K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Lawyer
What is a K1 Fiancé(e) Visa?
The fiance K-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen 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. The foreign-citizen will then apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the 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. Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants receive K-2 visas.
What is a Fiancé(e)?
Under U.S. immigration law, a foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen is the recipient of an approved Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F, who has been issued a nonimmigrant K-1 visa for travel to the United States in order to marry his or her U.S. citizen fiancé(e).
Both the U.S. citizen and the K-1 visa applicant must have been legally free to marry at the time the petition was filed and must have remained so thereafter. The marriage must be legally possible according to laws of the U.S. state in which the marriage will take place.
USA Fiancé(e) Visa Filing Steps:
Take a look at the steps for a USA fiancé(e) visa:
- The U.S. citizen sponsor must file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS office that serves the area where the U.S. Citizen lives. 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 processing, and NVC will send it to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the fiancé(e) will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
- Once the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will apply, receives the petition from NVC, it will provide the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) with specific instructions, including where to go for the required medical examination. The foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will then be called in for an interview at the Consulate for the issuance of a K-3 visa.
Required K-1 Visa Documentation:
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:
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application DS-160
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions)
- Birth certificate
- Divorce or death certificate(s) of any previous spouse(s) for both the foreign citizen fiancé(e) and the U.S. citizen sponsor
- Police certificates from foreign citizen fiancé(e)’s present country of residence and all countries where he/she has lived for 6 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 inch photographs.
- Evidence of relationship with the U.S. citizen fiancé(e).
- Payment of visa fees.
What happens after marriage?
Once the marriage has happened, your new spouse is able to apply for Adjustment of Status in order for him/her to work and live permanently in the country.
K1 and K2 visa holders may file an application for employment authorization (EAD). It’s important to note that if you file the application prior to filing the Adjustment of Status, then your EAD will expire within the 90-day window (when K-1 expires). For that reason, it’s advised to apply afterward.
Getting a Social Security Number
Most individuals are curious about when they get a social security number following marriage. You are able to acquire an SSN after providing an unexpired I-94. You must also have an EAD first before getting an SSN.
Tip: Applying too soon for your SSN could actually result in delays. Wait approx. 2 weeks after arriving in the country otherwise it may require manual verification from the USCIS because your records of arrival may not be saved in the system yet.
Here’s the process:
Take your marriage certificate with you to the SS office to prove your new marriage name. If you happen to be making a name change after the marriage is finalized, go to the SS office with your marriage certificate to file for a name change.
K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is acceptable proof as evidence of a finance relationship?
Things like family and relationship photographs, phone records, letters, cards, etc. Consult with a K1 Visa lawyer to determine which other documents may be appropriate.
Q. Is a K-1 Visa holder able to exit the US?
A K-1 visa holder upon arriving in the US is not allowed to leave, then re-enter on the same visa. If you intend to come to exit the country then re-enter it’s recommended to apply for a travel document with Form I-131.
Q. Is a K-1 Visa holder allowed to work in the country?
As we previously mentioned they can once they file Form I-765 for employment authorization and meet the other eligibility requirements.
Q. How much time does the entire process take?
There is no exact answer for this since the time period varies largely in relation to the details of the case. It’s best to consult a k1 visa lawyer for more details regarding the process.
Q. Is there a limit on the number of filing petitions?
Two or more k-1 visa filings in your past may require you to apply for a waiver. Also, if you’ve had an approved K-1 petition within the last two years, the same applies.
Q. What are the consequence of marriage fraud?
There are strict penalties for those who engage in marriage fraud including five years of imprisonment, hefty fines, or both.
Why Do I Need a K1 Visa Lawyer?
- The K1 Visa Lawyers at SGM Law Group have assisted several clients with complex situations and have successfully obtained K-1 visa for foreign citizen fiancé(e)s.
- The process of sponsoring a foreign fiancé(e) can be very stressful. Our K1 fiancé(e) visa attorneys can provide you expert guidance every step of the way and take the burden out of preparing and filing the necessary forms with supporting documentation.