The fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a United States (U.S.) citizen. The K-1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The foreign-citizen will then apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Because a fiancé(e) visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen shortly after arrival in the United States, the fiancé(e) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa. Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants receive K-2 visas.
Under U.S. immigration law, a foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen is the recipient of an approved Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F, who has been issued a nonimmigrant K-1 visa for travel to the United States in order to marry his or her U.S. citizen fiancé(e). Both the U.S. citizen and the K-1 visa applicant must have been legally free to marry at the time the petition was filed and must have remained so thereafter. The marriage must be legally possible according to laws of the U.S. state in which the marriage will take place.
In general, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) and U.S. citizen sponsor must have met in person within the past two years. USCIS may grant an exception to this requirement, based on extreme hardship for the U.S. citizen sponsor to personally meet the foreign-citizen fiancé(e), or, for example, if it is contrary in the U.S. citizen sponsor’s or foreign-citizen fiancé(e)’s culture for a man and woman to meet before marriage.
After the Fiancé(e) Visa is Issued:
Once issued, the fiancé(e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application.
Once USCIS receives a consular returned I-129F for K-1 classification from DOS and the petition has expired in accordance with 8 CFR214.2(k)(5), USCIS will allow the petition to remain expired and will not reaffirm or reopen the petition. Therefore, the petition will expire in normal course. Please note that this will not preclude the petitioner from filing another petition.
Children of Fiancé(e)s:
If your fiancé(e) has a child (under 21 and unmarried), a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to him or her. Be sure to include the names of your fiancé(e)’s children on your Form I-129F petition.
Permission to Work:
After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with the USCIS Service Center having jurisdiction over your place of residence. Any work authorization based on a nonimmigrant fiancé (e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry. However, your fiancé (e) would also be eligible to apply for an extended work authorization at the same time as he or she files for permanent residence. In this case, your fiancé(e) would file Form I-765 together with Form I-485 as soon as you marry.
What happens if we do not marry within 90 days?:
Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended. Your fiancé(e) should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If your fiancé(e) does not depart, he or she will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal (deportation) and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.
We want to make plans for our wedding. How long will this process take?:
Each case is different, please check the current processing times for the I-129F petition, see the “Check Processing Times” page. We process fiancé(e) petitions in the order we receive them. Once we complete our processing, your approved petition is then forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will then send the petition to the U.S. Embassy or consulate, which will need time to process your fiancé(e) for a visa.
If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must show that:
- You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
- If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
- If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
How we can help you:
At the Law Office of Moona Shakil, an experienced senior attorney would help preparing your K-1 Fiancé Visa Application. Our immigration attorney would consult with you to discuss your options. Our mission is to provide prompt, high quality legal services to benefit the lives of our clients. We handle almost all types of immigration visas, and our attorneys understand that communication is a key to success. You need confidence that your lawyer understands your problem and is working with you to achieve results. Call us to find out how we provide superior service to our clients.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice. The use of the information on this website creates no attorney client relationship between the user and the Law Office of Moona Shakil, PLLC or its attorneys. There is no substitute for a face to face consultation with a lawyer. If you have legal questions, you must contact an experienced attorney immediately.