Travel & Places Travel Knowledge

What is the K-1 Fiancée or Fiancé Visa?

Life will always seem to be more wonderful when you share it with the love of your life. Love has been found transcend nations, languages, religions and all barriers. Although laws of the land may vary from country to country, the immigration laws of the US are always in favor of the love birds.

The US immigration law allows a fiancé, who is a foreign citizen, to enter the US, only when sponsored by a US citizen. This allows the foreign-citizen to travel to the US and marry the US citizen within 3 months of setting foot on US soil. The K-1 visa or the fiancé visa is really a boon for many couples to begin their life in the US.

Insight into the Fiancé visa

US citizen who is sponsoring his fiancé should first ensure that both of them meet all the necessary eligibility requirements. Form I-129F is the one that is to be used for this purpose.

If you are a US citizen, then take note of the following points,

Personal contacts over the last two years - Should have met with each other personally, within the past two years of filing the I-129F. There is an exception to this when extreme hardships prevent them from meeting. Also if the culture, customs or even the law of the country prohibits such meetings before the marriage, then this condition will be overlooked by the USCIS. This will give them a waiver from the usual procedure.

90days is all you have got - You and your fiancé should have all your wedding plans ready even before she enters the US. This is because the US allows only 90 days on a K-1 visa, within which the marriage should have happened. Failing to do this will result in the fiancé moving out of the US with the expiry of the visa

Proving the citizenship status - Copy of the birth certificate if you come under the birthright citizenship category or naturalization certificate if you got naturalized are considered as proof of citizenship. In case of acquiring citizenship through your parents, you need to submit your original certificate of citizenship. A copy of your fully valid US passport which will not expire for the next five years can be considered as a substitute for all the above.

Not legally bound - You along with your fiancé should be legally eligible to enter into a marriage that will be allowed by the laws of both the countries.

Children of the spouse who is filing in the fiancé visa application can also get listed under the same petition and they can enter the US on a K-2 visa.

Steps in the Fiancé visa application process

Filing the I-129F is the first step. This has to be filed only in a USCIS office that serves the area of residence of the US citizen within the country and not in any Embassy or consulate that is abroad. The application will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) once it is approved by the USCIS. From here this will be sent to the US Embassy in the country where the fiancé is going to file in the visa application.

The US Embassy will then take it into its responsibility the process of directing the fiancé as to how to proceed with the fiancé visa application process. It is essential that the Consular officer believes that the fiancé will not become a public charge once she is in the US. For this, sufficient proof of the financial resources of the fiancé or the US citizen sponsor should be furnished while applying. Medical examinations, fingerprinting and a personal interview will be a part of this process, after which the decision regarding the application will be taken by the Consular officer. If the fiancé visa is approved, then the officer will provide a sealed packet that is required to be opened only on entering the US.

After getting in to the US on this fiancé visa, it is important that the person files in to become a permanent resident. It is also necessary to file in Form I-765 to get an EAD if the spouse intends to work after getting married.

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