K-1 Fiance visas are issued to foreign nationals to allow in the US and marry their US citizen fiancees. The foreign citizen applies for the K-1 Fiance visa through the Department of Homeland Security and the US. Citizenship and Immigration Services( USCIS). When applying for the visa, the foreign citizen will provide their basic information, including their home country, medical examination evidence, birth certificate, names, ID, among others.
Therefore, the process of applying for the visa may be complicated and tiresome for the applicant. Notably, if you are a US citizen and wish to bring your foreign fiance to the United States, you should seek assistance from the fiance visa lawyer. At the California Immigration Attorney, we are focused on offering the best legal assistance to our clients across California.
The Legal Meaning of a K-1 Fiance Visa
In the US, the visa is issued to a foreign fiance of a US citizen. Notably, the visa will permit him/her to travel and make marriage arrangements with his/her US sponsor within ninety days of the admission date. Therefore, the foreign fiance citizen will apply for status adjustment with US citizenship and immigration services and the department of homeland security. The foreign fiance will be required to meet several US requirements to obtain an immigration visa. To have a smooth process obtaining the K-1 visa, you may seek assistance from a fiance visa attorney in California. The visa attorney will help in providing guidelines in all the petition filling stages.
If you are a US citizen and intend to bring your foreign fiance to the US for marriage, you should petition for an alien fiance, Form I-129F. To qualify for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa, you should intend to marry your foreign citizen fiance within ninety days after entering the US. The marriage must be valid. After you and your fiance marry within ninety days from the fiancee's entry to the United States, he/she will be eligible to apply for a green card. In case you are already married, or you are planning to engage in marriage outside the United States, or your foreign citizen fiance is living in the US, your fiance won't be eligible for a fiance visa.
Eligibility for Fiancee Visa In US
In California, anyone applying for a fiance visa should meet the legal requirements. Therefore, the applicant will qualify to bring his/her fiance to the United States when they meet the authorized requirements. The requirements include:
- You had a plan of engaging in marriage with your fiance within ninety days of admission to the US through a K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
- You are a citizen of the US.
- The involved parties should meet in person once or more times in or outside the US within two years before filing their petition.
- Both two parties should be legally free before they enter into marriage. Therefore, if you had a previous marriage, it should have been lawfully terminated by either death or divorce.
The Steps Followed When Bringing Your Fiance to the US
Bringing your fiance to the US will involve several parties, including the US department of state, US customs and border protection, and US Citizenship and Immigration Services. In every stage, background and security checks will be conducted for both US citizens and his/her foreign fiance. Therefore, the immigration departments will check on various databases for criminal records, national security, among other details for the partners.
The checks will be carried out using names, fingerprints, or other biometric information or biographic. However, you may seek assistance from an immigration attorney to help if the process seems complicated. Notably, the immigration attorneys are familiar with the steps and the requirements necessary for obtaining the visa. The following steps will be strictly followed when bringing your fiance to the US:
A) Fiance Petition - USCIS
The applicant should file the I-129 Form following the provided instructions on the form. Additionally, the form will inquire about the US. Citizenship and Immigration Services to recognize you and your fiance's relationship. After filing the form, the documentation will be reviewed. Notably, if more evidence will be required, USCIS will send an email requesting the additional information and evidence. After establishing your eligibility in Form I-129, USCIS will approve and recognize your relationship.
However, your petition might be denied under various circumstances. If your petition is denied, USCIS will provide notification about the reasons for the denial. Upon approval of your form, the forms are forwarded to the NVC. If your petition is denied, you may seek assistance from an immigration attorney.
When filing for a K-1 visa, your foreign fiance should bring the following documents:
- A valid passport for travel to the US with valid dates. The dates should be at least six months beyond the foreign citizen's intended period of stay in the US.
- Medical examination evidence.
- Online nonimmigrant application, completed DS-160 Form. The foreign fiance should complete the DS-160 Form, which he/she should bring for the interview.
- Evidence the relationship is valid and non-fraudulent between the US citizen and the foreign fiancee.
- A proof of the foreign fiancee's sustainable financial support proving he/she won't financially rely on the US economy.
- Two passport-style photos. You may see the photo requirements from the department of the state website.
- Evidence of death or divorce certificates from any prior marriages for US citizens and their foreign fiancee.
- The fiance will provide a police certificate from the fiancee's country of birth. Additionally, the police certificate may be required from any country where the foreign citizens had lived for more than six months since he/she was 16 years old.
- The foreign citizen's birth certificate
The Fiance’s Requirements for Medical Examination and Vaccination
During the fiance’s preparation for their interview, they may schedule and complete a medical examination. Notably, before issuing a K-1 visa, the foreigner will undergo a compulsory medical examination conducted by an authorized physician. Notably, your foreign fiance will receive information regarding their medical examination from the US consulate or embassy, where they will apply for the visa and details of the authorized physicians.
