Our experienced family-based immigration team helps foreign national partners of US citizens nationwide and worldwide obtain a K-1 fiance visa. We work with you to develop effective immigration fiance visa solutions for you and your future spouse. With our extensive family-based immigration law experience, our fiance visa lawyers design tailor-made strategies for couples trying to obtain a K-1 fiance visa USA. We represent couples from around the globe, and can help you obtain a fiance visa and a green card based on your subsequent marriage to your US citizen spouse.
If you have any children that you want to accompany you to the United States, we can help you obtain the fiance visa derivative K-2 visa. Please keep in mind that you cannot obtain a fiance visa for a green card holder’s fiance, and that you cannot obtain a fiance green card. If you hold a green card and want to file for a fiance visa USA for your foreign national fiance, the immigrant visa for spouses will be a better option for you.
If your goal is to settle in the United States permanently, a K-1 fiance visa will allow you to enter the United States to get married and then apply for a green card through marriage. We will listen to your short- and long-term goals and devise a customized immigration fiance visa solution tailored to your and your partner’s needs and guide you through the entire K-1 fiance visa process.
If your goal is permanent immigration, a fiance visa could be a good option for you. Our fiance visa lawyers can help evaluate and represent you through all parts of the K-1 fiance visa process.
What is a Fiance Visa USA?
The K-1 fiance visa USA, sometimes referred to as the 90 day fiance visa, is a temporary nonimmigrant visa that allows United States citizens to petition for a fiance visa for their foreign national fiance. Once the petition is approved and the fiance visa is granted, the foreign national fiance can travel to the United States. The K-1 fiance visa USA expires in 90 days. You must get married in this 90-day period in order to be eligible to apply for a green card – hence the name “90 day fiance visa.”
If your ultimate goal is permanent immigration, a fiance visa USA is a good first step on your path towards a green card, but it is important to understand that there is no such thing as a fiance green card USA. The K-1 fiance visa will help you enter the United States, but it is not in and of itself a green card. If you have a 90 day fiance visa, a green card is obtainable only through your marriage to the US citizen who petitioned for your fiance visa. It is also important to note that there is no such thing as a fiance visa for a green holder’s fiance.
Our fiance visa lawyers can help you throughout your immigration fiance visa journey: from answering frequently asked questions such as “What is a fiance visa?” and “How much does a K-1 fiance visa cost?”, through guiding you through the entire K-1 fiance visa process.
K-1 Fiance Visa USA vs Spouse Immigrant Visa
The main difference between the fiance visa USA and the immigrant visa for a spouse is that the K-1 fiance visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa and not a fiance green card USA. The spouse immigrant visa, on the other hand, is an immigrant visa and obtaining it results in permanent residence, ie. a green card, upon entry in the United States. If your goal is permanent immigration, a fiance visa will ultimately get you there – after you enter, get married, and file for adjustment of status to permanent resident – but there is no such thing as a fiance visa green card.
The other difference is that only the partners of US citizens can get a 90 day fiance visa. Unfortunately, there is no fiance visa for a green card holder’s fiance. Instead, the spouse immigrant visa allows green card holders to petition for their foreign national spouses in the F2A family-based immigration category.
In contrast to the K-1 fiance visa, to apply for a spouse immigrant visa, you must be married to a US citizen. The K-1 fiance visa, on the other hand, only requires engagement to a US citizen. Are you wondering whether you should pursue a K-1 fiance visa or a spouse immigrant visa in your case? This is one of the most common questions our fiance visa lawyers get asked by couples who are already engaged, but have not yet married. Our fiance visa lawyers take into account all the facts of your case and help you develop the best immigration strategy for you and your family, including advising on whether you should pursue a K-1 fiance visa USA, or a spouse immigrant visa.
The K-1 fiance visa USA process may appear quite daunting at first glance. Our experienced K-1 fiance visa lawyers can help guide you through the entire process, including the I-129F petition, your K-1 visa application and interview, and your adjustment of status application for a marriage-based green card once you are in the United States.
Please see below a helpful K-1 fiance visa checklist that summarizes the six fiance visa steps you should follow when you apply for a fiance visa:
- File your K-1 fiance visa petition. Your US citizen fiance files Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- File your fiance visa application After approval of your K-1 petition by USCIS, the foreign national fiance submits Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, with the nearest US consulate or embassy to obtain a 90 day fiance visa.
- Pass a medical exam and attend your fiance visa interview at the US consulate or embassy.
- Travel to the United States within the 6-month validity of your K-1 visa.
- Get married to your US citizen fiance within 90 days of your arrival in the United States.
- Apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident of the United States to obtain your green card.
Our fiance visa lawyers help you through each step of the K-1 fiance visa process. We provide guidance and assistance from the beginning through the end of the fiance visa journey, from explaining “what is a fiance visa?”, to helping you with your fiance green card application.
The timeline for the K-1 fiance visa process generally takes anywhere from 9 to 14 months. With COVID-19 restrictions in place at many US consulates and embassies, it may unfortunately take significantly longer before your K-1 fiance visa USA is approved. Premium processing or other expedited services are unavailable for the K-1 90 day fiance visa.
Below you can find a quick timeline of the K-1 fiance visa process based on the experience of our fiance visa lawyers:
- 1 to 3 months after submitting your K-1 fiance visa petition, you should receive a receipt notice from USCIS confirming that your case is being processed.
- Around 6 to 10 months after filing, you should receive an approval notice for your K-1 fiance visa petition, Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance.
- 3 weeks to 2 months after your petition is approved by USCIS, your 90 day fiance visa petition will be forwarded to the State Department’s National Visa Center for further processing. At this point, you must submit your fiance visa application on Form DS-160 to the US consulate or embassy nearest to your home.
- After submitting your fiance visa application, you will have to attend a medical examination by a US consulate or embassy approved physician. Each US consulate and embassy has a list of approved physicians and instructions about the medical exam. In most instances the medical exam can be completed in a matter of 1 to 4 weeks. After the medical exam you may schedule your K-1 fiance visa interview.
- How soon your K-1 fiance visa interview will be scheduled depends largely on the particular US consular post at which you are applying. The busier the particular US consulate or embassy, the longer the waiting times. At smaller consulates, such as Budapest and Sofia, we have seen interviews scheduled from a matter of days to 1 to 2 weeks. At larger consular posts, such as London, Frankfurt, or New Delhi, sometimes the wait times can exceed 1 to 4 months. Please note, that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some US consular posts are experiencing extensive delays for K-1 fiance visa interviews.
- If your K-1 fiance visa is approved at your interview, in some instances you may receive your K-1 fiance visa on your interview day. In most cases, the US consulate or embassy retains your passport and returns it to you with a valid K-1 fiance visa in 1 or 2 weeks.
- K-1 fiance visas are generally issued with a 6-month validity date. This means you have 6 months to enter the United States after issuance of your K-1 visa.
- Your K-1 fiance visa grants you entry to the United States for a maximum of 90 days. Hence why it is often referred to as the, “90 day fiance visa.” You must get married to your US citizen fiance during this 90-day period. If you fail to get married during the 90 days, you will violate your status and may need to take additional steps to obtain a green card based on marriage to your US citizen partner.
- Once you have married your US citizen partner, you can file for adjustment of status to permanent resident to obtain a marriage-based green card. This process can take anywhere from 6 to 14 months. However, concurrently with your adjustment of status application, you can also file an application for employment authorization, using Form I-765, which will allow you to work in the United States while awaiting adjudication of your green card application. Although this green card is often mistakenly referred to as a fiance green card USA, in fact it is a marriage-based immediate relative green card.
Our fiance visa lawyers will be with you every step of the above highlighted K-1 fiance visa journey and will help you avoid mistakes that could potentially delay or increase the cost of your K-1 fiance visa process.
In order to apply for a K-1 fiance visa USA, you will have to fill out a number of US fiance visa forms. The supporting documents needed to apply for a 90 day fiance visa are listed in the K-1 fiance visa checklist below:
- Form I-129F, Petition for Alien fiance
- Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- Form I-134, Affidavit of Support
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination
- Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
Below you can find all the fiance visa requirements you need to comply with, in order to be eligible for a fiance visa.
- The petitioning fiance must be a US citizen. There is no such thing as a fiance visa for a green card holder’s fiance.
- Both of fiances must be single. If you have any previous marriages, you must submit proof of termination of those marriages, such as death certificates or divorce decrees to be in compliance with the US fiance visa requirements.
- You must be eligible to marry each other under United States law. If you are a same-sex couple, you are eligible for a same-sex fiance visa USA, even if same-sex marriages are not allowed in your country of origin.
- The US citizen petitioner’s income must meet at least 100% of the HHS Federal Poverty Guidelines. Please note, while the fiance visa income requirements mandate that your US citizen fiance’s income must be at 100% of the HHS Federal Poverty Guidelines, when you apply for permanent residence, the US citizen petitioner must earn at least 125% of the HHS Federal Poverty Guidelines, unless the petitioning sponsor is active duty in the US armed forces.
- You and your fiance must have met in person at least once within the past two years to be in compliance with the 90 day fiance visa requirements.
