K-1 Fiance(e) Visas
The K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa is a nonimmigrant visa available for the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. Citizen who wishes to enter the country in order to get married. The K-1 visa allows the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. prior to the marriage and requires that the couple be married within 90-days of arrival. It should not be concerned with a green card that is available to the alien spouses of U.S. citizens.
Our firm has successfully represented clients in cases of K-1 Fiancee Visas, view our Fiancee Visa Success Stories.
To obtain this visa, the U.S. Citizen must file a Form I-129F, (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) with U.S. CIS on behalf of her foreign national fiancé. In order to be eligible for a K-1 visa, the couple must be able to show that:
2.) The couple intends to marry within 90 days of the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) entering the U.S. Copies of invitations, written agreements, or other proof of when the couple will be married would the couple satisfy the 90-day requirement.
3.) That both individuals are free to marry and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by, divorce, death, or annulment. Death certificates or decrees of annulment or divorce, if applicable, should be included in the Form 1-129 Petition.
4.) The couple has met, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing the petition. Evidence that the couple has met can include: airline boarding passes, itineraries, hotel receipts, passport stamps, and pictures of the couple together.
5.) If the couple has not met, they must be able to show that
B.) The meeting requirement creates an extreme hardship on the U.S. Citizen.
Aside from proving that they have met, the couple must be able to provide proof of an ongoing relationship. A couple can prove an ongoing relationship through photos of the couple together, letters, emails, or phone bills.
Until the couple is married, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) is considered a nonimmigrant–a foreign national allowed into the U.S. for a limited period of time and for a limited purpose. This is similar to visitors on student (F-1 visa), business (B-1 visa), or tourist visas (B-2 visa). However, unlike those nonimmigrant visas, the beneficiary does not need to establish any nonimmigrant intent, as it is expected that the fiancé is likely to possess the intent to abandon his home country and get a green card through his U.S. citizen wife.
There are no extensions available. If the couple is not married within 90-days, or the beneficiary marries someone besides the U.S. Citizen that filed the I-129F, the beneficiary must leave the U.S.
After the K-1 Visa is Issued
If the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) wishes to get a green card by changing his status to that of Permanent Resident, her or she must file a Form I-485 (Application to Adjust Status). Further, it is important to remember that Permanent Residents that obtain their green card by virtue of a marriage that was entered into within two years of receiving the green card are afforded that status on a conditional basis, and they must comply with INA Section 216(a)’s requirements for lifting that conditional status or risk losing it.
If the foreign-citizen-fiancé(e) does not wish to become a Permanent Resident after the marriage, the foreign citizen must leave the U.S. before the 90-day time period expires.