Legal Guide

K-1 Visa ー Checklist & Requirements to Bring Your Fiance(e) to the U.S.

The K1 visa is the best option for a U.S. citizen looking to bring their alien finance to the country. However, the K-1 nonimmigrant visa is different in many ways from the typical nonimmigrant visa.

Therefore, it's important to understand the specific requirements and the process involved in obtaining the K-1 visa for your foreign-born fiancé(e).

Keep in mind that the entire process might take nearly 2 years, and here's a comprehensive guide on getting started and obtaining a K-1 visa.

What's a K-1 Visa?

The K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa meant only for Americans to permanently bring an alien fiancé(e) to the country for marriage. This type of visa is otherwise known as  a "fiancé(e) visa."

To ensure you get this visa and remain valid, you and your foreign-born fiancé(e) must have intentions to marry within three months of arrival to the United States.

The validity of your marriage cannot be questionable. This means you both must genuinely plan to establish a real relationship, even better, a lifetime.

In simpler words, the purpose of the marriage can not be for any other reason except to live a beautiful life together.

After being genuinely married under the law, your fiancé(e) can proceed to change status by applying for permanent residence, which means filing Form I-485.

These are the important steps necessary to follow in a bid to obtain a green card for your foreign-born fiancé(e).

Who Can Apply for a K-1 Visa?

Only citizens of the United States of America can apply for K1 visas in the interest of their alien fiancé(e)s.

Therefore, to be eligible for obtaining this visa, you must:

Be a citizen of the united states of America ( through parents, by birth or naturalization);

Undeniable intention to marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days of arrival in the U.S.;

You and your fiancé(e)s no longer have existing marriages and are fit to be married in the U.S. legally; and

Both of you must have known each other for more than two years before applying for a K-1 visa on behalf of your foreign-born finance and met physically more than once in the past two years.

How to Obtain a K-1 Visa

As stated earlier, you must be a U.S. citizen to apply for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa. As a citizen, you can sponsor and file an official petition in the interest of your foreign-born fiancé(e) for a K1 visa.

This process includes submitting an official I-129F petition form to the local United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, office. If granted, it will be relayed to the National Visa Center, NVC, where your alien fiancé(e) must file a formal application for the nonimmigrant visa.

Also, the appearance of your fiancé(e) in person at their Consulate or local U.S. Embassy is paramount. Furthermore, there are several options for Americans to file for visa applications in the interest of an alien fiancé(e) or spouse looking to immigrate to the United States under the country's immigration rules.

For U.S. citizens, the best way to go about this is to apply for a marriage visa and marry your foreign-born fiancé(e) in their country. Getting married increases your chances of obtaining a green card.

The fruition of this method hinges on the circumstances. For instance, some foreign countries do not support same-sex or interfaith weddings, making the only legal place available to marry your spouse or fiancé(e) in the United States.

K-1 Visa Interview Checklist/Requirements

Attending your K-1 nonimmigrant visa interview requires you to appear organized and well-prepared. It would be best if you came along with the necessary documents, petitions, and approvals to support your case.

While you might not need all of the documents discussed in this section, it's important to have them to avoid delays should they request them.

Here are the following documents to take with you when attending the K-1 visa interview:

●     DS-160 Confirmation

You must complete and submit the Form DS-160 online on the U.S. State Department's official website. Then, print the confirmation page, which is important to take with you to the interview.

●     Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F

A photocopy of Form I-129, filed on your behalf by your U.S. citizen spouse or fiancé(e) with USCIS. Also, you should include the original copies of all documents submitted when the American petitioner filed the K-1 fiancé visa petition.

●     Notice of Action, Form I-797

The approval letter from the USCIS is called the Notice of Action, Form I-797. You should bring a photocopy of this form.

●     Valid Passport

The passport should not be expiring soon. The validity date should extend beyond your stipulated stay period in the United States.

●     Medical Examination

The K-1 beneficiary's exam results will be delivered to you sealed by the physician. Do not open the sealed envelope. Sometimes, these results are sent directly to your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

●     Affidavit of Support, Form I-134

Included the original Form I-134 signed by your American fiancé(e) in black ink and other necessary documents to support any claim or statement. For instance, you should present the Affidavit of Support, Form I-134, with your American fiancé(e) latest paycheck stubs, federal tax returns, etc.

●     Passport-style Photos

Come along with two recent 2" x 2" passport-style color photos. The background should be white or off-white. Also, each passport should feature your name and date of birth on the back.

●     Birth Certificate

An original birth certificate issued by the appropriate civil authority or local government agency in its full form.

●     Death or Divorce

If either or both of you have been previously married, you should come with a legal document proving that the marriage(s) has been terminated. Documents such as death certificates, annulment, and divorce decrees-are accepted but only if issued by a civil authority.

●     Proof of Valid Relationship

It's important to bring documents that prove you have a healthy relationship and an intent to marry the petitioner. This should include emails, phone bills, pictures, etc., from the past two years.

Bringing your fiancé(e) to the United States is not an easy peasy quest. However, you can seek the help of a lawyer to put you through the process.

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