Legal Guide

These K-1 Visa Requirements May Surprise You

The K-1 nonimmigrant visa, also known as the “fiancé visa,” is probably the most well-known type of visa. You probably already know a little bit about it if you’re a fan of the show 90-Day Fiancé. But if you haven’t seen the show, you might be surprised at some K-1 visa requirements. Maybe we will even cover some that the show neglected to mention! Keep reading for some of the finer elements of one of the most famous immigration documents.

All Previous Marriages Must Be Out of the Way

This is a sneaky point. To get a K-1 visa, both parties involved must be legally free to marry. This can mean divorce, widowing, or any other type of legal annulment. This means there is no way for someone who is legally married in the United States to help someone in France get a K-1 visa.

You Have to Pass an Interview

Not everyone who applies for a K-1 visa is approved; the number of successful applicants is around 1%. To obtain a K-1 visa, the foreign party usually has to go through an interview at the U.S. Embassy in their country. This involves a lot of personal questions including, but not limited to:

  • When you met your fiancé.
  • Personal details about you and your partner.
  • If either of you has children.
  • Your petitioner’s email address and phone number.
  • Have you been married before?
  • Have you committed a crime?

Anyone wishing to apply for the K-1 visa should have all the proper documentation prepared, including texts, footage of you and your fiancé together, and anything else that you think might strengthen your case.

You Have to Meet in Person...but There Are Ways Around That

Fans of 90-Day Fiancé probably already know about the requirement to meet in person. This meeting can happen up to two years before applying for the K-1 visa. In most cases, that’s a fair requirement. Traveling to another country often takes hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. If you’re willing to save those pennies, that’s a sign of devotion!

But there are some ways around this requirement. If it would be unsafe for you to meet in person due to cultural reasons, it can sometimes be removed. It will also be possible to waive this requirement if meeting in person would greatly inconvenience the U.S. petitioner. “Not enough money for travel fees” will not circumvent this.

There Is Also an Income Requirement

Before applying for the K-1 visa, the petitioner in the United States has to fill out another form: the I-134 Affidavit of Support. This form is a way to check that the U.S. petitioner meets the HHS poverty guideline for that year. The U.S. petitioner will also have to fill out the I-864 Affidavit of Support after their fiancé is approved; the I-864 states that the petitioner will support their fiancé financially for a time.


Shows like 90-Day Fiancé romanticize the K-1 visa. In reality, it’s just as loaded with nuance and paperwork as any other legal document. After this article, you and your fiancé hopefully know more about the K-1 visa than the show told you! Only a small percentage of applicants get the K-1 visa—and some would say, after that, the real challenge begins.

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