The process to obtain a K1 non-immigrant visa can be divided into three main branches. First, the US citizen must file a petition on the fiancé’s behalf for a visa.
Then, the applicant must file for a visa. After obtaining the visa, the fiancé must apply for permanent residence (green card) upon entering the United States. In this article, you will discover the essential requirements to get a K-1 visa.
What Are the Requirements for K1 Visa? – Step-by-Step
Filing Form I-129F
The first step to obtaining a K-1 visa is filing Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé). In this context, the US citizen who will marry the foreign fiancé must file on his/her behalf.
No permanent resident can file Form I-129F, so one must either become a US citizen before applying for a K-1 visa on the fiancé’s behalf or get married outside the United States and petition the spouse for an immigrant visa.
When submitting Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the US citizen must include a filing fee, proof of US citizenship (e.g., a copy of the US birth certificate), passport-style photos, and further evidence to prove the relationship is real, such as:
- evidence that the couple had an in-person meeting
- evidence that the couple intends to marry (bona fide marriage)
- evidence that any previous marriages have been terminated (if applicable)
Applying for a K-1 Visa with USCIS
Upon obtaining USCIS approval regarding Form I-129F, the agency will transfer the application to the National Visa Center (NVC). Accordingly, the visa beneficiary (foreign fiancé) must file Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application).
Additionally, the beneficiary must provide an extensive set of documents, such as:
- A valid passport
- A police certificate from the fiancé’s present country of residence
- Police certificates from all countries where the fiancé has lived for six months or more (since age 16)
- Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support)
- Evidence that any previous marriages have been terminated (e.g., divorce certificate)
- Evidence of a good-faith relationship with the US citizen petitioner
Along with these documents, the fiancé will submit two passport-style photos, a filing fee, and the medical examination required during the process. Considering each US embassy has slightly different visa requirements, some offices may require more evidence than others.
Applying for a Green Card Upon Entering the United States
After obtaining a K-1 visa, the fiancé must marry within 90 days of entering the country. Once the marriage is complete and the fiancé wants to stay in the United States, it is time to apply for lawful permanent residence (green card).
Marrying a US citizen does not automatically provide immigration status. Accordingly, the new spouse must formally require an adjustment of status by filing Form I-485 (Application to Adjust Status).
Besides submitting Form I-485 itself along with the applicable filing fees, applicants may need to add several forms to the document package, such as Form I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record), Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support), and Form I-94 (Admission/Departure Record).
The list of documents involved in the process may be extensive, so make sure to consult with an expert immigration attorney to avoid an overwhelming experience.
Do You Want to Get a K-1 Visa? – Work with an Expert Immigration Attorney Today
The process of obtaining a K-1 fiancé visa is a complex task that involves distinct phases, so waste no time with uncertainty. Have your case assessed by Attorney Romy B. Jurado today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.