Today's Q and A: Fiancé(e) Visas (K-1).
Q: What is a K-1 fiancé(e) visa?
A: K-1 Visa is for foreign nationals coming to the United States to marry American citizens and reside in the U.S.
Q: What are the steps required to apply for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa?
A: 1) File a petition. 2) Upon approval of your petition, apply for a visa.
- It is important to show that you are a U.S. Citizen sponsoring your fiancé(e) - the individual you will be married to within 90 days of your fiancé(e)'s arrival in the United States once the visa is issued.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver: 1. If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice. 2. If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
- If either the U.S. Citizen (the petitioner) or the fiancé(e) has a criminal history, it is important to seek the advice of an immigration attorney. USCIS takes criminal history into account, hence it is important to speak with a licensed immigration attorney.
Q: What are some of the required documents to be accompanied with your petition?
A: It is very important that you seek the help of an immigration attorney in preparing the necessary documents to accompany your petition.
Some of the required documents include: a valid passport, birth certificate, divorce(s) or death certificate of any previous spouse(s), police certificates from your present country of residence and all countries where you have lived for six months or more since the age 16, medical examination, evidence of financial support, evidence of relationship, required payment fees and two (2x2) photographs.
Q: Who should file the petition?
A: The U.S. Citizen who is sponsoring the fiancé(e) must file the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). It is advisable to work with a licensed immigration attorney when beginning in this process.
Q: Can my fiancé(e) work after admission?
A: Yes, he/she can do this by filing a I-765, application for employment authorization. Seek the help of an immigration attorney who can answer all your questions and help charter the appropriate course to adjust status (to become a legal permanent resident) once your visa has been issued and you have, indeed, married within the 90 days.