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K-1 Fiancé Visa basics

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Immigration

They say love is blind and knows no borders, but if you have found love outside of the United States’ borders, bringing your love back home is complicated, but not impossible. As anyone who has ever navigated the immigration process can attest to, while it is possible, it is not easy, but there is a fiancé visa process for your foreign-born love.

What is it called?

In the United States, the foreign-born fiancé visa is called the fiancé K-1 nonimmigrant visa, or colloquially, the K-1 Fiancé Visa. It is also known as the 90-day fiancé visa because it allows your fiancé into the United States legally, but you must marry within 90 days, otherwise, they must leave and restart their New York immigration journey.

Who qualifies?

Not everyone qualifies for the K-1 Fiancé Visa. If your spouse is barred from entry into the United States, they may not qualify. You both must be legally able to marry both in the United States and in the state where you plan to marry. Your fiancé must be able to attain a passport in their home country, and it must be valid for at least six months longer than your fiancé’s planned stay in the United States. You and your fiancé must have met, in person, within the past two years, and you must be able to prove that you have a true relationship with your fiancé (not one for the purpose of immigration, money, etc.).

There are several paperwork hurdles too, like medical and police records, and you must marry within 90 days. Of course, this is not to say there are not exemptions, but you may need a Williamsville, New York, attorney to fight for them.

How does it work?

First, you apply the K-1 Fiancé Visa (Petition for Alien Fiancé, Form I-129F) with your local Williamsville, New York, office of the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. If your fiancé already has children, they can be included, but there is a separate K-2 visa process that you will need to start concurrently.

Second, if USCIS approves your Petition for Alien Fiancé, your K-1 Fiancé Visa application is passed to the National Visa Center. The NVC assigns it a case number and then sends it to the United States Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé lives in their home country. At that point, your fiancé will need to complete the Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Please keep the confirmation page though because they will need this for their subsequent K-1 Fiancé Visa interview. These are just the first two steps of the K-1 Fiancé Visa process.