Having a partner from another country can come with a few challenges. From distance to immigration rights, there's more to a foreign marriage than a just ceremony. In order for your fiance to live in the United States, you'll need to apply for a temporary visa. For a United States citizen with a fiance who has citizenship in another country, the K-1 visa is a great option. This visa will allow you to come into the United States until you are married and then you can seek permanent residence after you're married.
The K-1 fiance visa process can be complicated and unfamiliar to many seeking an application. The process requires you to gather documents and information, but with the help of an experienced K-1 fiance visa attorney at Orbit Law, you'll have someone experienced in handling legal proceedings. Our team can guide you through each step and answer any questions you have about the application.
What Is the K-1 Fiancé Visa?
A K-1 fiance visa is a non-immigrant visa that gives an engaged partner of a United States citizen the right to enter the country to get married. While this visa does not allow the fiance permanent residency in the U.S., it does offer them within 90 days to get married After the couple gets married, the foreign partner can apply for a marriage green card in the United States.
If you are able to get married abroad, you may decide to simply apply for a marriage green card. However, if the U.S. citizen cannot get married in another country or wants to get married in the U.S., this is an excellent option for the couple. It is also considerably faster to get a K-1 Visa than a marriage visa.
Eligibility for the K-1 Fiancé Visa
In order for a foreign fiance to receive sponsorship from their partner and apply for the K-1 visa, there are some requirements the foreign national must meet. If you and your partner meet all the below requirements, you are eligible to apply for the K-1 visa:
- One of the partners must be a U.S. citizen.
- Marriage must occur within 90 days after the foreign fiance arrives in the United States.
- Marriage must occur legally within the United States.
- All prior marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, annulment, or death prior to the marriage with the foreign national.
- Marriages between same-sex partners are eligible for K-1 visas.
- Partners must have met at least once two years before they file for a K-1 visa. However, if an in-person meeting would violate religious or cultural practices, or cause harm, you may request a waiver of this requirement.
- Must show that you are in a legitimate relationship with the other person. For example, show evidence from the beginning of your relationship to the engagement period.
- The household income of the U.S. citizen is at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. When their income is below this amount, the person must submit a supplemental Form I-864 or Form I-864A with their application.
If you have other questions regarding the above guidelines or unique issues with you or your relationship, a fiance visa lawyer can help answer all your questions and offer advice on your best options. There are some circumstances where certain criminal convictions may be ineligible for this visa.
What Is the K-1 Fiancé Visa Process
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports that the average length of the K-1 visa is between 5 to 7.5 months. With the length of time that most take with the visa, there are a lot of documents and steps to prepare. Consider the following steps in the K-1 process:
One of the first steps when applying for the K-1 visa is filing Form I-129F with USCIS. The purpose of this form is to mainly validate the relationship between the two parties. A few examples of documents that can work as evidence include:
- Proof of citizenship for the U.S. citizen fiancé
- Copy of the sponsored fiancé's passport
- Proof of the legitimacy of the relationship
- Proof of having met in person at least one time within the two years before filing the form
For more evidence, you can use, look to your fiance visa lawyer for the right piece of information that works for you and your relationship. The USCIS will send a receipt notice within 30 days of the couple submitting the supporting documents. If they need more information, they may send a Request for Evidence (RFE).
Form DS-160 and Interview
Once your relationship has been verified and approved by the USCIS, they'll send the case to the U.S. Department of State. The foreign fiancé will then receive a notice from the U.S. embassy in their home country of when and where their visa interview will occur and a list of necessary documents. Before the interview, the sponsored fiancé needs to complete the State Department's online DS-160 form.
A confirmation page will come up once they complete the online form, and the fiance must get a copy of that form. Around four to six weeks after the official notice, the interview will occur, and the interviewing officer will decide on the case either on the same day or shortly after.
Arrival and Marriage
When the visa is approved, the fiancé has six months to travel to the United States. Once they arrive, they must get married within 90 days, or the fiance will lose their K-1 visa and will need to leave the country.
There is no option for another chance at the K-1 visa after the first. If you are struggling with time, seek assistance from your lawyer for more information about what you need to complete or submit.
Contact a Reliable Seattle K-1 Fiancé Visa Lawyer at Orbit Law
When you have a K-1 fiance visa lawyer working to help you through the complicated process, you can feel confident that you'll have a smooth and streamlined process. At Orbit Law, we understand that you may have many questions, and we can help answer them. With over ten years of experience, we gathered the tools and resources you need for your visa application. We offer our legal services in English, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu so our clients can comfortably communicate all their questions and concerns.
Call (206) 623-3352 or fill out our contact form for more information about our services or to speak with a representative.