If you want your fiance to enter the USA to get married to you, you will have to apply for a K-1 visa. If you decide to get married in the USA, your foreign bride might apply for a marriage green card in America. This process is quicker than applying through consular processing for a marriage green card.
Applying for a K-1 visa is a better option, for instance, if your US citizen fiance is unable to travel abroad to get married. In this guide, you and your fiance will get to know about the main documents and steps you need to take through a K-1 visa process.
K-1 visa documents
Applying for a K-1 visa, you will have to prepare the following documents, proofs, and forms:
- Visiting your fiance phase:
- Time-stamped photos with the fiance’s family & friends
- Time-stamped photos together
- Receipts from stores & restaurants you have visited
- Boarding passes (they are the proof you’ve met)
- USCIS filing phase:
- Form G-1145
- Check for the filing fee
- Form I-129F
- Proof that you have been meeting in person within more than two years
- Cover letter
- Statements that you have an intent to marry
- Copy of the U.S. passport, the fiance’s passport, birth certificate, certificate of naturalization
- Previous marriage ending evidence
- The legal name change proof (if applicable)
- Certified copies of court & police convictions
- Send through a courier or trackable mail
- Embassy phase:
- DS-160 Form
- Previous marriages divorce documents (both parties)
- Passport with 6+ months of validity
- Police certificates from the current place of residence country
- Police certificates the fiance’s countries where this person has lived for 6+ months
- Vaccinations records
- Financial support evidence (I-134)
- Birth certificate of the alien
- Affidavit of support (when embassy requests it)
- Relationship pieces of evidence
- $265 embassy fee
K-1 visa process
If you wonder how to apply for a fiance visa, you should know that you and your fiance must be eligible for a K-1 fiance visa and pass the “adjustment of status” process. Let’s figure out what this process means and includes.
What is “adjustment of status”?
The foreign spouse should request an immigration status change to the permanent resident. If they successfully file the AOS application, they will be allowed to stay in the USA legally while you are waiting for the interview in the USCIS office.
Steps of “adjustment of status” process:
- The US citizen petitions the government of the USA to grant the K-1 visa.
- The citizen of the USA should file a Petition for Alien Fiance, Form I-129F with USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
- The petition must be approved.
- The US Consulate office must schedule a visa interview in the foreign bride’s country.
- The fiance’s visa is issued by the consulate if the interview was successful. (Note that you may utilize this visa only within 6 months for it not to expire). They will send a green card to your home address.
K-1 visa process step by step:
In this table, you will get to know how long the K-1 visa process takes at each step as well as the fees you need to pay, and what actions are required to do.
|1||USCIS Filing||The U.S. citizen is supposed to file the K-1 visa petition. They might do it by mailing I-129F petition package and the check to the Department of Homeland Security.||$535|
|2||Notice of Action 1 (NOA 1)||You will receive a NOA 1 (Notice of Action) in your email. It will indicate that USCIS have received the petition you filed.||2-3 weeks after mailing your petition|
|3||Notice of Action 2 (NOA 2)||You will receive NOA 2 (Notice of Action) in the email. It will indicate that USCIS has denied, approved, or requested extra pieces of evidence for your petition.||Between 8 and 10 months after the process of mailing the petition|
|4||NVC Phase||Your case will be forwarded to the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) by the service center that has handled your petition. The NVC will start a security check of your bride. You should do nothing at this step.||Within 2 weeks of your approval|
|5||NVC to Embassy||If your bride’s security check is transparent, they will route the approved K-1 visa petition to the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Then, the Bureau of Consular Affairs should send the file to the U.S. Embassy in your bride’s country through DHL. You should do nothing at this step.|
|6||Embassy letter||The U.S. Embassy sends the bride a letter with specific instructions for scheduling the interview and medical exam. The U.S. citizen should not attend this interview.|
|7||Gather embassy documents||The fiance will be instructed to return specific documents immediately. The U.S. Embassy will keep other documents until the interview.|
|8||Medical exam||Your bride should pass a medical exam. The U.S. citizen is not supposed to do anything at this step.||The fee for the exam is different depending on the location.|
|9||Embassy interview||The fiance should attend the U.S. Embassy interview. The fiance must bring the passport. When children join a K-2 visa, they must come as well. The fiance will be asked specific questions to make sure the relationships are not fraudulent or fake ones by the consular officer.||$265 (You should pay this fee at the end of the process.)|
|10||Visa issued||The courier will deliver your visa. So you might purchase airline tickets to travel to the USA.||The same day or up to less than 1 week.|
|11||Travel to the U.S.||You might use the visa to enter the USA. They will be given a package of documents by the U.S. Embassy that they will surrender at the POE (Point of Entry) into the USA.||6 months|
|12||Wedding||The petitioner should marry the alien bride. The 90 days trial begins on the day they enter the territory of the USA.||Within 90 days|
The K-1 visa process after marriage should take less than 90 days. This is the average marriage visa processing time during which you should marry. If you fail to do it, your fiance must leave the USA together with their children at the end of the ninety days. If they fail, they will violate the U.S. immigration law that might result in deportation and future eligibility to enter the U.S. territory.
Once your partner gets the K-1 fiance visa, the unmarried children who are under the age of 21 may accompany the fiance. They will be given a K-2 visa to enter the USA.
Filing for a K-1 fiance visa might be difficult. However, working with a good immigration lawyer might make it easier. Nevertheless, everything is possible for those who love because love has no boundaries. We wish you good luck applying for the K-1 visa and have a great wedding in the aftermath!