A lot of people think that in order for them to bring a loved one to the United States from another country, they must be married. But that’s not true. The United States has a visa for fiancés that allows you to petition for you fiancé to come to the United States prior to your actual marriage.
U.S. citizens who want to bring their foreign citizen fiancé to the U.S. to marry and live here should apply for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa to sponsor their fiancé’s travel to the U.S. The K-1 visa allows the foreign national to come to the U.S. to marry their U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of their arrival. The marriage must take place within those 90 days or your fiancé(e) will be required to leave the U.S.
In order to qualify for a K-1 visa, you must meet the following requirements to be eligible to petition for a fiancé(e) visa:
- The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen.
- You must intend to get married within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s arrival to the U.S.
- You and your fiancé(e) must both be legally free to marry.
- You must have met your fiancé(e) in person at least once within 2 years of filing your petition.
The first step is for the U.S. citizen sponsor to file Form 1-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). If USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will assign your petition a case number and send it to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé(e) lives. The NVC will inform you when it has sent your fiancé’s case to the U.S. Embassy or consulate, and then your fiancé(e) must attend a visa interview with USCIS.
Your fiancé(e) will be required to bring to bring the following forms and documents to the interview:
- Completed DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- A non-expired passport
- Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouses for you and your U.S. citizen sponsor
- Police certificates
- Medical examination
- Evidence of financial support
- 2 Passport-style photographs
- Evidence of your relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
- Payment for fees
It is important to bring evidence of your relationship to prove the validity of your relationship. Some examples of the types of evidence that can help prove a genuine relationship are photographs of you both with family and friends, cards or emails to one another, and telephone logs showing regular commination with each other.
While this overview gives you general information on the fiancé visa application process, you should contact a skilled immigration attorney for more information or if you have any questions about K-1 visas.