Do I need a K-1 Fiancé Visa?

You may qualify for a K-1 visa if you are a non-citizen looking to marry a U.S. citizen if you qualify for a visa or green card already.

To be eligible for a fiancé visa you do not have to plan on living in the U.S. permanently once married. You can actually apply for a tourist visa instead if you know for a fact that you will not be staying in the U.S.

To be eligible for a K-1 visa, you must:

  • Intend to marry a U.S. citizen
  • Are legally able to marry
  • Have met your intended spouse personally within the last two years

If a K-1 visa is the right one for you, you must fill out multiple forms.

How can I obtain a fiancé visa?

Your U.S. citizen fiancé will need to submit a fiancé petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by way of Form I-129F. They also need to prepare several documents which prove their citizenship status and that you both met one another in person within the last two years.

Once the USCIS approves your visa petition, the petitioner and the National Visa Center (NVC) in Virginia will be notified.

The petitioner will then need to see a U.S. consulate-approved doctor to get a medical exam and present all paperwork to a U.S. consulate in their home country. Here, they will be interviewed and can obtain their K-1 visa. If you are granted a visa, after entering the U.S., you will have 90 days to get married and either leave the country or apply for a green card which is an even more involving task.

It should be noted that while you wait for a fiancé visa to be granted, the petitioner cannot enter the U.S. as a tourist because the U.S. will believe your actual intention in using a tourist visa is to be married and then apply for a U.S. green card which can be considered visa fraud. An accusation of visa fraud can make it very difficult to obtain any type of visa or green card.

If you are looking to marry a citizen, speak with our New York immigration attorney for advice on how to proceed. Our firm can provide counsel in English, Spanish, Polish, Arabic, and Portuguese.

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