Fiancée (K1) Visa
If you are engaged to a fiancée who is residing in a foreign country and want to marry your fiancée in the United States, the only proper visa for entry into the U.S. is the K1 fiancée visa.
- You are a U.S. citizen.
- You have met your fiancée in person within the previous two years.
- You and your fiancée are both legally free to marry.
- You and your fiancée both have a sincere intent to marry within 90 days of your fiancée’s arrival in the U.S.
- You can meet the minimum income requirement for a K1 visa.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
The K1 visa petition is filed at the proper USCIS Centers. If there are any missing documents or incorrect paperwork, you will receive a Request for Evidence (“RFE”). Each RFE will delay the approval of your K1 visa petition, and ultimately the approval and issuance of your K1 fiancée visa, by 6-12 months.
National Visa Center (NVC)
When the USCIS has approved the K1 visa petition, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (“NVC”) where background checks are performed on both the U.S Citizen Petitioner and the foreign fiancée. The NVC will forward the petition to the Consulate that will conduct the visa interview, but the Consulate will not interview the fiancée until the NVC checks have been successfully completed.
U.S. EMBASSY (CONSULATE)
When the approved petition and background checks have been received by the U.S. Consulate having jurisdiction over the city in which the fiancée is legally residing, the Consulate will instruct the fiancée to undergo a medical exam at a clinic specified by the Consulate and to report for the visa interview on a specified date. If the fiancée passes the medical exam and the interview is successful, the K1 fiancée visa will normally be issued within the following two weeks. There are many things that can delay or prevent the issuance of the K1 fiancée visa. Listed in the order of frequency that they seem to occur:
- Failure to convince the Consular Officer that a bona fide relationship exists between the couple
- Large age difference between U.S. citizen and the fiancée
- Missing documents
- Incorrect documents
- Documents completed incorrectly
- Ability to communicate in English or in beneficiary’s language
- U.S. citizen cannot meet the minimum income requirement
All of the above can normally be avoided by hiring an immigration law firm with the experience that we have in handling these situations. Number 2 can be more of a problem with certain Consulates than with others, but the risk of a denial due to the age difference can certainly be reduced by adequate interview preparation for the fiancée. Also, we will cover this potential problem in our initial conversation with you and advise you as to what we believe to be your chances of successfully obtaining a K1 fiancée visa.
The timing of the K1 fiancée visa depends on the USCIS Service Center that processes the Visa petition and the country in which the foreign fiancée legally resides. If you will give us a call we will be glad to compute the current processing time for your K1 fiancée visa situation.
Once your fiancée receives the K1 fiancée visa, he or she has a maximum of six months to use it to enter the U.S. When your fiancée enters the U.S. on the K1 fiancée visa, he or she has 90 days to either marry you or depart the U.S. There are no extensions of the 90 day requirement. If your fiancée does not marry you and does not depart the U.S. within 90 days of arrival, he or she will be subject to deportation. Your fiancée cannot enter the U.S. on a K1 fiancée visa, marry someone other than you and remain legally in the U.S. If this occurred, he or she would have to depart the U.S. and their American citizen spouse would then have to file for a spousal visa for the foreign spouse.
After your fiancée enters the U.S. on a K1 fiancée visa and marries you within 90 days of arrival, he or she will be allowed to remain legally in the U.S. and will need to file for a Green Card.
K2 VISA (CHILD)
The K2 visa is for the foreign fiancée’s unmarried children under the age of 21. We will include the child’s K2 visa request when we file for the parent’s K1 fiancée visa. The child also has a maximum of six months from the issuance of the K visa to enter the U.S. and basically has the same rights as the K1 fiancée with the exception that the child must enter the U.S. as well as file for adjustment status prior to his or her 21 st birthday.