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Basics of the K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Process
Feb 08, 2023

Basics of the K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Process

A fiancé visa, which is also referred to as the K1 visa, allows someone engaged to a U.S. citizen to enter the United States to get married to the person they are engaged to. However, to maintain the validity of this visa, the couple must get married within 90 days of the other spouse entering the United States. At Villarrubia & Rosenberger, we routinely help clients in Indianapolis to obtain this K1 fiancé visa.

The term “fiancé” is French and refers to a man engaged in getting married. A woman engaged to get married is referred to as the “fiancée.” For purposes of this article, we use “fiancé” to mean either a man or woman engaged to get married.

Eligibility for K1 Fiancé Visa

You may be eligible to have your fiancé to be given a K1 visa and come to the United States on this visa if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are a U.S. citizen.
  • You and your fiancé intend to get married to each other within 90 days of your fiancé’s entering the United States on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
  • You and your fiancé are both legally free to marry, meaning you both are not prevented by laws in the United States from getting married, such as not having legally terminated prior marriages through divorce, death, or annulment.
  • You and your fiancé have previously met in person at least once within the 2-year period immediately before you file your petition for the K1 visa. This requirement may be waived if you request and meet the criteria for a waiver, which is a showing that meeting in person would:
    • Violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé’s foreign culture or social practice; or
    • Result in extreme hardship to you, the U.S. citizen filing the petition.

Steps in a K1 Fiancé Visa Application

Step 1. U.S. citizen files Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and pays the applicable filing fee. The petition must be accompanied by documents to prove eligibility. If USCIS is satisfied, the petition will be approved and sent to the National Visa Center (NVC).

Step 2. NVC forwards the approved petition to the US consulate in the country where your fiancé lives, and you will be notified when a visa is scheduled for your fiancé to apply for the K1 visa. It is your responsibility to make sure your fiancé goes for the interview as scheduled.

Step 3. If the K1 visa is approved, the fiancé travels and enters the US. It is important to remember that just having the visa approved does not guarantee admission into the United States because the CBP officer at the port of entry will make the final determination of whether you should be allowed to enter the US on the K1 visa.

Step 4. You and your fiancé have 90 days to get married to each other, counted from the date your fiancé enters the US.

Step 5. If you marry within 90 days, your fiancé can apply for a green card.

If you are in the Indianapolis area and wish to apply for a K1 fiancé visa, contact us today for a consultation.




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