Originally K type fiancé visas were only used for the purpose of allowing a foreign citizen to come to the USA to marry a U.S. citizen. However, because of changes in the law in the year 2000, the K visa has expanded to cover the non-citizen spouses, fiancé’s, and children of U.S. Citizens to live in the United states while waiting for permanent residence to be approved. Interestingly, there is not just one type of K visa. There are four types you may be eligible to apply for depending on your circumstances and the status of your relationships.
- K1 Visa (the original) allows the fiancé of a U.S. citizen to enter for purpose of marriage. The marriage is normally required to take place within 90 days of entry into the United States.
- K-2 is for the minor child or children of the the fiancé.
- a K-3 visa allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter to promote family unity.
- a K-4 visa is foe the minor children of the foreign spouse.
When a U.S. citizen is engaged to a foreign national residing in outside of the United States, the K-1 Fiancé Visa allows the fiancé to enter the United States as Non-immigrant. Once admitted as a K-1, the marriage must take place within 90 days. Once the marriage is legally valid then the couple can apply for adjustment of status for the foreign national spouse. The process begins with filing a K-1 petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The USCIS requires you to show proof of your eligibility.
You MUST show the following:
- the petitioner is a U.S. Citizen;
- the petitioner and the fiancé intend to marry each other within 90 days of the fiancé entering the United States;
- both petitioner and beneficiary are free to marry . This means all prior marriages are legally dissolved;
- the couple must have met in person at least once within 2 years of filing the petition or fall under one only a few very narrow exceptions.
The following documents are filed with USCIS as the first stage of the K-1 fiancé visa process
- G-28 (Notice of Attorney Representation or Accredited Representative)
- Form I-129F;
- Form G-325A for both petitioner and beneficiary;
- two passport style photos (time stamped is better). One photo per person;
- government filing fee (fee is subject to change so please check for latest fee on USCIS website);
- Proof of the petitioner’s U.S. Citizenship;
- Statement by the petitioner that he or she intends to marry beneficiary within 90 days of the K-1 visa entrance into the U.S.;
- Statement by the beneficiary that he or she intends to marry the petitioner within 90 days of entering the U.S. on the k-1 visa;
- proof of the bona fides of the relationship;
- Compliance with the IMBRA, if required;
- Proof that the petitioner and beneficiary have me tin person within the last two years of filing the petition.
A waiver of the in person meeting requirement can be requested under special circumstances. If requesting a waiver, one must include a detailed explanation and evidence that compliance with the in-person requirement would result in Extreme Hardship to the petitioner or show that compliance would violate strict and long established custom or practice of the beneficiary’s foreign culture. 8 CFR Section 214.2(k)(2)
*Ditrani, Leslie Tuttle. (2015) Obtaining a Fiancé Visa: How to File a K-1 Petion : American Immigration Lawyer Association (Cambridge, MA)