Everything you need to know about the fiancé(e) visa
The K-1 fiancé visa allows the foreign partner of a U.S. citizen to legally enter the U.S., and once married, apply for a green card through marriage.
How long does the K-1 visa take?
The wait time for a K-1 visa currently takes 6 months on average.
How much does the K-1 visa cost?
The K1 visa costs roughly $1000 ($535 to file Form I-129F, around $200 for the immigration medical exam, and $265 for the actual K-1 visa application).
What are the K-1 visa requirements?
- The couple must intend to marry within 90 days after the foreign partner enters the U.S.
- Only U.S. citizens can sponsor a fiancé for a K1 visa.
- The relationship must be legitimate and proven with evidence such as trips take together, photographs, and emails.
- The couple must have met in person at least once within the two years before submitting their visa application.
- The U.S. citizen sponsor must meet specific income requirements.
How do I apply for a K-1 visa?
First, the U.S. citizen fiancé must submit Form I-129F to prove the relationship is valid. The application must include certain supporting documents, including proof of citizenship for the U.S. citizen sponsor, evidence that the relationship is real, proof the couple met in person at least once during the previous two years.
Once you've filed your Form I-129F plus supporting documents, USCIS will usually send you a receipt notice within 30 days.
USCIS then sends your case to the U.S. Department of State. About 30 days after your Form I-129 is approved, the foreign partner will receive a notice with the date and location of their visa interview
Before the interview, the foreign fiancé must fill out the DS-160 form online. Once submitting the form, make sure to print the confirmation page to bring to your interview.
The K-1 interview
The foreign partner will attend the visa interview at their nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate in their home country.
The immigration officer will usually let you know at the interview whether or not your application iss approved, or soon afterward.
What happens next?
After the K-1 visa is approved, the foreign partner must travel to the United States no more than 6 months from the date their Form I-129F was approved.
After they have entered the U.S., the couple must marry within 90 days, or the foreign partner will no longer hold K-1 status.
Once married, the couple are then able to apply for a marriage-based green card.