The K-1 visa, also known as the Fiancé(e) visa, is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to enter the United States for the purpose of marrying a U.S. citizen. This visa facilitates the union of engaged couples who plan to get married within 90 days of the foreign national’s arrival in the U.S. Understanding the K-1 visa process is crucial for couples embarking on this journey. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to help individuals navigate the intricacies of the K-1 visa.
1. Filing the petition
The U.S. citizen must initiate the process by filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition establishes the intention to marry the foreign fiancé(e) and initiates the visa process.
2. Visa application and supporting documents
Once USCIS approves the petition, the foreign fiancé(e) can apply for the K-1 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. This involves submitting a visa application, paying the required fees and providing supporting documents, such as a valid passport, medical examination results and evidence of the relationship.
3. Visa interview
After submitting the visa application, the foreign fiancé(e) will attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. During the interview, a consular officer will assess the genuineness of the relationship and eligibility for the visa.
4. Entry to the United States
Upon visa approval, the foreign fiancé(e) can travel to the United States and receive a K-1 visa stamp in their passport, allowing entry into the country.
5. Marriage and adjustment of status
Once in the United States, the couple must marry within 90 days. Following the marriage, the foreign spouse can apply for an adjustment of status to obtain lawful permanent resident status (green card).
Understanding the K-1 visa process is essential for couples planning to unite and build their lives together in the United States.