In this article we explain in detail what a k-1 fiancé visa is. The benefits, requirements, procedures and how long it takes to get a fiancé visa for the USA. The K-1 visa is one of the most requested types of American non-immigrant visas.
This visa is also known as a fiance, fincée or K-1 visa. Awarded to fiancées of heterosexual or same-sex couples. As well as unmarried children under the age of 21, who wish to emigrate with their mother or father.
In that case, the dependents of the K-1 visa holder receive a K-2 visa that must be processed separately for each person. In this article we answer many of the FAQs about this visa.
Los Angeles immigration attorneys at Lluis Law are fiance visa specialists. Over the course of more than 40 years, we have helped hundreds of couples obtain U.S. citizenship by naturalization.
What is the K-1 fiancé visa?
The K-1 visa is used by the fiancé (e) to enter the USA to marry a U.S. citizen. The period of time established by law to carry out the marriage is 90 days maximum.
After legally marrying, the foreign spouse can obtain the Green Card or residence card, based on the marriage.
Sometimes couples prefer to bypass the fiancé visa process and marry directly while in the U.S. In which case, the residence card is requested immediately if the requirements of the law are met.
On the other hand, if the foreign spouse is not in the United States, he requires a K-1 visa to enter the country. With the approved visa you have the necessary time to organize the wedding and put your papers in order.
How long does it take to get the K-1 fiancé visa in 2020?
The process of the K-1 fiancé visa involves a timeline conditioned by the initial petition. This process begins with the petition filed by the American boyfriend / girlfriend.
After the local US consulate / embassy receives the K1 visa application, the time to process it may vary. Much depends on the center in the United States that processes the application and the correct filling of the forms.
Delays are sometimes caused by applicants because they submit incomplete information or do not follow instructions correctly. Estimated processing time at the California Service Center is from 5 to 7 months. This same period of time is average in Vermont.
Where to check the processing time?
The processing time of the fiancé K-1 visa can be verified in the letter that the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) sends to the applicant. That is after the agency receives the request and reports having received the documents sent by the embassy.
Please check in Notice of Action I-797C (NOA1) at which facility your case is being processed. There you can find out how long your request can take. After the interview at the consulate / embassy, the application can be followed up through NOA1.
Remember that certain applications for a K-1 fiancé visa require additional administrative processes, if the consulate official deems it necessary. Also USCIS may need clarification through RFE (Request for Evidence).
If the applicant is moving it is important that they notify USCIS by phone 1-800-375-5283 or by email. That way you will avoid losing agency notifications.
When USCIS reports approval of the application, it does not mean that the visa is approved. Only the I-129F petition form filed by the foreign fiancé has been approved .
Then, the foreign fiance’s file is sent by USCIS to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC in turn sends a letter informing what is the new case number assigned for the consular process. Also the consulate that will take care of the rest of the process.
If the request is denied, the American spouse who made the request can appeal this decision. When this occurs, it is advisable to seek legal help from K-1 visa experts. Lluis Law attorneys advise and assist with these types of appeals.
If this is your case, call now and get a free consultation with any of our expert attorneys.
What is the cost of the K-1 fiancé visa?
To pay the application fees for a foreign fiancé (e) visa the following is required:
- Complete and file Form I-129F and pay the filing fee of $ 535. The K1 visa application form can be paid by check or money order made out to: Department of Homeland Security. If you do it by credit card, you must fill out form G-1450.
- Pay the $ 240 fee for K1 visa application processing, using Form DS-160. Each K visa applicant must complete and submit this form.
- Sealed medical examination payment form, administered by a physician duly authorized by the State Department. It must be done by all K visa applicants (foreign fiancé and children under the age of 21). The costs depend on the country of the foreign applicant.
- Biometric data right fee of $ 85.
Other K1 visa fees and costs associated with your application include document translations and photocopying. After the K-1 visa is approved, Form I-485 is filed to request adjustment of status to that of permanent resident.
The package to apply for adjustment of status has a cost of $ 1,225.
How to obtain the fiancé visa?
The process and subsequent obtaining of the K-1 visa for the United States includes the following requirements:
- The US citizen must fill out form I-129F to petition their fiancé. If he/she wants to also apply for the children of the fiancé he must include them in the application. They can be biological or adopted children, even stepchildren (ask our lawyers).
Both applicants (citizen and foreigner) must separately fill out form G-325A, which inquires about the applicants’ personal data.
- Gather all the other documents necessary to make up the visa application package:
- Evidence that the couple know each other and have shared at least once in the last 2 years. The proofs can be: photographs (write the date behind), airline tickets, joint card expenses, hotel bills. Also the entry and exit stamps in the passport indicating mutual visits.
- Evidence of intent to marry: wedding invitation cards, party contracts, florists, and décor. Restaurant reservations, suits purchase invoices and more.
- Statements of each of the couple (in English), where they express their intention to get married.
- Proof that there is no legal impediment for the bride and groom to marry. In case of being both single and not blood relatives, they do not need to meet this requirement. If any of the bride and groom was married, you must send a copy of the divorce or marriage annulment certificate.
