The K-1 visa is also known as a fiancé(e) visa. A United States citizen who is engaged to a foreign national may petition to have his or her fiancé(e) enter the United States in order to marry. To qualify for this visa both the United States citizen petitioner and the foreign national fiancé(e) must satisfy the following criteria:
- Engaged to be married to a United States citizen;
- Bona fide intention to marry;
- Eligible to be lawfully married;
- Met in person at least once in two years prior to filing the K-1 visa petition, unless a waiver is obtained; and
- Willing to marry within 90 days of entry into the United States.
Upon entry into the United States, the couple must marry within 90 days or the foreign national must depart. Once married, the couple can file for lawful permanent residence for the K-1 visa holder. K-1 and K-2 dependent visa holders are eligible to obtain work authorization in the United States by applying for an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-765).
How to Apply
The United States citizen must submit Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the required supporting documentation. Once approved, the USCIS will forward the application to the National Visa Center (NVC), and in turn the NVC will forward the application packet to the nearest American Consulate or Embassy where the foreign national fiancée resides. The American Consulate or Embassy will then schedule an appointment to interview the fiancé(e) in order to issue the K-1 visa. Once the visa is issued the foreign national fiancé(e) can travel to the United States to marry. Please contact our office for assistance in applying for this visa category.
The K-1 visa is a single entry visa and is valid for 90 days after entry into the United States.
Unmarried children under 21 years of age are eligible for a K-2 visa.