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Fiancee Visa K-1 / K-2

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K-1 Fiancé(e) Nonimmigrant Visa

This visa is for the fiancé(e) of a United States (U.S.) citizen. The K-1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. Then the foreign-citizen will apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident (LPR) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Because a fiancé(e) visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen shortly after arrival in the United States, the fiancé(e) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa.

 

Eligibility Requirements

When you petition for your fiancé, 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.

 

Application Process

The U.S. citizen sponsor, must file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live. See Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) for information on where to file the petition. 

Note: Form I-129F cannot be filed at a U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or USCIS office abroad.

After USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing, and NVC will send it to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé(e) will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa.

 

K-2 Nonimmigrant Visa

Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants receive K-2 visas.

 

The Second Step: Applying for a Visa

The NVC will mail you a letter when it sends your fiancé(e) case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Once you receive this letter, inform your fiancé(e) to take the below-listed actions to apply for a K-1 visa and prepare for the interview.

Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants may apply for K-2 visas. Separate applications must be submitted for each K visa applicant, and each K visa applicant must pay the visa application fee.

Required Documentation

You, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e), (and eligible children applying for K-2 visas) will be required to bring the following forms and documents to the visa interview:

  • Completed Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant 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 intervew. 
  • 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 (vaccinations are optional, see below)
  • Evidence of financial support (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, may be requested)
  • Two (2) 2x2 photographs. See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements
  • Evidence of relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
  • Payment of fees, as explained below

Note: The consular officer may ask for additional information, such as photographs and other proof that the relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) is genuine. Documents in foreign languages, other than the language of the country in which the application takes place, should be translated. Applicants should take to the visa interview clear, legible photocopies of civil documents and translations, such as birth and divorce certificates. Original documents and translations will be returned.

Review Additional U.S. Embassy/Consulate-Specific Instructions

There may be additional instructions for collecting documentation needed for your K visa interview. Review U.S. Embassy/Consulate-Specific Instructions here, to learn what additional requirements there are, if any.

Medical Examination and Vaccination Requirements

In preparing for the interview, applicants will need to schedule and complete a medical examination. Before the issuance of an immigrant or K visa, every applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination which must be performed by an authorized panel physician. You will be provided instructions regarding medical examinations from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for your visa, including information on authorized panel physicians. See Medical Examination for more information, including a list of panel physicians by country, and frequently asked questions.

K visa applicants are encouraged to get the vaccinations required under U.S. immigration law for immigrant visa applicants.  Although such vaccinations are not required for K visa issuance, they will be required when adjusting status to that of legal permanent resident following your marriage. Applicants are therefore encouraged to fulfill these vaccination requirements at the time of the medical examination. See Vaccination Requirements for IV Applicants for the list of required vaccinations and additional information.

Proof of Financial Support and Affidavit of Support Forms

During the visa interview, applicants will be required to present evidence to the consular officer that they will not become a public charge in the United States. You may present evidence that you are able to financially support yourself or that your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) is able to provide support. The Consular Officer may request that a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support be submitted by the U.S. citizen fiancé(e).

The U.S. citizen fiancé(e) will need to submit Form I-864 to USCIS with the application for adjustment of status to that of legal permanent resident following the marriage.

Do the Same Income Requirements Apply to Form I-134 as Apply to Form I-864?

No. The 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline minimum income requirement, the most recent year's tax return, and other requirements only apply when Form I-864 is needed. Applicants presenting Form I-134 will need to show that their U.S. sponsor's income is 100 percent of the federal poverty guideline.

Fees

Fees are charged for the following services: 

  • Filing an Alien Fiancé(e) Petition, Form I-129F
  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee, Form DS-160 (required for each K visa applicant)
  • Medical examination (required for each K visa applicant; costs vary from post to post)
  • Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, fees for getting the documents required for the visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.), and travel expenses to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an interview. Costs vary from country to country and case to case.
  • Filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status

For current fees for Department of State, see Fees for Visa Services. For current fees for USCIS, see Check Filing Fees on the USCIS website.

Ineligibilities for Visas

Certain conditions and activities may make you, the applicant, ineligible for a visa. Examples of these ineligibilities include: drug trafficking; overstaying a previous visa; and submitting fraudulent documents.

If you are ineligible for a visa, you will be informed by the Consular Officer and advised whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility and what the waiver process is. Learn more and see the complete list of ineligibilities.

After You Receive a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

If you are issued a K-1 visa, the Consular Officer will give you your passport containing the K-1 visa and a sealed packet containing the civil documents you provided, plus other documents prepared by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It is important that you do not open the sealed packet. Only the DHS immigration official should open this packet when you enter the United States. As the K-1 visa holder, you must enter the United States either before or at the same time as any qualifying children holding K-2 visas.

With your visa, you 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.

Entering the United States - Port of Entry

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the U.S. port-of-entry and request permission to enter the United States. You should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the U.S. Upon arrival at the port-of-entry, be prepared to present to the CBP officer your passport with visa and your unopened/sealed packet containing your documents. Travelers should review important information about admissions and entry requirements on the CBP website under Travel.

Adjustment of Status, Working in the United States, and Traveling Outside of the United States:

Permission to Work

After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with the USCIS Service Center having jurisdiction over your place of residence. Any work authorization based on a nonimmigrant fiancé (e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry. However, your fiancé (e) would also be eligible to apply for an extended work authorization at the same time as he or she files for permanent residence. In this case, your fiancé(e) would file Form I-765 together with Form I-485 as soon as you marry. 

One Step Process
Certain people are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) while inside the United States. An immediate relative relationship allows you to apply on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to become a permanent resident at the same time your U.S. citizen petitioner files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. For more information on filing for permanent residence in one step

 

How Long Will It Take to Get My K Visa?

For Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), you can visit the USCIS website for the status of your petition.

Once your case has been received from NVC by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that will process it, the length of time varies from case to case according to its circumstances. Some cases are delayed because applicants do not follow instructions carefully or supply incomplete information. (It is important to give us correct postal addresses and telephone numbers.) Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer.

Does My U.S. Citizen Fiancé(e) Need to File Separate Petitions for My Children?

No. Your eligible children may apply for K-2 visas based on the approval of Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), that your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) filed on your behalf, but your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) must list the children on the petition. Separate visa applications must be submitted for each K-2 visa applicant, and each applicant must pay the K visa application fee.

After your marriage, your children will need to file separately from you for adjustment of status. They cannot be included on your application for adjustment of status. More information about adjustment of status is available on USCIS’s website under Green Card (Permanent Residence).

Important Notice: Under U.S. immigration law, a child must be unmarried. In order to file for adjustment of status for your child following your marriage to your U.S. citizen spouse, the child’s stepchild relationship with your spouse must be created before the child reaches the age of 18.

Are My Children Required to Travel with Me?

Your children may travel with (accompany) you to the United States or travel later (follow-to-join). Like you, your children must travel within the validity of their K-2 visas. Separate petitions are not required if the children accompany or follow to join you within one year from the date of issuance of your K-1 visa. If they want to travel later than one year from the date your K-1 visa was issued, they will not be eligible to receive K-2 visas, and separate immigrant visa petitions will be required. If your child has a valid K-2 visa and you have already adjusted status to that of permanent resident, your child may still travel on the K-2 visa.

My Petition Expired – Can It Be Extended?

The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval by USCIS. A consular officer can extend the validity of the petition if it expires before visa processing is completed.

How to Apply for a Social Security Number Card

To learn about applying for a Social Security Number Card, visit the website for the Social Security Administration

 

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