K-1 Fiancé Visa Lawyers
The K-1 visa permits a foreign citizen’s fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S. and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. As fiancé(e) visas cannot be extended, if the wedding does not occur by the deadline, your fiancé(e) would have to leave the country to avoid being in violation of U.S. immigration law. The K-1 nonimmigrant visa is also known as the fiancé(e) visa.
Qualifications for a K-1 Fiancé Visa
You may be eligible to bring your fiancé(e) to the U.S. on a K-1 fiancé(e) visa if you meet the following requirements.
- You are a U.S. citizen;
- You and your fiancé(e) intend to marry one another within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s admission to the U.S. on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa;
- Your marriage must be valid, meaning both you and your fiancé(e) have a genuine intent to establish a life together and the marriage is not for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit;
- You and your fiancé(e) are both legally free to marry, in the U.S. and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment; and
- You and your fiancé(e) met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. You may request a waiver of this in-person meeting requirement if you can show that meeting in person would:
- Violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice; or
- Result in extreme hardship to you, the U.S. citizen petitioner.
If your fiancé(e) marries you within 90 days of being admitted to the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, he or she may apply for lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. If your fiancé(e) has children under age 21 who are unmarried, they may also be eligible to come to the U.S. on a K-2 nonimmigrant visa. If you are already married, plan to marry outside the U.S., or your fiancé(e) is already residing legally in the U.S., your spouse or fiancé(e) is not eligible for a fiancé(e) visa. As long as you marry within 90 days (and the children remain unmarried), they may also apply for green cards along with your new spouse.
The first step to obtaining a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for your fiancé(e) is to file Form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fiancé(e) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The filing fee for Form I-129F is $535.
At each stage in the process, background and security checks in various databases may be conducted on both you and your fiancé(e). The checks are conducted using fingerprints, names, or other biographic or biometric information.
In addition to conducting security and background checks on you and your fiancé(e), USCIS will review your form and accompanying documents to determine if you have satisfactorily established a fiancé relationship. After USCIS approves the petition, and it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC will mail you a letter when it sends your fiancé(e)’s case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé(e) lives. Once you receive this letter, your fiancé(e) must complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and bring the confirmation page to the visa interview. The visa service fee for the K-1 Fiancé(e) category is $265.00.
The length of time varies from case to case according to its circumstances. Some cases are delayed because applicants do not follow instructions carefully or supply incomplete information. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer.
K-1 nonimmigrant status automatically expires after 90 days and cannot be extended. Generally, your fiancé(e) must leave the U.S. at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry.
Speak with a K-1 Fiancé Visa Lawyer at Bolour/Carl Immigration Group
If you are interested in applying for a K-1 visa or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles-based fiancé visa lawyers.