K-1 (Fiance) Visa

Passport with K-1 fiance visa stamp

Introduction

The K-1 Fiance Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to a foreign citizen (beneficiary) that is a fiance(e) of a U.S. Citizen (Petitioner). The purpose of the fiance visa is to allow the foreign fiance(e) entry into the United States to marry his or her U.S. Citizen petitioner.

The couple has 90 days from the date of entry to marry within the United States. Once the couple marries,  the foreign citizen can go through the immigration process by adjusting his or her status to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The foreign citizen can then receive a green card. If the couple does not marry within the 90 day period, the foreign partner must leave the United States within the same 90 day period or risk being barred from returning to the United States.

Unmarried children, who are under the age of 21, of the beneficiary may also apply for a visa (K-2) at the same time with the U.S. Citizen as the Petitioner.

Requirements

The following are requirements of the K-1 Fiance Visa:

  1. The K-1 Fiance Visa is specifically intended for use by U.S. citizens who are petitioning their foreign fiance(e) to enter the U.S. to marry his or her sponsor within 90 days.
  2. The foreign-citizen will then apply for adjustment of status to a legal permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  3. Because a fiancé(e) visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen shortly after arrival in the United States, the fiancé(e) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa.
  4. Unmarried children, who are under the age of 21, of the beneficiary may also apply for a visa (K-2) at the same time with the U.S. Citizen fiance(e) .
  5. Both the U.S. citizen and the K-1 visa applicant must have been legally free to marry at the time the petition was filed and must remain so thereafter. The marriage must be legally possible according to laws of the U.S. state in which the marriage will take place.
  6. There is no minimum age for the to file a petition for a spouse. However, the petitioner must be at least 18 years of age and have a residence (domicile) in the U.S. before they can sign the Affidavit of Support form.
  7. The petitioner must maintain a principal residence (domicile) in the United States, and list in the application where you plan to live for the foreseeable future. Living in the United States is required for a U.S. sponsor to file the Affidavit of Support, with few exceptions.
  8. The U.S. government does not discriminate against a petition of couple with same sex marriage.
  9. The U.S. government does not discriminate based on religion.

Phases and Timeline

There are a several phases to the K-1 Fiance Visa process that spans an average of approximately  4.5 to 7  months from the start of the application to receiving the visa(s) in hand.

  1. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Stage  (3 to 5 months)
  2. National Visa Center (NVC) Stage (about 2 – 3 weeks)
  3. Embassy Stage (1 to 2 months)
  4. Point of Entry
  5. Things to do in the U.S.

These times can be shorter or longer depending on your situation.

Some of the factors that can affect your timeline are:

  • Your foreign Fiance(e)’s country
  • The current USCIS, NVC and Embassy workload
  • The quality of your submission
  • Whether you get an approval, Request for additional Evidence (RFE) or denial
  • The quality of your submission
  • Your ability to gather required documents in a timely fashion
  • If you need to have documents transcribed from another language into English
  • Other factors beyond your control

K-1 Fiance Visa Fees and Costs

The following are the government fees, as of December 2016, to obtain a K-1 Fiance Visa:

USCIS FEES

Filing Fee                                                                $535 (Paid by check and submitted with I-129F application)

EMBASSY FEES

Embassy Fee                                                          $325 (Paid at the U.S. Embassy at the time of the interview)

       Total Government Fees                      $800

The following variable costs depend upon on your circumstances:

  • Application Preparer
    • Self                                                     $0
    • Visa Consultant             $375 – $800
    • Visa Attorney             $800 – $3,000
  • Medical Fee                                $60 – $300 (Depending on the country)

Other costs to consider include the following:

  • Costs for obtaining evidence (birth certificates, marriage license, ect…)
  • Passport size photos (Petitioner, Spouse and Children)
  • Travel costs
  • Specific requirements of the spouse’s foreign country
  • Postage
  • Passports (for both beneficiaries and Petitioner)
  • Visa, if applicable, for U.S. Citizen to enter the spouse’s foreign country
  • Translation of documents into English, if necessary
  • Lodging

Required Forms

The following forms are required to be completed in order to obtain a K-1 Fiance visa:

USCIS Stage

  • I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e) – This needs to be completed for the Beneficiary and children of the Beneficiary. Original hard copy mailed to USCIS with supporting documentation and fees.
  • G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance-(optional)- This form is for the Petitioner or applicant in order to receive an electronic notification (email) that USCIS has received the application. Thus, this is a good thing to do as it gives you your USCIS number.

Refer to the USCIS Phase (K-1) page of our site for the forms and detailed information on when, where and how to submit these forms and supporting documentation.

Amazon has several free PDF editor software available:


Embassy Stage

USCIS sends the approved petition to the DOS National Visa Center (NVC), which forwards it to the embassy or consulate where the foreign fiancé/fiancée will apply for the K-1 visa (generally, the embassy or consulate in the area where the person lives).

Form Preparation

There are typically three sources to prepare the forms in order to obtain a K-1 Fiance Visa including:

  • Self Preparation
  • Visa/Immigration Consultant
  • Visa/Immigration Attorney

Self Preparation

The petitioner can self prepare and send all of the required forms, supporting documentation and fees on his/her own. This site is intended to give advice and help provide valuable information in self preparation. As shown in the cost section above, self preparing can save you $450 – $3,000 in application preparation fees depending whether you are using a Visa/Immigration Consultant or a  Visa/Immigration Attorney.

If you are a well organized person, can research and learn the visa application process, are good at filling out forms both paper and on-line, then you may be able to self prepare the visa application for your beneficiaries.

