How to apply for a K1 Fiancé Visa in 2023
What is a K1 visa?
A K1 fiancé (or fianceé) visa is an immigration document issued to the foreign fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen. It allows them to enter the U.S. for 90 days for marriage.
Once the couple gets married within those 90 days, they may apply for an adjustment of status so the foreign spouse may become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). The K1 visa is one-entry-only.
The K1 visa also benefits the immigrant spouse’s children younger than 21 years old and single, since they may apply for a K2 visa and also gain entry to the United States and live there.
What are the requirements for the US K1 visa?
- Both the U.S. citizen and the immigrant must be unmarried.
- The couple must have seen each other at least once within the last 2 years before making the K1 visa application.
- Both of them must marry within the United States.
- The marriage between both parties must take place within 90 days after the fiancé or fianceé arrives in the United States.
- Only U.S. citizens may request a 90-day fiance visa (K1) for their future spouse.
- The K1 Visa does not apply to bigamous or polygamous relationships, nor relationships between relatives.
- The K1 Fiancé visa only applies to single individuals (divorcees, widows, unmarried)
- The fiance visa can also be issued to couples of the same sex/gender.
- Certain conditions may make the applicant ineligible, like incurring drug trafficking, criminal activities, forging documents, etc.
- For the fiancé(e)’s children to be eligible, they must be unmarried and under 21 years old.
K1 visa income requirements 2023
Income requirements for K1 visa vary depending on several factors, including the state where the couple will reside (Alaska, Hawaii, or any of the 48 contiguous states or the District of Columbia), the number of members in the household, and the annual update of poverty guidelines given by the HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
How do I apply for a fiancée visa?
- Fill out the USCIS I129F Petition for Alien Fiancé or Fiancée Form. The only person who can request and fill out this form for the 90-day fiance visa (K1) must be a U.S. citizen.
- After the USCIS approves the I129F petition, the National Visa Center (NVC) receives it. It will give you a case number and send the petition to your fiancé(e)’s local Embassy or Consulate.
- The NVC will send you a mail as soon as it sends your case to the Embassy or Consulate. After receiving this mail, each applicant must pay the K1 visa fee.
- If the fiancé or fianceé is a parent, the eligible children may apply for a K2 visa. Each K visa application must be separate and independent from the others, and each applicant must pay the corresponding K Visa application fee. Both the parent and the children may enter at the same time.
- The couple has an interview to provide evidence and information about the relationship.
- Once the visa is approved and issued, the couple can get married within the next 6 months after the foreign citizen receives the visa, and 90 days after arriving in the United States.
How long does the K1 fiancé visa process take?
You can check the I129 form status by heading to the USCIS Case Status Online verification page.
According to the current K1 application process, the timing may vary because of many factors, and the periods have increased over the last few years. Our experience put the K1 fiance visa application process to last 18-30 months.
What documents do I need for a fiancé(e) visa?
- USCIS I129F Petition for Alien Fiancé or Fiancée Form.
- DS160 Form for Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. You must submit a copy of the filled form and print 2 confirmation pages for your interview.
- I134 Form for Evidence of Financial Support.
- A valid passport for traveling into the United States.
- Birth certificate.
- Divorce or death certificate from both the US citizen and the fiancé or fianceé (if needed).
- Police certificates.
- Medical examination certification.
- Two 2×2 photographs.
- Evidence of the relationship between the U.S. citizen and the fiancé(e).
There are many documents or ways the couple may use as evidence of their relationship. Some of these include:
- Photographs of the couple.
- Travel tickets.
- Hotel reservation.
- An affidavit from people related to the couple.
- Evidence of sharing a health insurance
- Evidence of purchasing real estate.
- Evidence of having joint bank accounts or sharing financial products and services.
Who can sponsor a fiance visa recipient?
Just like any visa, the K1 may be sponsored by a U.S. citizen. For the visa application process to move forward, the K1 visa needs a mandatory sponsor: the U.S. citizen who will marry the foreign fiancée. The K1 visa may also involve an additional sponsor that can verify the relationship between the couple.
The aftermath of the K1 Visa application and processing
Once the couple gets married on U.S. soil, the fiancé or fianceé (now spouse) may request an Adjustment of Status to become a conditional permanent resident for 2 years, after that, the spouse receives 10 years of permanent residence status (Green Card).
What should I do if my K1 Visa is rejected?
Usually, the K1 visa is very straightforward, and there are a few ways it may be revoked or rejected by the USCIS and the rest of the authorities. However, some cases may affect the fiancé or fianceé’s stay in the United States if the couple does not marry within the legal 90 days.
- If the couple does not marry within 90 days, the K1 visa cannot be extended. Both the fiancé(e) and the children must leave the U.S. since they will have an illegal status.
- If the couple marries after the 90 have passed, the U.S. citizen may submit an I-130 form (Petition for Alien Relative), as well as an I-485 to make an Adjustment of Status
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