K-1 Visa Frequently Asked Questions
What is K-1 Visa?
The engaged partner of a U.S. citizen may enter the country using a K-1 visa, often known as a fiancé visa, provided that the wedding takes place no later than 90 days after the couple enters the country. A "green card" for permanent residence (based on marriage) can thereafter be requested by the newlywed couple.
What are the conditions to obtain a fiancé visa?
To submit a K-1 fiancé Visa petition, you must be a citizen of the United States. You must demonstrate in your petition that:
1. You're an American citizen.
2. Within 90 days of your fiancé's entry into the country, you intend to get married.
3. You two are free to get married.
4. Within the two years before to submitting this petition, you had each personally met.
How can I get my fiancé to the US?
An American national who desires to wed a foreign national. In a variety of methods, a citizen can assist their fiancé in obtaining permanent residency. The quickest way to apply for a fiancé visa if you want to marry your fiancé in the US but they are currently living abroad. This type of visa, known as a K-1, enables your fiancé to visit the country for a period of 90 days so that you can get married there. Your spouse can seek for permanent residency after you get married and stay in the country while you submit an application to change his or her status.
Once initial petition for a fiancé visa is approved, it is then sent to the National Visa Center for processing and forwarded to the United States nearest embassy or consulate to your fiancé's residence abroad. Before issuing the actual fiancé visa, the embassy or consulate will then invite him or her to an interview.
Can my fiancé enter with a tourist visa, then marry me to adjust her status?
It is illegal to enter the country with a tourist visa with the intention of staying. Deportation and a ban from reentering the country can and frequently do result from this. Read the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office's ruling in the section below for an illustration of how this might go horribly wrong. In one instance, a Filipino woman who had wed a citizen of the United States attempted to enter the country on a tourist visa. She wasn't just unsuccessful in trying to stay in the United States; later, when she attempted to enter the country legally, they refused her entry due to her earlier attempt to abuse the tourist visa. She filed an appeal, but it was rejected. She is currently prohibited from entering the country.
However, keep in mind that your fiancé can travel here on a tourist visa and get married to you. She must depart the country, however, before her tourist visa expires and apply for a spousal visa from outside the country. Not the marriage but the intention to remain is forbidden. A visitor who comes to the country without any plans to get married and stay may be able to do so if they impulsively decide to do so while there. You must, however, persuade the administration that this was not always your intention.
After she arrives on her K-1 Visa, can my fiancée work?
Yes, however she will first need to get a document proving her employment authorization. After getting married, you use form I-765 to apply for this document (which is actually a card, Form I-766). This process can't begin until your fiancé is here. She won't be able to work during the customary two-month waiting period for the EAD. Because you cannot obtain the EAD until you are married, she will not be able to work until you do.
Is it important where we get married?
You must wait until after you enter the country on your K-1 visa before getting married, regardless of where you want to wed. You can get married anyplace once you are in the United States. You are not need to wed in the state where the sponsor is a citizen of the United States.
When should my fiancée visit the US after receiving her K-1 Visa?
As soon as she receives her K-1 Visa—even the same day—she can depart. She must visit the United States before the expiration of the K-1 Visa's six-month validity period. The K-3 visa has a two-year validity period.
My visa was turned down. Can I submit a new application?
Yes. You can reapply using the same procedure you used to submit your initial application if you have additional information or your circumstances have changed.
If I'm rejected, will my visa application payments be reimbursed?
No. The fees for applying for visas are all non-refundable.
Do you allow marriages in the U.S. Embassy?
No, American consular officials are not allowed to officiate weddings (Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations 52.1). Marriages are also not permitted on embassy property.
How long is the validity of my K-1 visa?
You are only permitted to enter the United States once with the K1 visa, which is valid for six months. Since the USCIS's K1 approval is only valid for four months, the visa must be given within that time frame. However, if it was not the applicant's fault that the visa could not be provided within the four months, the consular official will frequently extend the USCIS approval for an additional four months. The pair must get married within 90 days of the fiancé's arrival in the United States. There is no way to extend this 90-day window.
My K-1 application was turned down. May I appeal?
Yes. Your denial letter will include instructions on how to appeal. You will typically have 33 days from the time you receive your refusal to submit your appeal to the USCIS, unless otherwise advised. You will submit your appeal using USCIS Form I-290B, unless otherwise instructed. The same office that rejected your petition must receive your appeal. The Administrative Appeals Unit in Washington, DC, deals with appeals.
I came to the country on a K-1 visa, but I want to wed someone else. Can this be done?
No. Only the individual who petitioned you is eligible for marriage. You have 90 days in the country, after which you must depart. Then, your new fiancé can submit a fresh K-1 petition to have you returned.
Can I get documents translated by the American embassy?
No. You don't require any sort of "official" translation, though. You can hire anyone to translate for you.
Can I return to the United States if I depart on my K-1 Visa prior to being married?
The consular officer may issue a new K-1 visa if a K-1 visa, good for a single entry and a 6-month period, has already been used for admission into the United States and the foreign fiancé has returned home before getting married, provided that the period of validity does not exceed 90 days from the date of the beneficiary's initial admission under the original K visa and that the petitioner and beneficiary still intend to wed and have the legal right to do so. Within 90 days after the date of the initial admission into the U.S. in K-1 status, the foreign partner must return to the country and get married to the sponsor. You can't exit the nation and return on a K1 visa because it only allows for one admission.
Can I apply for a K-1 fiancée visa even though we haven't really met?
Most likely not. Although it happens infrequently, the USCIS has on occasion issued a waiver for a person's health or place of worship.
Online meetings do not count. A face-to-face meeting is required, and it must have taken place no more than 24 months ago. The meeting need not take place in the nation of your fiancée and can take place anywhere in the world. You cannot therefore claim that her country is unsafe. Since your fiance can easily meet you here in the US, your inability to obtain a passport or leave the country will likewise be ineffective as an explanation.