What Are K-1 Visas?
The fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa is an authorized way for a U.S. Citizen to bring a fiancé into the country, so the couple can be married. The marriage must take place within 90 days of the day the fiancé entering the United States. The visa is the legal document necessary to allow the fiancé’s entry into America. Once the foreigner enters the country, he/she will apply to become a permanent resident with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS is an agency of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Foreign children of the K-1applicant may be allowed to enter the United States by obtaining a K-2 visa.
The Travel department of the State department has numerous requirements and conditions, including:
- Both the U.S. citizen and the fiancé must be otherwise eligible to marry from the time the petition for the K-1 visas is filed and continually thereafter. Eligibility is determined by the laws of the state where the marriage will occur.
- The couple must have met in person within the prior two years. Some exceptions may apply – such as if the foreign country or foreign culture where the fiancé resides doesn’t allow couples to meet before the marriage day.
- The fiancé must be able to show that he/she will not be become a public charge in the United States – that the visa applicant will be able to support himself/herself or that that the U.S. citizen can provide the support.
The K-1 visa process
The U.S. citizen sponsor files a Form I-129 F with the USCIS. “After USCIS approves the petition, 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.”
The NVC will then send the US. Citizen sponsor a letter explaining what other steps the fiancé must take to apply and to prepare for the required interview. The couple and eligible children will need documentation for the following:
- A completed online nonimmigrant visa application
- A valid passport for travel to the United States subject to other requirements
- Any relevant divorce or death certificates for both parties to the new marriage
- Valid police certificates
- A medical examination
- “Evidence of financial support”
- Two properly sized photographs
- Evidence of relationship with the U.S. citizen sponsor
- Payment of all relevant fees
- Any additional evidence requested such as birth certificates
Medical exams must be performed by an “authorized panel physician.” Vaccinations are also required since they will be needed to be approved for legal permanent residence status.
Some conditions make a person ineligible for a K-1 Visa such as overstaying a prior visa, fraudulent documents, or drug trafficking.
Additional rules and requirements apply. There are precise conditions for what the fiancé should do after receiving the K-1 visa, including that only a DHS immigration official can open the sealed packet you will receive.
Perry A. Craft understands how important it is for citizens to be able to marry their loved ones. America does try to foster marriages but specific requirements must be met and the right procedures must be followed. Mr. Craft is experienced in helping couples unite in America. We understand the complicated K-1 visa process. For help arranging for your fiancé to enter the United States to be married, please call the Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC at 615-953-3808 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.
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Perry A. Craft has dedicated his life to helping people in need. He has tried, settled, or resolved numerous civil and criminal cases in State and Federal courts, and has represented teachers and administrators before school boards, administrative judges, and the state Board of Education. Learn more about Attorney Craft.