K-1 Visa – Fiancé(e)s of U.S. Citizens

If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to bring your foreign fiancé(e) to the United States in order to get married, you will need to file a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). This is the first step to obtaining a K-1 non-immigrant visa for your fiancé(e). The K-1 non-immigrant visa is also known as a fiancé(e) visa.

In order to obtain a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, you and your fiancé(e) must intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the U.S as a K-1 non-immigrant. Your marriage must be valid, meaning both you and your fiancé(e) have a bona fide intent to establish a life together and the marriage is not for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit.

If your fiancé(e) marries you within 90 days of being admitted to the United States as a K-1 non-immigrant, he or she may apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States (Green Card).

If you are already married, plan to marry outside the United States, or your fiancé(e) is already residing legally in the United States, your spouse or fiancé(e) is not eligible for a fiancé(e) visa. 

Eligibility for Fiancé(e) Visas:

You may be eligible to bring your fiancé(e) to the United States on a fiancé(e) visa if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are a U.S. citizen;
  • You and your fiancé(e) intend to marry one another within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s admission to the United States on a K-1 non-immigrant visa.
  • You and your fiancé(e) are both legally free to marry (this means you both are legally able to marry in the United States and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment); and
  • You and your fiancé(e) met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. You may request a waiver of this in-person meeting requirement if you can show that meeting in person would:
  • Violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice; or
  • Result in extreme hardship to you, the U.S. citizen petitioner.

Children of Fiancé(e)s:

If your fiancé(e) has a child who is under 21 and unmarried, the child may be eligible to come to the United States on a K-2 non-immigrant visa. You must include the names of your fiancé(e)’s children on the petition if you wish to bring them to the United States. The children must continue to be unmarried and under 21 in order to be admitted to the United States as K-2 non-immigrants. They may travel with your fiancé(e) or later, but they cannot travel to the U.S. before your fiancé(e).

If you and your fiancé(e) married within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s admission into the U.S., your fiancé(e)’s children who were admitted as K-2 non-immigrants may also apply for a permanent residency (Green Card) by filing adjustment of status with USCIS. However, K-2 non-immigrant children must remain unmarried in order to be eligible for permanent residency. K-2 non-immigrant children should apply for permanent residency at the same time or after your fiancé(e).

Failure to Marry Within 90 Days:

K-1 and K-2 non-immigrant status automatically expires after 90 days and cannot be extended. Generally, your fiancé(e) and his or her children must leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If they do not depart, they will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal (deportation) and could affect their future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.

However, if you marry your fiancé(e) after the 90-day period, you may file Petition for Alien Relative. Generally, your fiancé(e) may not apply for permanent residency on any other basis besides marriage to you.

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