Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed November 08, 2019
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Last updated 11/7/2019
If you or your fiancé is a U.S. citizen and you are planning to start a life here in the United States, applying for a fiancé visa may be the best option for you.
What Is a Fiancé Visa?
A fiancé visa, otherwise known as a K-1 visa, is a visa issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows a person engaged to a U.S. citizen to immigrate to the U.S., provided that he or she marries the U.S. citizen within 90 days of arrival to the U.S. After marriage, the noncitizen can apply to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident.
K-1 Visa Requirements
If you want to bring your fiancé to the U.S., you must comply with the following requirements:
- You hold U.S. citizenship
- You intend to marry your fiancé within 90 days of your fiancé's arrival to the U.S.
- Neither you nor your fiancé are currently married to someone else
- You and your fiancé have seen each other at least once within two years prior to applying for a visa (unless a valid exception applies)
What Steps Should I Follow to Bring My Fiancé to the US?
The process of bringing your fiancé to the U.S. is not easy as multiple governmental entities, including USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), are involved.
The first thing you need to do to start the K-1 visa application is to file the Form 1-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé. USCIS will examine the form and will send you an RFE (Request for Evidence) if it needs more information.
If USCIS finds your petition acceptable, then it forwards the form to the National Visa Center, which will forward your approved petition to the American Embassy or Consulate in your fiancé's country.
Finally, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate will notify and schedule an interview with your fiancé. At that point, your fiancé needs to apply for a nonimmigrant K-1 visa.
At the interview, the officer will determine whether your fiancé qualifies for the visa. If the visa is granted, your fiancé has 60 days from the date of approval to enter the U.S.
What Documents Do I Need to Provide?
There are several documents you need to provide in the multi-step application process. When you initially file the Form 1-129F, you need to also provide the following supplemental documents:
- Proof that you are a U.S. citizen (U.S. passport or birth certificate should suffice)
- Proof that you and your fiancé have seen each other within two years of filing the application (photos, flight itineraries, etc.)
- Proof that your relationship is legitimate (this could be done with an affidavit of support, photos, and affidavits from your friends or family)
- One passport photo of you, and one of your fiancé
- Proof that you have sufficient income to support your fiancé
- A copy of your fiancé's passport
- $535 for the cost of the fiancé visa
Are My Fiancé's Children Eligible to Come to the US?
If your fiancé's K-1 visa is approved, his or her children can accompany your fiancé to the U.S., provided that they are under 21 and single. They will be issued K-2 nonimmigrant visas. They can also apply for an adjustment of status (green card) after you and your fiancé get married.
- Tips for U.S. Visas: Fiancée(e)s
- Priority: Spouses, Fiances, and Adopted Children
- Family-Based Immigration Overview
An Immigration Attorney Can Assist With Your K-1 Application
Applying for a fiancé visa can be a long and complicated process. You need to make sure you have properly filled out the forms and provided all the required documents to ensure a positive outcome. If you are not sure about how to apply for a K-1 visa or want to know more about the process, talk to an immigration attorney in your area who can help.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you with visa procedures.