K-1 Fiance Visa Step 1: File the Petition
The United States citizen sponsor files the K-1 Fiance Visa petition with the USCIS by mailing the completed I-129F petition package along with a check to the Department of Homeland Security for $535.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 2: Petition Received
Two to three weeks after mailing your petition, you will receive a Notice of Action (NOA1) in the mail indicating the USCIS has received your K-1 Fiance visa petition. You do nothing at this step.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 3: Petition Approved
Between 4 and 6 months after mailing your K-1 Fiance Visa petition, you will receive a Notice of Action (NOA2) in the mail indicating the USCIS has approved your K-1 Fiance visa petition. You do nothing at this step.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 4: Case Sent to National Visa Center
The Service Center that handled your K-1 Fiance Visa (either Vermont or California) forwards your case to the State Department’s NVC. This will happen within two week of your approval. The NVC will run a security check on your fiance. You will not receive anything in the mail at this point. If you want to verify that the NVC has received you file, call them at 603-334-0700 or email them at NVCINQUIRY@state.gov. For more information about the National Visa Center, check out the NVC website. You do nothing at this step.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 5: Your Case sent to the U.S. Embassy.
Within 4 weeks, if your finances security check comes back clean, your approved K-1 Fiance Visa petition will be routed to the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The Bureau of Consular Affairs will send your file to the U.S. Embassy in your fiance’s country via DHL. You do nothing at this step.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 6: The U.S. Embassy Sends Your Fiance a Package
About a week after receiving your K-1 Fiance Visa petition, the U.S. Embassy sends your fiance a letter with instructions for scheduling the medical exam and interview. You (the U.S. citizen) do not have to attend the embassy interview.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 7: Your Fiance Gathers Documents for the Embassy
The U.S. Embassy will instruct your fiance to return some of the documents immediately. Other documents will be kept until the interview. RapidVisa will assist your fiance in completing this paperwork.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 8: The Medical Exam
Your fiance must have a medical exam. The package sent to your fiance by the U.S. Embassy will explain how to schedule the medical exam. You must pay a fee for the medical exam. The fee is usually paid in the local currency and varies from $65 to $200 depending on the location. You (the U.S. citizen) do nothing at this step. This fee can’t be paid from the United States.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 9: The Embassy Interview
Your fiance must attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy. All applicants must bring their passport, including children of all ages. If children are joining on a K-2 visa, they must also attend the interview. The package sent to your fiance by the U.S. Embassy will explain how to schedule the interview. The U.S. citizen sponsor is not required to attend the interview. However, the sponsor is allowed and encouraged to attend in some countries while other countries will not allow the U.S. citizen to attend. You must pay a fee to the embassy for the interview.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 10: The K-1 Fiance Visa Issued
Your fiance may be able to pick up the actual visa the same day. However, there will usually be a wait of up to one week. The visa will be delivered via courier. The actual K-1 Fiance Visa is a self-adhesive decal that is placed in the beneficiaries passport. At this point you can purchase your fiance’s airline tickets for travel to the United States.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 11: The Fiance Enters the United States
Your fiance has 6 months to use the K-1 Fiance Visa to enter the United States. He/She will be given a package of documents by the U.S. Embassy which she/he will surrender at the Point of Entry (POE) into the United States. The sponsor does not need to travel with the beneficiary when the beneficiary travels to the United States.
K-1 Fiance Visa Step 12: The Wedding
You must marry your fiance within 90 days of entry into the United States. If you do not get married your fiance must leave the United States. The 90 day clock starts on the date stamped on the I-94, issued at the Point of Entry. The K-1 Fiance Visa beneficiary can only marry the person who submitted the K-1 Fiance Visa petition. Eventually the alien must file an Adjustment of Status petition to receive the green card. There is no deadline for filing the Adjustment of Status and it does not need to be filed within 90 days of arrival. However, the alien will not be able to work or re-enter the United States before the Adjustment of Status is filed.