A K-1 fiancé visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a foreign fiancé to enter the United States with the purpose of getting married to a U.S. citizen. An approved visa will last for six months after it gets assigned. The couple has a time frame of 90 days from the entry date to perform the wedding and apply for Adjustment of status process, which will give the fiancé a legal permanent residence in the U.S.
Requirements that are set for the U.S. citizen and foreign fiancé to fulfill to be eligible for a K-1 visa are:
- The legal ability for getting married, which means that intended spouses have to be free from previous marriages
- The couple has to meet in person at least one time for two years before applying for a K-1 visa
The K-1 visa petition process begins when the U.S. citizen downloads, completes and files the Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Paperwork does not require hiring an immigration attorney; however, the couple can hire one to help them run the process. USCIS instructions are available on the website.
There are eight parts of the form:
- Petitioners information – this is a part where the U.S. petitioner should answer the questions with precise details about names (full legal name from government-issued ID document, nicknames, or any name changes from the past), social security number, dates, mailing address for receiving notices and physical address, employment data for the last five years, parent’s biographic information, marriages from the past if there are, citizenship grounds, previous petitions, underage children, residence information.
- Beneficiary information – these questions are almost the same as the previous ones, but they refer to the foreign fiancé information. It is possible to choose one of the available embassies abroad for his or her interview.
- Other information includes information about the criminal background or requesting a multiple-filer waiver if this petition is not the first one filed.
- Biographic data – these questions are additional information about the petitioner’s ethnicity, race, etc.
- Petitioner’s statement, contact, declaration, and signature – in this part, the petitioner has to make sure that the documents are signed and dated.
- Interpreter’s contact information, certification, and signature – this part is filed if there is a person who helps with the question translation and interpretation.
- Contact information, declaration, and signature of the person who prepared the petition if it was not the petitioner
- Additional information – this part serves as an extra space
The filing fees for this form are 535$, but it is recommended to double-check before the payment.
There is also an optional Form G-1145, e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, that can be filled out. If so, it has to be attached to the application’s cover page (on the top).
The I-129F package has to be copied entirely and then mailed to the USCIS Lockbox, which is recommended to do with a request for delivery confirmation. Copies will be sent to the foreign fiancé so that he or she can prepare for the interview.
For more detailed instructions about filing the I-129F form, it is possible to check the Form Filing Tips.