Gregory Posch, student intern
If you have a fiancé or fiancée located in a country other than the United States and would like to bring him or her into the U.S. to get married legally, then you will need a K-1 visa.
A K-1 visa is a pass to stay in the United States legally for 90 days as a temporary resident. You can apply for a K-1 visa by filing form I-129F.
The I-129F form is for citizens of the U.S. who are planning on getting married to a non-citizen. If you are getting married outside of the U.S. or your partner is a legal resident of the U.S., then the K-1 visa process is not for you and your loved one..
There are four requirements you need to fulfill in order to be considered eligible for the K-1 visa. These four requirements are:
- You (the petitioner) must be a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s arrival to the U.S.
- You and your fiancé(e) are legally free to marry each other, with previous marriages legally terminated through annulment, divorce or debt.
- You and your fiancé(e) have met each other in person at least once within the last two years.
The last requirement may be waived or bypassed if the requirement violates you or your fiancé(e)’s culture or social custom, or if the requirement brings you extreme hardship.
Once these requirements are met, you must go through the I-129F form application process. The I-129F form with the form’s instructions and an application to receive an electronic notification from your petition may be found by clicking HERE.
Once you fill out the form, which contains six pages, you will need to pay the $340 filing fee to USCIS. If you are applying for other actions such as a waiver, there will be special instructions you will need to follow to correctly complete the filing process.
Once the I-129F petition has been approved and the consular process is complete, the visa will be issued and you will have 90 days to marry your fiancé(e) once they enter the United States. Once married, your spouse may apply for their permanent residency through adjustment of status.
Information on permanent residency can be found at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) website in the Green Card section.
If you do not marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days of their arrival to the U.S., your fiancé(e) will need to leave the U.S. because the visa will have expired and you will not have complied with the terms of the K-Visa. If your fiancé(e) remains in the U.S. after the visa expiration, they will be in the U.S. illegally and could be subjected to deportation and/or possibly have their immigration benefits impacted. a
The process involved in a fiancé(e) or K-1 visa can be complicated. the Chávez Law Group has experienced immigration attorneys ready to make your fiancé(e) visa process simpler. If you or someone you know is looking to bring their fiancé(e) to the U.S. and need help with the process, call the Chávez Law Group at 1-855-4CHAVEZ.