The K-1 visa permits your fiancé to travel to the United States and marry you within 90 days of arrival. After the marriage your new spouse will then be able apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident of the United States. Your fiancé’s unmarried children under 21 years of age can receive K-2 visas and can accompany your fiancé to the United States.
Because of a history of fraudulent K-1 applications it very important to provide as much documentation as possible to demonstrate that the relationship between you and your fiancé is genuine. You and your fiancé must demonstrate both of you are single and eligible to marry by showing proof of termination of any prior marriages. You must both show your intention to marry each other within the 90 day time period after arrival in the U.S. U.S. immigration law also requires that you meet your foreign national fiancé in person within two years prior to filing the K-1 visa petition. All of this must be carefully documented.
Once the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) approves your petition, it will the petition to the American Consulate in the country where your fiancée will be applying for the K-1 visa. The American Consulate will notify your fiancée when the approved petition is received and provide him/her with the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a K-1 visa. The petition is valid for a period of four months from the date of USCIS approval but may be extended in some cases.
Once your fiancée received the K-1 visa he/she will be allowed entry into the U.S. for 90 days Note that the K-1 is a single-entry visa. Your fiancé cannot enter the U.S. more than once on the K-1 visa.
It is important that you marry during that period because your fiancée cannot apply for an extension of stay of the K-1 visa. If the marriage does not occur within 90 days, the K-1 nonimmigrant must leave the U.S. or be subject to removal or deportation.
Applying for a K-1 visa for your foreign fiancée has the following benefits:
- The K-1 fiancée visa generally has a shorter waiting period compared to marriage-based immigration visa petitions
- There is no risk of being refused admission as an intending immigrant or having your intent upon entry questioned like there is in the B-2 visitor visa entry.
- Your fiancée can apply for a work permit and engage in employment.
- Your fiancé can apply for travel documents and travel internationally.
- Children of your foreign fiancée can come to the U.S. on the K-2 dependent visa as long as they are listed on the fiancée visa petition.
Each year thousands of U.S. citizens apply to bring their foreign fiancés to America. While there has been some abuse of this immigration process, the vast majority of K-1 applications are genuine, lead to marriages and happy lives together.