Additionally, the foreign fiance should receive the vaccinations required by the US immigration law. However, the vaccinations may not be essential in the issuance of the K-1 fiance visa but are critical when adjusting status after engaging in marriage. Therefore, the foreign fiance is encouraged to receive vaccinations during the medical examination process.
B) Application for The Visa - DOS
The national visa center will forward the applicant’s approved form to the US consular or embassy officer, where the foreign citizen fiance will apply for their K-1 fiance visa. Therefore, the US embassy/consular officer will provide notification of your fiance visa interview. Your fiance will be required to bring the necessary documents and forms for their visa interview. Moreover, the DOS officers determine whether your fiance meets the qualifications for receiving the visa.
If the DOS officer grants the foreign citizen with the K-1 visa, the fiance visa will remain valid for a single entry for six months. Alternatively, if the consular officer disapproves of the relationship, the applicant won’t be issued with their K-1 fiance visa. Therefore, the DOS will return the applicant’s I-129F Form to the USCIS. Notably, if DOS will return the I-129 Form after expiration, the applicant’s form will remain expired. However, the foreign citizen may file a new I-129F. If the process seems complicated, you may seek help from an immigration attorney. The attorney will guide on what to do if the US consular officer fails to approve the relationship.
What The Foreign Citizen Should Expect During the Interview
The interview allows the immigration officer to examine whether the relationship is a scam created to enter the United States through fraudulent methods. The exercise isn't a severe issue for the parties maintaining a legitimate relationship with their foreign fiance. The immigration officer will ask simple questions about the foreign fiancee and the relationship with the American citizen. For instance, the officer will ask the US citizen questions like, Where does the fiancee work? How long have you known her/him? Notably, the interview won't take a long time.
To ensure you have a successful interview, you need to seek a fiance visa lawyer. The lawyer will examine the situation of your relationship and prepare you to face the immigration officers.
The K-1 Fiance Visa Interview
Your foreign fiance will receive instructions in advance on what they should bring during their K-1 visa interview at the US consulate or embassy. Additionally, the foreign fiance will bring their Financial Support and Affidavit of Support Forms. Therefore, during the visa interview, the foreign fiance must present their evidence to the US embassy or consular officials. Moreover, you may provide proof that you can support yourself, or your foreign fiance can provide financial support. Notably, the consular officer might request the foreign fiance to provide a Form I-134.
C) The US Port of Entry Inspection- CBP
In the US, a K-1 fiance visa will allow the foreign citizen fiance to travel to the US port of entry and seek permission for entering the US. Notably, the visa won't guarantee your US entry. Therefore, the US departments of customs and border protection and homeland security officials have the power and authority to deny or allow US admission. Upon the fiance’s arrival at the US port of entry, the fiance should provide their passport with a K-1 visa and a sealed packet containing the required documents. Notably, foreign citizens will review the essential information concerning admission requirements on the customs and border protection website.
After the DOS issues your fiance with the nonimmigrant visa, he/she will travel to the US, seek admission at the port entry with their valid K-1 nonimmigrant visa. Notably, a CBP official will make the ultimate decision about admission.
D) The Fiancee’s Marriage
After your fiance’s admission to the US as a K-1 nonimmigrant, both you and your fiance will be required to engage in marriage within three months. If you engage in marriage within the authorized period, the foreigner citizen may adjust their status to a permanent resident. Alternatively, failure to engage in marriage will limit the foreign stay in the US.
E) Adjustment of Status
After engaging in marriage within three months, your fiance should apply for a green card. Therefore, he/she should file I-485 F for adjusting their status or making permanent registration as a permanent resident of the US. The immigration departments will review the fiance's I-485 and other personal documents. If additional information or evidence is required, the fiancee will receive an email from the USCIS.
Additionally, the new couple should attend for an interview. Therefore, if the fiance married for less than twenty-four months within the approval of the I-485 Form, the USCIS will grant them a conditional permanent residence status and issue them with a green card, which is valid for twenty-four months. The spouse will file form I-751 within three months before the green card expiration to remove the residence conditions.
The Fiance's Children
The foreign citizen's children are allowed to accompany them to the US or travel later. The children should travel before their K-2 visa becomes invalid. However, separate petitions won't be allowed when the children fail to follow or accompany their parents within the authorized period. In case your children want to travel a year later from the date of K-1 issuance, they will not obtain the K-2 visas. Additionally, a separate petition might be required. If the fiancee child has a valid K-2 visa and the parent has already adjusted their status to a permanent resident. In that case, the law will still allow the child to travel on a valid K-2 visa.
In case your fiance has an under 21 unmarried child, the child may travel to the US on the issued K-2 immigration visa. Notably, the fiance's children's names must be included in the I-129 Form if the fiancee wishes to bring them to the US. However, the child should remain under 21 years and unmarried for admission to the US under K-2 nonimmigrant. Notably, the children should not travel to the United States before your fiance travels. Therefore, they will travel with the fiancee or later after your fiance traveled.
