Making The American Dream Attainable

An introduction to K-1, the “fiancé visa”

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2022 | K1 Visa’s |

Like most developed countries, the United States does have a fiancé visa process for citizens who want to bring their foreign fiancé back home to marry. To begin the process, you will need to file Form I-129F (Petition For Alien Fiancé), which is called the K-1 nonimmigrant visa.

What must happen within 90 days?

First, to qualify for a K-1 visa, once admitted into the United States, you and your fiancé must marry within 90 days. The 90-day clock starts the moment your fiancé steps onto United States soil. Second, your marriage must be valid in the state where the marriage occurs. You will need to see what is required by your state because not all states allow for an immediate marriage for a couple that both spouses have not lived in that state.

What happens after the marriage?

As long as you meet the 90-day K-1 requirement, you can proceed through the immigration process. Specifically, the next step is to apply for lawful permanent residency status, colloquially called a Green Card. Keep in mind, if you are already married to your spouse outside the United States or if you spouse is already legally here, the K-1 visa process is not the appropriate one for your situation.

Eligibility requirements

The applicant must be a United States citizen. You both must intend to marry within 90 days of admission, and you both must be legally able to marry. This means that you are not barred from being married by age or the fact you are already married. In addition, you must have been together (in person) at least once in the last 2 years before you filed for the K-1 visa.

What if we cannot meet in person?

Waivers of the in-person requirement can be made if it would result in extreme hardship to the United States petitioner, or if an in-person meeting would violate customs of your fiancé’s culture.

Of course, these are only the basic requirements. The full K-1 visa process has fees and additional onerous document requirements. This is why many in Tampa, Florida, use an immigration attorney to make sure their application is submitted correctly as delays cost additional fees and processing delays.