(K-1) Fiancé(e) Visa

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Petitioning For a (K-1) Fiancé(e) Visa

You have just gotten engaged, but your fiancé(e) is a non-resident foreign citizen who does not currently reside in the United States.  You must complete a process now to bring your Alien Fiancé(e) (foreign national, non-resident) to the United States, legally in order to secure their legal status and future once they are here States?

You- the U.S. citizen fiancé(e), known as the sponsor – must  take steps to apply for a visa (known as the (K-1) Fiancé(e) Visa) in order to bring your fiancé(e) to the United States, legally. This article will  help walk you through the process of required to obtain the (K-1) Fiancé(e) Visa.

 The Application Process:

First, you-the U.S. citizen fiancé(e)/sponsor must petition for the Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live, by filing a I-29F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).

The petition for the visa: The I-29F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e):

Eligibility Requirements:

In order to petition for a fiancé(e) visa/file  Form I-29F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), you must show that:

  • You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
  • You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
  • You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
  • You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
    1. If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
    2. If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.

If the Form I-29F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) is properly filed with the proper USCIS office and the petition is accepted and approved by the USCIS, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will give you a case number and send your petition to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé(e) lives.  When it sends your fiancé(e) case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, The NVC will mail you a letter. Once you receive this letter, inform your fiancé(e) to take the next steps to then apply for the actual (K-1) Visa and prepare for the interview.

*Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants may apply for K-2 visas. Separate applications must be submitted for each K visa applicant, and each K visa applicant must pay the visa application fee.

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Lawyer specializing in DUI and criminal defense throughout Northern Virginia.


Applying for the actual (K-1) Visa and preparing for the interview:

The foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will be required to bring the following forms and documents to the (K-1) Visa interview:

  • Completed Form DS-160, Online Non-immigrant Visa Application. You (and any eligible children applying for K-4 visas) must: (1) complete Form DS-160 and (2) print the DS-160 confirmation page to bring to your interview.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions).
  • Divorce or death certificate(s) of any previous spouse(s) for both you and the U.S. citizen sponsor.
  • Police certificates from your present country of residence and all countries where you have lived for six 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 photographs. (See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements ).
  • Evidence of relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e).
  • Payment of fees.
** Be Aware: The consular officer might ask for/require you to provide additional information, such as photographs and other proof that the relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) is genuine. Documents in foreign languages, other than the language of the country in which the application takes place, should be translated. Applicants should take to the visa interview clear, legible photocopies of civil documents and translations, such as birth and divorce certificates. Original documents and translations will be returned.

Review Additional U.S. Embassy/Consulate-Specific Instructions

There may be additional instructions for collecting documentation needed for your K visa interview. Review U.S. Embassy/Consulate-Specific Instructions to learn what additional requirements there are, if any.

Medical Examination and Vaccination Requirements:

In preparing for the visa interview, applicants will need to schedule and complete a medical examination. Before  an immigrant or K visa, can be issued every applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination which must be performed by an authorized panel physician. You will be provided instructions regarding medical examinations from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for your visa, including information on authorized panel physicians.

K visa applicants are encouraged to get the vaccinations required under U.S. immigration law for immigrant visa applicants.  Such vaccinations are not required for K visa issuance, however, they will be required when adjusting status to that of legal permanent resident following your marriage. Therefore it is recommended and encouraged that they be fulfilled during medical examinations for the K visa process.

Proof of Financial Support and Affidavit of Support Forms:

During the visa interview, applicants will be required to present evidence to the consular officer that they will not become a public charge/burden in the United States. You may present evidence that you are able to financially support yourself or that your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) is able to provide support. The Consular Officer may request that a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support be submitted by the U.S. citizen fiancé(e).

The U.S. citizen fiancé(e) will need to submit Form I-864 to USCIS with the application for adjustment of status to that of legal permanent resident following the marriage.

*Income Requirements regarding Form I-864:

Many applicants ask,“Do the Same Income Requirements Apply to Form I-134 as Apply to Form I-864?”

The answer is,  No they do not. The 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline minimum income requirement, the most recent year’s tax return, and other requirements only apply when Form I-864 is needed. Applicants presenting Form I-134 will need to show that their U.S. sponsor’s income is 100 percent of the federal poverty guideline.

Length of time to process/receive (K-1) Visa:

Once your case has been received from NVC by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that will process it, the length of time varies from case to case according to its circumstances. Some cases are delayed because applicants do not follow instructions carefully or supply incomplete information. (It is important to give us correct postal addresses and telephone numbers.) Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer.

After the Fiancé(e) Visa is Issued

After the Fiancé(e) Visa is issued, your fiancé(e) will be  provided with a passport along with the visa, and “other documents”. The “other documents” will be in  an unopened/sealed packet containing these documents, DO NOT OPEN THIS ENVELOPE/PACKET.  Only the DHS immigration official should open this packet when you enter the United States.  The Passport and the K-1 Visa which will allow the Alien Fiancé(e)  to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place . With the visa, the alien fiancé(e) can apply for a single admission at a U.S. port-of-entry within the validity of the visa, which will be a maximum of 6 months from the date of issuance.

You must marry your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of your entry into the United States. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application.

Entering the United States – Port of Entry

The K visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry and request permission to enter the United States.   This visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have the  authority to permit or deny admission to the U.S. Upon arrival at the port-of-entry, be prepared to present the Customs Border Patrol (CBP) officer your passport with visa and your unopened/sealed packet containing your documents.

*If I-29F Has Petition Expired:

The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval by USCIS. A consular officer can extend the validity of the petition if it expires before visa processing is completed.

Ineligibilities for Visas:

Certain conditions and activities may make you, the applicant, ineligible for a visa. Examples of these ineligibilities include: drug trafficking; overstaying a previous visa; and submitting fraudulent documents. If you are ineligible for a visa, you will be informed by the Consular Officer and advised whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility and what the waiver process is.

Getting engaged is an exciting moment in two people’s life. It can be even more exciting when an engagement provides the opportunity to broaden the horizon’s of another person, to the extent that they are able to call the United States their new home and start a new chapter of their life here.  However, the vast immigration laws of the United States of America, and their overwhelming complexities and technicalities can be extremely difficult and frustrating. If  any of these laws, guidelines, requirements, or technicalities are  mistaken, misunderstood or not followed with precision and detail, this exciting time can become an extremely stressful and difficult time

Therefore, if you are engaged to, or are about to be engaged to,  a foreign national, who does not currently reside in the United States of America, it is extremely important that you seek the aid of experienced immigration lawyers to help you properly through this process.  We strongly recommend that you reach  out to the Immigration Attorneys and Specialists at Ervin Kibria PLLC to discuss your particular case in far greater detail.

Further information around Alien Fiancé(e) Visas can be found at the Ervin Kibria PLLC website.  Helpful details can also be found at the USCIS, along with the U.S Department of State.


Ervin Kibria P.L.L.C is dedicated to protect, fight and secure the rights, opportunities and hope for the future that you and your family deserve.

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