- Your relationship must be genuine and valid. The engagement cannot have been entered into for the purposes of evading United States immigration laws. Part of the fiance visa USA documents required are supporting documents attesting to the validity of your relationship.
- You must demonstrate that you will not likely become a threat to public health on the grounds of carrying any communicable diseases. Part of the fiance visa process includes attending a medical exam and providing proof that you do not carry any communicable diseases.
- You must show that you are not likely to become a public charge by becoming dependent on public benefits. Part of the documents for a fiance visa USA you provide should include proof that you are not likely to become a public charge.
- You must prove that you are not likely to become a threat to public safety on the grounds of previous criminal charges. The supporting documents for a fiance visa USA that you will provide should include proof that you are not likely to become a threat to public safety.
The purpose of all the fiance visa forms and the documents needed for a fiance visa is for the US government to make sure that you meet all of these US fiance visa requirements before being granted your K-1 fiance visa.
Most of the documents for a fiance visa USA are submitted as proof that you meet the 90 day fiance visa requirements, such as proof of US citizenship of the petitioning fiance, proof that this is a genuine relationship, proof that you meet the fiance visa income requirements, proof that you have met in person within the past 2 years, proof of the admissibility of the foreign national fiance, and proof of the foreign national fiance’s identity.
Our fiance visa lawyers can help you complete all required forms, assemble all necessary documents, and file your complete K-1 fiance visa application in a cost-efficient and timely manner to avoid unnecessary delays in your fiance visa USA process.
For many fiance visa USA applicants, the most pressing question is “How much does a K-1 fiance visa cost?”
The total cost of a K-1 fiance visa can be broken down into several parts: (1) filing fees for Form I-129F, Petition for Alien fiance, (2) filing fees for Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, (3) medical exam costs, (4) filing fees for Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status, (5) legal fees if you choose to work with an attorney. For more information please visit our detailed article about the K-1 fiance visa cost.
There could be a number of additional costs for your K-1 fiance visa that are not specifically highlighted above. These vary by service provider, by the foreign national fiance’s home country, and by the particular circumstances of your case.
Our fiance visa lawyers will guide you through your whole K-1 fiance visa USA process. We will help you avoid any mistakes that may inadvertently increase the cost of your K-1 fiance visa, such as a rejection or denial of your petition, or a Request for Evidence, each of which may incur additional costs.
As part of the K-1 fiance visa process, you will have to attend a fiance visa USA interview. It is a routine part of the 90 day fiance visa journey, and one that helps the US government determine whether the relationship between the US citizen and the foreign fiance is valid and genuine. Because the interview is conducted in the fiance’s home country, our fiance visa lawyers cannot accompany you to the fiance visa interview, but will help you prepare for it, and will provide guidance to you so that you can feel confident and can meet all the fiance visa requirements. The US citizen fiance does not need to attend the fiance visa interview.
Most of the documents listed in the K-1 fiance visa checklist of documents needed to apply for a fiance visa above will be submitted in person at the fiance visa interview.
During the fiance visa interview the interviewing officer will assess several factors that will determine whether the officer will approve or decline your fiance visa application. These include:
- Your knowledge about the US citizen fiance. The consular officer will want to ensure that you know the kind of things that two people in a committed, genuine relationship know about each other.
- Your genuine interest in the marriage. The officer will want to verify that you are genuinely interested in marrying your US citizen fiance and that you are not marrying her/him for a green card.
- Whether you are inadmissible to the United States. You may be inadmissible to the United States for various reasons, including health reasons, criminal record, or past visa violations. The officer will ask you several questions and will review your documents to ensure you are admissible to the United States before granting your K-1 fiance visa.
Please see below a brief K-1 fiance visa checklist of the categories of questions you will most likely have to answer at your K-1 fiance visa USA interview:
- Fiance visa interview questions about you, the foreign national fiance.
- Fiance visa interview questions about your US citizen fiance.
- Fiance visa interview questions about your relationship.
- Fiance visa interview questions about your wedding plans.
Our fiance visa lawyers can help prepare you and provide guidance to make you feel at ease for your K-1 fiance visa USA interview.
Fiance green card USA
People often search for, or ask us about the “fiance green card.” Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a fiance green card USA. The K-1 fiance visa is a nonimmigrant visa used to travel to the United States to marry your US citizen fiance. The K-1 visa allows you to travel to and enter the United States, however, unlike a green card, it does not entitle you to permanent residence in the United States. If you want to obtain a green card, a fiance visa will help you enter the US, marry your US citizen fiance, and then apply for a marriage-based green card.
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