K-1 Fiance(e) Visa
A U.S. citizen who is engaged to a foreign national can invite his or her fiance(e) to the United States for the purpose of marrying through a K-1 visa. Once the foreign national has entered the United States, the couple must marry within 90 days.
The petitioner of the K-1 visa must be a U.S. citizen. A lawful permanent resident cannot be a K-1 visa petitioner. The couple must demonstrate that:
both individuals are willing and able to marry each other within 90 days of the fiance(e)’s arrival in the United States
both individuals must have a good faith intention to marry each other
the couple has met each other within the two years preceding the filing of the K-1 visa. (This requirement may be waived in certain, limited circumstances)
The first stage in bringing a K-1 beneficiary to the United States requires the U.S. citizen to submit a K-1 visa application to the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS). At this stage the couple must submit multiple forms to the USCIS and demonstrate (through documentation) that they are eligible for the K-1 visa.
Once USCIS has approved the K-1 application, it is sent to the Department of State and a background check is performed on the beneficiary. After the background check is completed, the K-1 beneficiary is required to undergo a medical examination and is invited to a U.S. consulate or embassy for an interview. The K-1 beneficiary must attend the interview and will be required to submit additional forms. The American citizen petitioner does not need to attend this interview. If the K-1 beneficiary is successful during the interview, a K-1 visa will be given to the beneficiary either immediately or a few days after the interview. The beneficiary can then enter the United States once the K-1 visa is in hand.
Once the K-1 beneficiary enters the United States, the couple must marry within 90 days. There are no exceptions to this time limit and failure to marry will result in the need for the beneficiary to leave the United States.
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