What is the K-1 visa?
The K-1 visa is for foreign fiancé(e)s of United States citizens. The visa allows the foreign fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S. for 90 days, during which time the U.S. citizen and foreign fiancé(e) must get married in the U.S. If no marriage takes place within this 90 day period, the foreign fiancé(e) must depart the U.S.
Will my fiancé(e) have a green card immediately after arriving in the United States?
No. Your fiancé(e) will be in “K-1 nonimmigrant status” upon arriving in the United States. Once you get married (within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s arrival), your fiancé(e) must apply for Adjustment of Status (“AOS”). Once the AOS application is approved by USCIS and you both appear for an “Adjustment Interview” at your local USCIS field office, then your fiancé(e) will be given a 2-year “conditional” green card. Approximately 1 ¾ years after your fiancé(e) gets this conditional green card, s/he will need to apply to remove the conditions on his/her green card in order to be granted a 10-year “permanent” green card.
Can my foreign fiancé(e)’s child(ren) come to the United States, too?
Yes. Children of a foreign fiancé(e) come to the U.S. on what is known as a “K-2 visa.”
What is the process for obtaining a fiancé(e) visa?
The U.S. citizen petitioner files Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) with USCIS along with the required supporting documentation and filing fee. Once the petition is approved, USCIS notifies the National Visa Center (“NVC”). The NVC then forwards the approved petition to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate where the beneficiary fiancé(e) will apply for the visa. The beneficiary applies for the visa and pays the necessary visa fees. The U.S. Embassy/Consulate instructs the beneficiary on obtaining police reports and medical exams. The beneficiary will undergo an in-person interview in front of a U.S. consular officer at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. If the beneficiary passes the interview, his/her visa will be mailed to her usually within a matter of days. Once the visa “stamped” in the beneficiary’s passport, s/he can travel to the U.S.
How long does the fiancé(e) visa process take?
Currently, the wait times are between 7-9 months. However, these times constantly change as USCIS goes through its normal ebb and flow process. To check the current estimated processing times, see the USCIS web site.
Will my fiancé(e) be able to work in the United States?
Yes. Your fiancé(e)’s work authorization card will arrive a few months after applying for Adjustment of Status.
Will my fiancé(e) be able to travel outside the U.S.?
The rule of thumb is that the fiancé(e) should not travel outside the U.S. Once the marriage takes place within the 90 day period, your significant other will no longer be your “fiancé(e)” – s/he will be your “spouse.” Once s/he is your spouse, s/he should apply for AOS, as discussed above. In the AOS application, s/he will also apply for “advance parole,” which is the travel document that allows an AOS applicant to travel outside the U.S. while the AOS is pending.
My foreign fiancé(e) was found ineligible and was told to apply for a waiver—what do I do?
If your foreign fiancé(e) was denied a visa but received a letter from the U.S. Department of State indicating that s/he is eligible for a hardship waiver, you should speak to an immigration attorney.
How can I get more information regarding the K-1 visa?
Contact us by telephone at (206) 535-2900 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.