The K-1 Fiancé visa is issued for individuals who are fiancés of U.S. citizens and who wish to get married and live in the U.S. In order to initiate the K-1 visa process, the U.S. citizen will need to file a Petition for Alien Fiancé in the U.S. This petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center upon approval, and then to the U.S. consulate abroad located in the home country of the K-1 applicant fiancé. The approximate processing time for a K-1 visa application is 6 months, however the need for further administrative processing can lead to processing delays.
In order to be eligible to apply for a K-1 visa, the following conditions must be present:
- The individual sponsoring their fiancé for the K-1 visa must be a U.S. citizen.
- The fiancés must have met in person within the last two years.
- The fiancés must have no legal conditions prohibiting them from getting married.
- The individual sponsoring their fiancé for the K-1 visa must meet the minimum income requirement.
- The fiancé requiring K-1 visa sponsorship must have a clean criminal record and must not have violated U.S. immigration laws.
The K-1 visa petition will be valid for four months after it has been approved in the U.S. If however, the fiancé is unable to have their K-1 visa stamped within that time period, the U.S. consular officials can extend the validity period if the intent to marry still exists. Please note that the K-1 visa is not applicable for multiple entries, therefore, if the fiancé needs to travel, he/she should apply for an Advance Parole document to allow the fiancé to be readmitted to the U.S.
The marriage must take place within 90 days after the fiancé has entered the U.S. with their K-1 fiancé visa. Upon entry and marriage, the K-1 individual must file for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident.
Under the K-1 visa category, the fiancé is eligible to apply for separate work authorization through USCIS.
If the K-1 fiancé has children under the age of 18 which will accompany them to the U.S., the U.S. petitioner will need to include them on the initial Petition for Alien Fiancé which is filed in the U.S. They can then apply for a separate K-2 visa, which will allow them to accompany the fiancé to the U.S. or to join them in the U.S. within 1 year of K-1 visa issuance.