The K1 Visa
The K1 visa, also known as the ‘fiancé visa’ is available to noncitizens who wish to marry a U.S. citizen.
To be eligible to bring your fiancé to the United States on a K1 visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- You are a U.S. citizen,
- You and your fiancé intend to marry one another with 90 days of your fiancé’s admission to the United States on a K1 visa,
- You and your fiancé are both legally free to marry (legal to marry in the United States and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by divorce, death or annulment),
- You and your fiancé met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. You may request a waiver of this in-person meeting requirement if you can show that meeting in person would either violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé’s foreign culture or social practice, or could result in extreme hardship to you, the U.S. citizen petitioner.
How to Apply for an K1 Visa
If you meet the requirements for an K1 visa, here are the steps you need to complete for approval:
- Fill out a Form I-129F (petition for alien fiancé),
- Submit the I-129F to the DOS National Visa Center,
- Your fiancé will apply for a K1 at the consulate or U.S. embassy where your fiancé lives,
- The consulate or embassy will set up an interview for you and your fiancé,
- The interviewing officer will approve or disapprove your application at that point.
A K1 visa comes with certain benefits, including:
- You can work legally in the United States,
- You can freely travel in the United States,
- Your unmarried children (under 21 years of age) can also qualify for an K2 visa. While in the United States, your children can go to school.