Applying for a Non-immigrant Visa for an Alien Fiancé(e): The (K-1) Fiance Visa
Congratulations! You have just gotten engaged. You and your fiancé(e) are ready to start an exciting new phase in life. But your fiancé(e) is a non-resident foreign citizen who does not currently reside in the United States. What needs to be done now to bring your Alien Fiancé(e) (foreign national, non-resident) to the United States, legally in order to secure their legal status and future once they are here States?
You- the U.S. citizen fiancé(e), known as the sponsor – must take steps to apply for a visa (known as the (K-1) Fiancé(e) Visa) in order to bring your fiancé(e) to the United States, legally. This article will help walk you through the process of required to obtain the (K-1) Fiancé(e) Visa.
The Application Process:
First, you-the U.S. citizen fiancé(e)/sponsor must petition for the Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live, by filing a I-29F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
The petition for the visa: The I-29F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
- File Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
- Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
In order to petition for a fiancé(e) visa/file Form I-29F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), you must show that:
- You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
1. If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
2. If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
If the Form I-29F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) is properly filed with the proper USCIS office and the petition is accepted and approved by the USCIS, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will give you a case number and send your petition to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé(e) lives. When it sends your fiancé(e) case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, The NVC will mail you a letter. Once you receive this letter, inform your fiancé(e) to take the next steps to then apply for the actual (K-1) Visa and prepare for the interview.
Applying for the actual (K-1) Visa and preparing for the interview:
The foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will be required to bring the following forms and documents to the (K-1) Visa interview:
- Completed Form DS-160, Online Non-immigrant Visa Application. You (and any eligible children applying for K-4 visas) must: (1) complete Form DS-160 and (2) print the DS-160 confirmation page to bring to your interview.
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions).
- Divorce or death certificate(s) of any previous spouse(s) for both you and the U.S. citizen sponsor.
- Police certificates from your present country of residence and all countries where you have lived for six months or more since age 16 (Police certificates are also required for accompanying children age 16 or older).
- Medical examination.
- Evidence of financial support (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, may be requested).
- Two (2) 2×2 photographs. (See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements ).
- Evidence of relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e).
- Payment of fees.
After the Fiancé(e) Visa is Issued
After the Fiancé(e) Visa is issued, your fiancé(e) will be provided with a passport and other documents, along with the visa, which will allow them to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. With the visa, the alien fiancé(e) can apply for a single admission at a U.S. port-of-entry within the validity of the visa, which will be a maximum of 6 months from the date of issuance.
You must marry your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of your entry into the United States. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application.
Getting engaged is an exciting moment in two people’s life. It can be even more exciting when an engagement provides the opportunity to broaden the horizon’s of another person, to the extent that they are able to call the United States their new home and start a new chapter of their life here. However, the vast immigration laws of the United States of America, and their overwhelming complexities and technicalities can be extremely difficult and frustrating. If any of these laws, guidelines, requirements, or technicalities are mistaken, misunderstood or not followed with precision and detail, this exciting time can become an extremely stressful and difficult time.
Therefore, if you are engaged to, or are about to be engaged to, a foreign national, who does not currently reside in the United States of America, it is extremely important that you seek the aid of experienced immigration lawyers to help you properly through this process. We strongly recommend that you reach out to the Immigration Attorneys and Specialists at Ervin Kibria PLLC to discuss your particular case in far greater detail.