When you self prepare your application, and you feel that this site has been very helpful to you, please consider donating to our site using the donation area of the upper right side bar.  If this site has saved you $375 to $3,000 in consultant application preparation fees, please consider donating $25 to $50 to our site in order to help us pay our operating costs and continue to bring valuable and helpful content to you.  Think of it this way- We helped you and your family, so please help us and our family. Please help us to continue to help you and others.

If you have any questions, please use the Questions page of the site, contact us by email, or ask a question on our Facebook Page. As a result, we will do our best to answer any any questions to the best of our ability.

If you decide to self prepare, please be very, very careful and double (no triple) check everything. In fact, most of the delays, RFEs and denials of family based visa applicants are the result of one or more errors in paperwork and/or lack of all requirements being met. In researching through case statuses, I have seen many applications delayed by RFEs and even denied because of simple things like forgetting to sign in one section of a form, using an outdated form, and not submitting proper supporting documentation. If an application receives an RFE, it can delay the application and Visa by several weeks or even months.

If your application is denied, you have to start all over again from the beginning and could delay the visa approval by up to 5 months.  You and your spouse are probable going through a tough time missing each other during the visa process. There is enough anxiety waiting the 7-12 month process that adding more time to see each other because of an RFE or denial can be very stressful.

Visa/Immigration Consultant

Visa/Immigration consultants are professionals experienced in preparing visa petition applications and other immigration services for a fee.  The consultant fee is on top of the U.S. government fees listed above. Although, there are many individuals and companies world wide that offer these services. We recommend using Rapid Visa.

A picture of us at the Rapid Visa office in Manila after Lea Passed her Spousal Visa Interview.

Lea, our son and I at Rapid Visa’s office in Manila after Lea passed her Spousal Visa interview.

RapidVisa is one of the worlds top ranked Visa/Immigration Consulting companies. They can assist you in your K-1 Fiance(e) Visa application for as low as $375 with payment plans as low as $202/month. RapidVisa is affordable considering that the government fees are around $800 per application. 

They have over a 90% visa success rate. Moreover, they have hundreds of testimonials and approvals are guaranteed or your money back.

RapidVisa can also prepare the following applications beside the K-1 Fiance(e) Visa petition:

  • K-1 Fiance Visa
  • IR-5 Parent Visa
  • Adjustment of Status
  • Removal of Conditions
  • U.S. Naturalization

You may be thinking, “I can save $375 or more by self preparing.” There are so many reasons why you should not self prepare and choose RapidVisa. We believe that their low fee is a “Big Bang for the Buck” because:

  • They do quality control checks on every application to make sure that the application is complete with over a 90% success rate.
  • They have software that asks you easy questions instead of filling in forms.  The software works almost like tax return software asking you simple questions and then the software fills in the government forms.
  • The data entry is done on-line. As a result, the US citizen and the alien beneficiary can each login from their respective locations to fill out their sections.
  • They have the fastest turn around.  In fact, after you enter information in the software, they can turn your application around in 4 hours or less.
  • They have great customer service. When you call, no machine answers the phone. You talk to a real person that can assist you 7 days a week. They have an on-line chat feature on their website for customer service.
  • They have offices in the U.S. and other countries.  Their offices in other countries are strategically near the U.S. embassy for that country.
  • Lowest Price: They claim that they are hundreds less than their competition and will beat any advertised price.

Click here to start the process.

We used RapidVisa in our CR-1 Spousal Visa application, got approved with visa in hand in hand and entered the U.S. in 7 months from the date of application submittal. We had no RFEs during any of the phases. If you do chose to create an account with RapidVisa, please use the links above. 

Visa/Immigration Attorney

We did not need a Visa/Immigration Attorney and did not use one because of the high costs. Therefore, we do not have any contacts for a Visa/Immigration Attorney.  A Visa/Immigration Attorney may be recommended if you have previous legal issues or foresee legal issues in your petition.  If you need an immigration attorney, we recommend that you use Legal Match to find an immigration attorney that is right for you. Click the link below to search Legal Match for a free search to find for an immigration attorney that suites you.
Need an Immigration Lawyer?

Limitations/Restrictions of a K1 Fiance Visa

There are several limitations and restrictions of a K1 and K2 Visa including:

  1. The beneficiaries have six months after the date the K-1 visa is issued to enter the United States.
  2. The K-1 Fiance Visa holder cannot adjust their status until he/she the person who originally filed the application, within 90 days of arrival to the US.
  3. If the K-1 Fiance Visa holder and the petitioner do not marry within the 90 days, they and their K2, if applicable, will be required to return to their home country.
  4. If the K-1 Fiance Visa holder and the petitioner break up and the K-1 visa holder meets someone else, the visa holder will be required to return to their home country and start the process over again.
  5. The K-1 and K-2 visas allows only one entry into the U.S. for the purpose of the K-1 Visa holder to marry the petitioner within 90 days.  The beneficiaries may apply for Advanced Parole one time before marriage if a hardship. After the couple marry, the beneficiaries may apply to adjust their status and may apply for Advanced Parole to reenter the U.S. if they want to leave and return before the green card is issued.  If they leave the U.S. before the marriage, obtaining advanced parole, adjusting status and receiving Advanced Parole, or obtaining a green card, they may not be allowed to re-enter the U.S.
  6. A K-1 Fiance Visa holder is not allowed to work in the U.S. unless they obtain a work permit from USCIS, Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This is difficult to obtain because it takes 45-90 days for USCIS to issue the permit.

 Go to the Next Step-

USCIS Phase (K-1)

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