If your marriage occurs within the three months of US admission, the fiancee's children admitted through K-2 nonimmigrant will be allowed to apply for a green card. For the K-2 nonimmigrant children, they should remain unmarried for eligibility for a green card.
Permission To Work
After admission to the United States under the K-1 fiance visa, the foreigner should submit an application seeking work authorization by filing Form I-765. The work will be authorized for ninety days after his/her US entry. Additionally, the fiancee may apply for both the green card and the work authorization at the same time. Notably, if your fiancee files both I-765 and I-485 Forms together, their work authorization will be valid for a year with an allowance of increment for another year.
What Happens When You Fail to Engage In Marriage Within The Authorized Period
Both K-2 and K-1 applicant status will expire after ninety days without the option of extension. Therefore, your fiance and the children should leave the US after ninety days after failing to engage in marriage. If your fiancee fails to depart, he/she will be violating the United States immigration laws. Therefore, they will face deportation, thus affecting their future eligibility for the US. Notably, if you engage in marriage after the 90days period, you will be required to file a petition for an alien relative, Form I-130.
What Happens After Your Fiance Receives a K-1 Visa?
After receiving a K-1 visa, the US consular officer will issue a passport that contains a K-1 visa, the documents prepared by the US consulate or embassy, and a packet that includes your civil documents. Notably, don’t open the issued sealed packet. DHS immigration officials should only open the packet.
Why a K-1 Visa Application May Fail
Several reasons may lead to denial of the K-1 visa application. Possible reasons which may lead to your K-1 visa denial include incomplete, inconsistent, or incorrect information on the I-129F. Upon denial of the visa due to the above reasons, you need to correct the mistakes and refile a petition with a new fee. Having an immigration attorney is the best choice to avoid delay when filing your petition. Additionally, the attorney will guide in all the required steps.
Notably, your visa may be denied when your legitimacy doesn't convince the US embassy or consulate of engagement. The case happens when several fraudulent applicants come from your country.
The Cost of a K-1 Fiance Visa
When applying for a K-1 fiance visa, you should consider several costs. The applicant will pay a fee of $535 for filing I-129F. The fee will be paid by the fiancee sponsoring his/her partner. You will be required to pay traveling costs to and from the United States from the US embassy or consulate for your interview. Therefore, travel costs will be determined by your mode of travel and the distance from the US embassy or consulate. Moreover, you will also pay the costs of hiring an attorney.
How Long Will You Take To Obtain a K-1 Visa?
The exercise of obtaining a K-1 visa will involve a timeline conditioned by the fiancee's initial petition. Notably, the exercise will begin with the US fiancee filing a petition. After the embassy receives the application, the processing time may vary. The processing time will depend on the US center that processes your fiance application or how your fiance correctly files the forms. A delay in processing might result from the applicant's incomplete filing or failure to observe the required instructions.
In California, the estimated time for processing the application will be approximately five to seven months. For a faster K-1 visa processing, you need to seek help from a California immigration attorney. Additionally, the attorney will ensure that you don't present incomplete information, thus avoiding petition denial.
Adjusting From a K-1 To a Green Card
The process of adjusting from a K-1 to a green card is different from other immigrant visa categories. For instance, the I-130 petition for alien relatives won't be required for the K-1 and K-2 holders. For your foreign fiance to be eligible for the K-1 to green card adjustment, he/she should:
- Eligible to adjust their status.
- Holders of a K class visa.
- Be able to enter the US.
- Possess an immigrant visa number.
- Have engaged in marriage with their US fiancee within the authorized period (90 days).
Additionally, to adjust, the foreign citizen should submit the following documents alongside I-485:
- A copy of their ID
- Biological information in a G-325 form
- A Copy of passport containing a K class visa.
- A copy of the birth certificate.
- Correct filing fees
- A copy of the pending I-130 petition.
- A marriage certificate if the applicant has a K-1 visa.
- Two photos which adhere to the department of states passport guideline.
- A copy of any application/form used in conjunction with the K class visa.
Find An Immigration Attorney Near Me
The process of sponsoring a foreign fiance might be very stressful. Additionally, you should adhere to the authorized requirements. Notably, you should carefully follow all the stages involved to avoid denial of the visa since the forms should be correctly and properly filled. Alternatively, violating immigration laws might trigger severe penalties.
However, a K-1 fiance visa attorney will guide each step of preparing and filing the required forms with the supporting documents. Therefore, if you are a US citizen and want to bring your foreign fiance to the US, you should seek help from the immigration attorney. At the California Immigration Attorney, we offer the best legal assistance to our clients across California. Call us today at 800-511-0747 for a free evaluation of your visa application.