What is a Fiancé(é) visa?
A Fiancé(é) visa, also known as a K-1 visa, is a type of nonimmigrant visa issued by the United States government that allows a foreign national who is engaged to a U.S. citizen to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married. The primary intention of the K-1 visa is to provide a pathway for couples to reunite in the U.S. and proceed with their wedding plans.
Here’s an overview of the K-1 visa process:
- Petition: The U.S. citizen petitioner files a petition on behalf of their foreign fiancé(é) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Approval: If the petition is approved, it is forwarded to the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign fiancé(é)’s home country.
- Application: The foreign fiancé(é) submits a visa application and attends an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. During the interview, they may be required to provide documentation and evidence of their genuine relationship, intent to marry, and eligibility for the visa.
- Medical Examination and Background Check: The foreign fiancé(é) typically undergoes a medical examination and a background check as part of the visa application process.
- Visa Issuance: If the visa is approved, the foreign fiancé(é) receives a K-1 visa stamp in their passport, allowing them to travel to the United States.
- Entry to the U.S.: Once in the U.S., the foreign fiancé(é) and the U.S. citizen petitioner have a maximum of 90 days to get married.
- Marriage and Adjustment of Status: After getting married within the 90-day window, the foreign spouse can apply for a green card (permanent residency) through a process known as “adjustment of status.” This process involves additional documentation, interviews, and background checks.
It’s important to note that the K-1 visa is specifically designed for couples who have a genuine intent to marry and build a life together in the United States. It’s not meant for couples who are simply looking to bypass immigration processes for other reasons. Additionally, the K-1 visa process can be complex and time-consuming, requiring careful attention to detail and thorough preparation of required documentation.
As immigration policies and procedures may change over time, it’s recommended to refer to the official website of the U.S. Department of State or consult with legal professionals for the most up-to-date and accurate information about the K-1 visa process.
How to apply for a K-1 visa?
Applying for a K-1 visa involves several steps, from filing the initial petition to attending the visa interview. Here’s a general overview of the process:
- File the Petition (Form I-129F):
- The U.S. citizen petitioner files Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Include supporting documents such as proof of the relationship, intent to marry, and evidence of meeting in person within the last two years (unless a waiver applies).
- USCIS Processing:
- USCIS reviews the petition and may request additional evidence or information.
- Once approved, USCIS forwards the petition to the National Visa Center (NVC).
- Consular Processing:
- The NVC assigns a case number and forwards the petition to the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign fiancé(é)’s home country.
- The embassy or consulate will notify the foreign fiancé(é) with instructions on how to proceed.
- Fiancé(é) Visa Application and Interview:
- The foreign fiancé(é) completes Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and pays the visa application fee.
- Schedule a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
- Attend the visa interview with required documents, which may include passport, DS-160 confirmation, visa application fee receipt, petition approval notice, medical examination results, police clearance certificates, and evidence of relationship.
- Visa Approval:
- If approved, the foreign fiancé(é) will receive a K-1 visa stamp in their passport, allowing them to travel to the United States.
- Entry to the U.S.:
- Once in the U.S., the foreign fiancé(é) must marry the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of entry.
- Adjustment of Status (Green Card Application):
- After marriage, the foreign spouse can apply for a green card (permanent residency) by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
- Additional documents, such as medical examinations and supporting evidence, will be required.
- USCIS will process the application, and the foreign spouse may be required to attend an adjustment of status interview.
- Green Card Approval:
- If the adjustment of status application is approved, the foreign spouse will receive a green card granting them permanent residency in the U.S.
It’s important to note that the K-1 visa process can vary based on individual circumstances and changes in immigration policies. Additionally, providing accurate and complete information, as well as thorough documentation, is crucial to a successful application.
For the most current and accurate information, refer to the official U.S. Department of State website or consult with an immigration attorney or legal expert who specializes in U.S. immigration law.