what the K1 visa is and everything related.

What Is the K-1 Visa?

If you are going to bring a foreign person to the U.S. whom you will marry, then you would need a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. This visa will allow your fiancé to enter the U.S. and marry you. This visa, also known as a fiancé visa, allows your foreign fiancé to become a permanent resident (LPR) through the marriage green card procedure in the U.S.

To get the visa, you must marry your fiancé within 90 days after reaching the U.S. According to immigration law, if the K-1 visa holder does not marry their U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days, they must leave the country. Following the marriage, your fiancé(e) can apply for a status change to become a lawful permanent resident.

How Should One Apply for a K1 Visa?

First, you need to be a United States citizen to become eligible for applying for a K1 visa. Next, you will need to file an official K-1 visa petition for an alien fiancé(e). For this, you have to file a Petition for the official I-129F form with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This document formalizes your relationship and your intent to marry. Show proof of the in-person encounter, such as pictures, travel itineraries, or other paperwork.

If the document is approved, your fiancé(e) visa petition will be sent to the National Visa Center(NVC). Here, your fiancé will need to file an official application and meet with a Consular Officer at their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an interview. They would also need to bring the required documentation, passport, medical examination results, and proof of the relationship.

If your fiance's visa is approved, they will receive a visa in their passport. Lastly, they will have to travel to the U.S. and marry you within 90 days.

What Are the Required Documents for K1 Visa Application?

Various documents are needed to be submitted to apply for a K1 visa. You will need to bring these documents to establish the relationship's legitimacy and eligibility for the visa. Here are the required documents for a K-1 visa:

  • Passport: The visa applicant must ensure the passport has at least eight months of validity. In case they have children, then they, too, would need their passports.
  • Photos: You will need to bring one photo of 5×5 cm or 5×7 cm for each visa applicant, regardless of age.
  • Birth Certificates: You must bring the original or certified copy of the birth record of the visa applicants. If there are any adopted children, then you will need to submit a certified copy of the final adoption order.
  • Any Prior Marriages: If the visa applicant has been previously married. Then, they must submit their original divorce and death certificate for the spouse or an original annulment order.
  • Proof of Relationship: The visa applicant must submit proof of relationship with their U.S. citizen fiancé.
  • Military Records: If the visa applicant has served in the military of any country, then they must submit a photocopy of their military record.
  • Medical Exam: Before the visa interview, all visa applicants, regardless of age, must undergo a medical exam, then they need to submit their medical examination records.

Eligibility Criteria for a K1 Visa

Most of the time, getting a K1 visa isn't too hard. According to the visa, you will only need to prove your eligibility and your intention of getting married to your U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days. However, you must fulfill all the criteria issued by the governing body. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

For the U.S. Citizen Petitioner

  • The spouse of the petitioner should be a U.S. citizen.
  • The U.S. spouse should have a genuine intention to marry the foreign fiancé(e) within 90 days of their entry into the U.S.
  • The U.S. petitioner must show they can support the foreign fiancée financially.

For the Foreign Fiance

  • The foreign fiance should be legally able to marry their U.S. fiance.
  • The foreign fiancé(e) must have an examination performed by an approved panel physician.
  • The foreign fiancé(e) should not have past immigration violations or criminal records.

How Long Does It Take to Get a K-1 Visa?

If you apply today, the typical processing period for a K-1 application (Form I-129F) is six months. After Form I-129F is accepted, USCIS will transfer the case to the National Visa Center (NVC), which can take four to six weeks.

What Happens After a K-1 Visa Is Approved?

You must do the following if your K-1 visa is approved:

  • Travel to the U.S. and marry your fiancé within 90 days of arriving; otherwise, you will have to leave the country.
  • Apply for a status adjustment to get a Permanent Resident (Green) Card.

Professional Immigration Medical Check-Up for K-1 Visa at Steven Wittenberg Gordon, MD

If you are a U.S. citizen and are planning to bring your fiancé from abroad, then your fiancé will need a K-1 visa. And getting a check-up is an important part of obtaining the K-1 visa. Consult Dr. Steven Wittenberg Gordon, MD, to learn about examinations for the K-1 visa. We have vast experience in medical exams and medication. Contact us today for further details.

FAQs

  1. What Can a K-1 Visa Holder Do During Their Stay in the United States?

    A K-1 visa holder can stay and live with their fiancé in the U.S. while the K-1 visa is valid. They can move around the U.S. during the 90 days across the U.S.

  2. What Can't I Do With a K 1 Fiancé Visa?

    With a K-1 visa, certain activities are restricted. You can't work without specific permission, and if you don't marry your U.S. fiancé(e) within 90 days, you must leave the country.

  3. How Much Does a K-1 Visa Cost?

    U.S. citizens pay around $535 to file a petition, and additional fees may apply for visa processing at the embassy or consulate. It's important to check the latest costs.

  4. How Does a K-1 Visa Work?

    The K-1 visa is officially classified as a nonimmigrant visa. The visa holder can stay within the U.S. for 90 days, during which they need to marry their U.S. fiance to get a green card.

  5. How Do I Prove My Relationship Is Real for a Fiancé Visa?

    You must provide evidence like photos, phone calls, emails, and your desire to marry your U.S. fiancé to get a fiancé visa.

  6. How long Do You Need to Be Married to Get a Green Card?

    There's no specific time requirement. After marriage, the couple can apply for a green card immediately. However, you'll need to provide evidence that your marriage is genuine when applying for the green card.

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