THE FIANCEE VISA PROCESS
A fiancée visa (also known as a K1) is a nonimmigrant visa, which allows a foreign fiancé or fiancée to enter the United States to marry a U.S. citizen. The fiancée must marry the petitioning U.S. citizen within 90 days of their admission on a K1 visa. After the couple marries, the beneficiary can apply for adjustment of status in the United States to obtain residency (green card).
The process of obtaining the K1 visa begins with the U.S. citizen petitioner filing an I-129F petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In most cases, before the U.S. citizen can file the I-129F Petition, the couple must have met in person during the preceding 2 years. Once the I-129F Petition is approved, USCIS will forward notice of the approval to the National Visa Center (NVC) of the Department of State (DOS). The NVC will assign the file a DOS case number and forward the file to the US consulate in the beneficiary’s home country for an interview. The fiancé beneficiary will then be scheduled for an interview at a U.S. consulate abroad in order to obtain the K1 visa.
An experienced immigration lawyer at Nayar & McIntyre, LLP can assist you and your fiancé with the entire K1 process. We can help you file the I-129F Petition and supporting documents, advise you of the time frame for each step of the process, and help you prepare the applications and supporting documents for the K1 visa interview at the consulate. We can also assist you to file the adjustment of status application once your fiancé has arrived in the United States. If you and fiancé are scheduled for an interview at Citizenship and Immigration Services once the adjustment of status application is filed, an immigration attorney from our office will attend the interview with you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I met my fiancée online and we have decided to get married, even though we haven’t met in person. We see each other daily on Facetime and WhatsApp video calls. Do we have to meet in person?
Yes, generally the couple must have met in person within the two years immediately preceding filing the I-129F petition. There are two very limited exceptions: where meeting would result in extreme hardship to the petitioner or would violate strict and long-established customs of the foreign culture or social practice. However, it is very difficult to get this waiver of the meeting in person requirement.
To satisfy the meeting in person requirement, can we meet anywhere in the world, or does it have to be in my fiancée’s home country?
You can meet anywhere in the world, as long as it is within the two years immediately preceding filing the I-129F petition.
I am about to travel to meet my fiancée in person for the first time. What documents do I need to submit to USCIS to prove that we met?
You should submit your airline travel itinerary, boarding passes, receipts of airline tickets, passport stamps proving that you traveled to the country where you both met, hotel receipts where you stayed together with both of your names and photographs of you together. These are simply suggested documents – the more evidence you provide, the better!
How long does a fiancée visa case take?
It depends. USCIS and Department of State processing times are constantly changing. Please call our office at 972.445.4114 to schedule a free initial consultation so that we can advise you of current processing times.
What supporting evidence should I submit with the I-129F petition?
Some of the documents you will need to submit with the I-129F petition include evidence of your US citizenship, proof that any prior marriages for you and the beneficiary have been legally terminated, proof you have met within the last two years, proof of your relationship with your fiancée (including photos and evidence of regular communication between you), and proof of your fiancée’s intent to marry you. This is not an exhaustive list, and every case is different. Please contact our office at 972.445.4114 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the documentary requirements for your K1 case.
We want to have the wedding in my fiancée’s home country, surrounded by friends and family. After the K1 visa is issued, but before my fiancée enters the US, can we get married?
No. The marriage must take place within 90 days of entry into the US. Your fiancée cannot marry abroad and still enter on the K1 visa. If this is a concern for you, consider marrying abroad and applying for a spousal immigrant visa instead.
My fiancée has children from a previous relationship. Do I have to file separate I-129F petitions for each child?
No. Any unmarried child/ren under 21 of your fiancée can accompany them on a K2 visa. A separate I-129F is not required.
I am a legal permanent resident. Can I file an I-129F petition to bring my fiancée to the US?
Unfortunately, no. Only a US citizen can file an I-129F petition to sponsor a fiancée. However, please give us a call at 972.445.4114 to schedule a free initial consultation so that we can evaluate your eligibility to apply for naturalization.
Once my fiancée enters the US on a K1 visa, can she travel in and out of the US on the K1 visa?
No. The K1 is a single-entry visa. After your fiancé or fiancée enters on the K1 visa, you must marry within 90 days of entry. After you marry, the beneficiary will have to apply for adjustment of status and can concurrently apply for advance parole (travel permit). After entry on the K1, the beneficiary can only travel with advance parole or with their permanent resident card once the case is approved.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Please contact our office at 972.445.4114 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced K1 visa lawyer.
Nayar & McIntyre, LLP serves the immigration law needs of individuals throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex, including Dallas, Irving, Fort Worth, Bedford, Euless, Arlington, Hurst, Allen, Flower Mound, Carrollton, Lewisville, Keller, Grand Prairie, North Richland Hills, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Plano, Denton, McKinney, Frisco, Lubbock, Sherman, and Amarillo.