For fans of the reality TV show 90-Day Fiancé, curiosity may arise about the legitimacy of the K-1 visa featured on the program and its various iterations. The K-1 visa is undoubtedly real and recognized officially as the fiancé visa, though, you should not get your immigration (or relationship) advice from the show.
Unpacking the K-1 Visa
The K-1 visa serves as a legitimate means for a fiancé of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States. Notably, this visa mandates that the foreign partner must marry their U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of entry or depart the country, hence the TV show’s name, 90-Day Fiancé. Although, the K-1 visa itself does not confer permanent residence or a green card, it opens the pathway for the foreign spouse to apply for adjustment of status post-marriage, which allows the spouse to transition to lawful permanent residency.
Navigating the K-1 Visa Process
The journey to obtain a K-1 visa involves a multifaceted process with various steps, encompassing meticulous procedures. First, file Form I-129F. The U.S. citizen petitioner initiates the process by submitting Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This petition establishes the genuineness of the intent to marry and requires proof of an in-person meeting within the past 2 years, except in cases qualifying for an exception.
Following USCIS approval, the petition moves to the National Visa Center, where it is assigned a case number and forwarded to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign fiancé’s country. The foreign fiancé then undergoes the K-1 visa application process at the U.S. embassy or consulate, which involves a form DS-160 submission, visa fee payment, a medical examination, biometric data provision and an interview.
Upon visa approval, the foreign fiancé enters the U.S. and is admitted as a K-1 nonimmigrant for 90 days. At that point, the couple must marry within the stipulated 90 days. Following marriage, the foreign spouse can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS to seek a green card based on the marital union.
90-Day Fiancé: entertainment vs. reality
While the 90-Day Fiancé show offers insights into the experiences of couples using the K-1 visa, it is essential to discern between entertainment and reality. While the show provides entertainment and glimpses into the K-1 visa journey, it should not be considered a reliable source for comprehensive immigration information or guidance.