- Evidence of citizenship of the US spouse applying for the foreign boyfriend / girlfriend. It can be a birth certificate or a naturalization certificate. The document must be photocopied on both sides. The passport with all the photocopied pages also serves.
Other requested documents
- 2 recent passport photos of the American applicant. Write the full name on the back, keep it in a plastic bag and clip it to the form of your G-325A.
- 2 photographs of the foreign fiancée / a with the same previous requirements.
- If the US petitioner was convicted of a crime of violence, it must include a police and criminal record (certified copies).
- If this is the third petition for a foreign fiancé (e) in your life (or the second in less than 2 years), you should speak to our lawyers. If the previous groom passed away, the copy of the death certificate should be sent.
- Valid passport of the foreign fiancé.
The applicant for the fiancé visa for the United States must attach these documents to their application:
- Affidavit of support or sponsorship of K1 visa, through Form I-134 .
- All recent tax returns.
- Evidence of relationship (copy of package with Form I-129F that was approved by USCIS).
To qualify for the K1 visa and apply for this visa, consult an experienced immigration attorney. At the Lluis Law firm in Los Angeles, we are known for offering our clients a comprehensive quality service.
We help throughout the application process and solve any obstacle that may arise during the process.
What does it petition my boyfriend / girlfriend?
For the processing of a k-1 fiancé visa of a US citizen for USCIS, the following requirements must be met:
- One of the bride and groom must be an American citizen and the other logically a foreigner who is outside the United States.
- The citizen or petitioner cannot have received a criminal conviction for crimes related to sexual abuse of minors. The Adam Walsh Law applies.
- Both fiancees must meet the requirements established by law to contract a legal marriage. That is, being old enough, being single, divorced or widowed.
- The bride and groom must meet in person and have met sometime. Unless it is proven that traveling to meet would cause high economic harm to the citizen.
Where to file the documents for the K-1 visa
The application submitted by the US petitioner for the K-1 visa must be sent by ordinary mail to:
PO Box 660151
Dallas, TX 75266.
To receive confirmation that USCIS received the documents and forms with the payments, you must complete form G-1145. The applicant will receive a text message or an email confirming receipt.
If the documents are sent by courier service or Express Mail, the address is:
2501 South State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067.
To follow up on the application and receipt by USCIS, the respective tracking guide number is used.
K1 visa interview questions
During the interview at the local United States consulate, the immigration officer will ask the foreign applicant certain questions. Such questions revolve around personal data of your fiancé (e) and the applicant himself.
The immigration officer can also inquire about how they met and proposed to each other. What interests do you share with your fiancée, your wedding plans in the United States and any other relevant information.
If any response seems suspicious, the interview will focus on that point. Some of the most frequently asked questions in the K1 visa interview are whether you have been married before and where you live. Also if the applicant has been convicted or prosecuted for a crime.
Other frequently asked questions include:
- Fiance’s name.
- Workplace, jobs and salaries of each other.
- Fiance’s car brand and model.
- How long has the boyfriend / girlfriend lived in their current address?
- Wedding details (church, date and time, guests and so on).
- Religion professed by the fiancé.
- How many times have you seen your fiancé?
- Fiance’s full name and date of birth.
- Nicknames of the fiancé.
- Favorite food and other hobbies.
- Name of ex-spouse of the fiancé.
- How many siblings does your fiance have.
- Have you ever been denied a visa? For which country?
- How many children do you plan to have?
- How was the marriage proposal?
- What’s the name of your fiancé’s parents?
- University where her fiancé studied.
- Color of her fiance’s eyes.
- Does he o she have any mark or scar.
- The sweetest gift your fiance remembers
Any question that serves to determine that there is a true relationship and not fraud, can be asked. If the courtship and K-1 visa application have a real basis there is nothing to worry about.
Our lawyers always recommend, in interviews with consular officials, to answer specifically what is being asked. Without hesitation and calmly.
After marriage can I go on a honeymoon outside the U.S.?
That is not possible. Once in the United States, the foreign spouse must remain within the country. Leaving without a travel authorization or a residence card implies that you will not be able to return again.
For more information please read our article on “What is advance parole“.
What happens if I don’t get married in 90 days?
If after that time the wedding does not take place, the foreign fiancé (e) must leave the country. However, if there are reasons of force majeure that justify the delay of the wedding, they must be presented.
Our experienced K-1 visa immigration attorney will tell you what to do and how to resolve this situation. This will prevent you from starting to add illegal presence time in the United States. Lluis Law’s attorneys are immigration lawyers specializing in depotation and representation in Los Angeles Immigration Court .
Ineligibility to obtain a K visa
Certain foreigners may be ineligible to apply for a fiancé K visa. For example, having been convicted of drug crimes or having added an unlawful presence in the USA. As well as presenting false documents to apply for the visa.
People who are ineligible for a K-1 visa are notified by the consular officer. He will be able to tell you if there is an ineligibility waiver available and what the process is to apply for it.
In that case you may need an I-601 waiver. It is recommended that you contact a good immigration lawyer who can quickly solve this obstacle.
If you need an attorney to apply for a K-1 fiancé visa or are having difficulty processing it, call us. We will take care of your case and advise you with the best strategy to obtain the visa you require. We are one of the most prestigious immigration law firms in Los Angeles for a reason.