The K-1 fiancé visa is available to fiancés of U.S. citizens who are living outside of the U.S. and intend to get married within 90 days of arriving in the country. The marriage must be valid, both parties must have an intent to establish a life together and the marriage cannot be for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit. If your fiancé marries you within 90 days of being admitted to the United States, then they may apply for lawful permanent resident status.
You may be eligible to bring your fiancé to the United States on a fiancé visa if you meet the following requirements:
- You are a U.S. citizen
- You and your fiancé intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé's entry to the U.S. on a K-1 visa
- You and your fiancé are both legally able to marry in the United States and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by annulment, divorce, or death
- You and your fiancé met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before filing your petition. You may, however, request a waiver of this requirement if an in-person meeting would:
- Violate strict customs of your fiancé's foreign culture or social practice
- Result in extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen petitioner
Steps for Bringing Your Fiancé to the United States
- Petition for Fiancé
You must file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé to USCIS. USCIS will review the documents submitted and may mail a request for evidence if they need additional documentation to establish eligibility. If eligibility is established, USCIS approves Form I-129F and recognizes the claimed fiancé relationship. Otherwise, USCIS will deny the Form and notify reasons for denial. The approved Form I-129F will be sent to the Department of State (DOS) National Visa Center (NVC).
- Visa Application
The NVC will forward the approved Form I-129F to the U.S. Embassy or consulate where your fiancé will apply for a K-1 visa. This is usually the Embassy or consulate where your fiancé lives. You will be notified when the visa interview for your fiancé is scheduled. Your fiancé applies for the K-1 visa and brings the requirements documents to the interview. The DOS officer will then determine whether your fiancé qualifies for the visa. If the officer grants the visa, it is valid for up to six months for a single entry. If the officer does not find the relationship to be true, DOS will not issue a K-1 visa and instead will return the Form I-129F to USCIS.
- Inspection at Port of Entry
Like with any other visa, a K-1 visa does not guarantee admission to the United States. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry makes the ultimate decision about whether to admit your fiancé.
If your fiancé is admitted to the United States on a K-1 visa, you have 90 days to marry each other.
- Adjustment of Status
If you marry within 90 days, your spouse may apply for a Green Card by a filing Form I-485. The documents submitted will be reviewed and if additional information is needed, USCIS will send a request for evidence. Then, both you and your spouse will be required to appear for an interview. If you are married for less than two years at the time the Form I-485 was approved, then USCIS will grant your spouse conditional permanent resident status with a Green Card that is valid for 2 years. To remove the conditions on their residence, your spouse must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence in the 90 days before their Green Card expires.