What is K-1 Visa?
If you get engaged in a foreign country and want to bring your fiancé here to get married, you must obtain a K-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State. A K-2 visa is also available for your fiancé’s children.
After marriage, a K-1 visa holder may apply for a two-year green card. When this expires, filing Form I-751 removes conditions and allows you to become a permanent resident of the United States.
Requirements to Sponsor Someone for a K-1 Fiancé Visa
To obtain a K-1 fiancé visa, you must provide evidence of your intent to enter a bonafide marriage. This means you are not acting fraudulently or using the marriage merely as a means to obtain entry into the country. Additional requirements to sponsor someone on a K-1 visa include:
- You must be a United States citizen;
- You must intend on getting married within 90 days of arrival in the U.S.;
- You must both be free to marry, with prior marriages terminated via divorce, death, or annulment;
- You and your fiancé must have met in person at least one time within two years prior to filing a K-1 petition.
You may request a waiver for the in-person requirement if it violates customs or traditions in your fiancé’s home country or would result in extreme hardship for you as a U.S. citizen. Our K-1 immigration attorneys will explain these requirements and the exceptions that apply.
Process and Fees for a K-1 Visa
To get a K-1 visa, you must go through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Our Atlanta family-based immigration lawyers will protect your rights throughout the process:
- File Form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fiancé asking USCIS to recognize your relationship.
- Attend background checks and a medical exam.
- Apply for a K-1 visa once an approved Form I-129F is sent to the U.S. Embassy or local consulate where your fiancé lives.
- Attend a K-1 visa interview.
Fees associated with obtaining a fiancé visa include $535 to file Form I-129F, $265 for the K-1 application fee and between $150-$500 (varies depending on the country where they are performed) for medical exams.
The K-1 Visa Interview
The K-1 visa interview determines whether your future spouse is permitted to enter the United States. We encourage you to contact our immigration K-1 attorneys to prepare for this interview.
We can review questions commonly asked, guide you in responses, and ensure you have all the required documents. There are two goals of the K-1 visa interview:
- Determine whether security issues prevent your fiance from entering the country;
- Determine whether your relationship is legitimate and you intend to enter a bonafide marriage.
If your K-1 visa is granted, it is valid for a single entry for up to 6 months. If your petition is rejected, it will be returned to USCIS, and you will need to begin the process all over again.
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