What is a K1 Visa?
A K1 fiancé visa allows you to bring your foreign fiancé to the United States for 90 days to get married. In and of itself a K1 visa does not allow your fiancé to remain in the US legally after 90 days. If you want your fiancé to remain legally in the US with you following the marriage you must apply for Adjustment of Status a completely separate application with USCIS. The Adjustment of Status process provides your fiancée (now wife) a green card, which allows her to remain legally in the US and Work.
K1 Visa Requirements:
- You must be a US citizen
- You must have met in person within the past 2 years
- You both must be legally free to marry
- You must seriously intend to get married within 90 days
- The US citizen must meet certain financial requirements
You Must Be a U.S. Citizen
In order to apply for a fiancé visa you must be a citizen, not a permanent resident of the United States. Permanent residents also known as green card holders cannot apply for K1 visas.
You Must Have Met in Person Within the Past 2 Years
In order to apply for a fiancé visa, the law requires that you and your fiancé have met in person within the last two years. These days, online dating is so popular that couples are falling in love from all parts of the world. Such couples will need to make sure they have met in person at least once prior to applying for a K1 visa. Even a brief meeting may be adequate.
There are two situations where the in person meeting requirement may be waived because of extreme hardship or a long established custom. However, obtaining a waiver of the in-person meeting requirement from USCIS is a highly complex legal process that should not be attempted without the help of a competent immigration attorney.
You Both Must be Legally Free to Marry
If either of you were previously married you will need to provide proof that your prior marriage was legally terminated, such as a divorce decree or death certificate. In contrast, if neither of you were previously married no additional proof may be required to satisfy this requirement. However, some countries require additional proof like the Philippines, which requires a CENOMAR (A certificate from the government stating that the person has never been married).
You Must Seriously Intend to Get Married Within 90 Days
You need more than a blank promise that the two of you intend to get married sometime in the near future. You need to provide USCIS proof that you seriously intend to get married. The easiest way to accomplish this is for both of you to write a statement of intent to get married and attach them to your I-129f Petition.
The US Citizen Must Meet Certain Financial Requirements
See current 2017 K1 Finance Visa income requirements.