Fiancé K1 Visa Process Guide.
Learn how to apply for a K1 Visa. Our detailed Step-by-Step guide explains the entire Fiancé K1 Visa Process Start to Finish.
The K1 Visa application process involves 3 important steps:
- The U.S. Citizen Petitioner prepares and submits a I-129F fiancé visa petition to USCIS.
- After the fiancé visa petition is approved, the fiancé beneficiary schedules a K1 visa interview.
- The Fiancé beneficiary attends the K1 visa interview and receives a K1 visa.
This Fiancé Visa Guide will give you precise and detailed instructions on how to successfully complete each step of the entire K1 visa process.
STEP 1: The U.S. citizen petitioner prepares and submits the I-129F fiancé visa petition.
Preparing the fiancé visa petition is fairly straightforward. You only need to fill out two forms and attach copies of the appropriate documents to your petition. We will walk you through the entire process now.
- The U.S. citizen petitioner needs to visit the USCIS website and download Form: I-129F .
- The U.S. citizen petitioner needs to fill out Form I-129F. (See: I-129F Instructions Step by Step) (See also: Sample of a Completed Form I-129F)
- Next, the U.S. citizen petitioner needs to gather the supporting documents that must be attached to the petition at the time of filing. (See: Documents that Must Accompany the Fiancé Visa Petition)
- Finally, the U.S. citizen petitioner properly assembles and mails the fiancé visa petition to USCIS. (See: How to Assemble and Mail the Fiancé Visa Petition to USCIS)
After the I-129F Petition is mailed to USCIS:
- A few weeks after mailing the fiancé visa petition, USCIS should mail the U.S. citizen petitioner a notice titled Notice of Action numbered I-797C “NOA1” This is just a one page letter from USCIS confirming they have received your petition in the mail (nothing further needs to be done at this point).
- A few months later, USCIS should mail the U.S. citizen petitioner another notice titled Notice of Action numbered I-797 “NOA2”. This is also a one page letter from USCIS confirming your I-129F petition has been approved (nothing further needs to be done at this point). Now, USCIS will transfer your approved fiancé visa petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) and the NVC will forward the approved petition to the U.S. consulate in the fiancé beneficiary’s home country.
- Next, the NVC will send the U.S. citizen petitioner a letter notifying him or her that the case has been transferred to the U.S. consulate. Once, the U.S. citizen petitioner receives this letter it is time to proceed to step 2 below.
STEP 2: After the fiancé visa petition is approved, the fiancé beneficiary schedules a K1 visa interview.
- Once the U.S. consulate receives the NVC notice of your approved fiancé visa petition the U.S. consulate will mail the fiancé beneficiary detailed instructions on what to do next. The instructions will be slightly different from each embassy, but they will all advise the fiancé beneficiary of the following:
- To complete online Form DS-160
- How to schedule the embassy interview and pay the visa application fee
- What documents to bring to the Embassy and how to obtain them
- Instructions for the medical exam
Note: In the past many Embassies referred to these instructions as Packet 3 and the letter with the interview date as packet 4. Today most embassies will just send the fiancé beneficiary one set of instructions and the fiancé beneficiary schedules the K1 interview themselves online. you can visit www.usembassy.gov and look for the instructions specific for your country under the section about nonimmigrant visas or K visa interviews. (See: Sample instruction from the U.S. Embassy in Manila)
- The fiancé beneficiary needs to go online and complete Form DS-160. (See: How to fill out Form DS-160 online for a K1 visa)
- Next, the fiancé beneficiary needs to schedule the K1 interview with the local U.S. consulate following the instructions in the letter received from the U.S. consulate.
- Then, the fiancé beneficiary needs to gather all the documents he or she needs to bring to the K1 interview. The letter the fiancé beneficiary receives from the U.S. consulate will list all the documents he or she needs to bring to the K1 visa interview, with instructions on how to obtain those documents.
- Now, the U.S. citizen petitioner needs to fill out Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support), and snail mail Form I-134 with original signature to the fiancé beneficiary abroad. This is one of the documents the fiancé beneficiary must bring to the K1 interview. Do not try to use a copy, the Consular Officer will run their fingers over the signature line to make sure it is the original. (See: I-134 Instructions Step by Step) (See also: Sample of a Completed Form I-134)
- The U.S. citizen petitioner also needs to snail mail the fiancé beneficiary the original documents used in the original I-129F fiancé visa petition in case the Consular Officer wants to examine them (birth certificate, divorce decree, etc.). Remember at the bottom of our cover letter for initial K1 fiancé visa petition we stated ” I understand that I may be required to submit the original documents to an Immigration or Consular Officer at a later date”.
- Next, the fiancé beneficiary needs to schedule and undergo a medical examination following the instructions in the letter from the U.S. consulate.
- Now, it is time to move to step 3 below attending the K1 fiancé visa interview.
STEP 3: The fiancé beneficiary attends the K1 visa interview and receives a K1 visa.
- The fiancé beneficiary attends the K1 visa interview and receives a K1 visa. (See: K1 Visa Interview Checklist) (See also: Sample K1 Visa Interview Questions) (See also: K1 Visa Timeline for 2016)
- After your fiancé receives the K1 Visa he or she must use it within 6 months to enter the United States.
- Once your fiancé arrives in the United States you must get married within 90 days and apply for Adjustment of Status. The K1 Visa only lets your fiancé enter the U.S. for 90 days to get married it does not allow your fiancé to remain in the U.S. legally following the marriage. In order for your fiancée (now wife) to remain in the U.S. legally you must apply for Adjustment of Status before the K1 Visa expires.