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Frequently Asked Questions of K-1 
Visa and K-2 Visa  Application and Other Related Issues

Q: What are the K-1 and K-3 visas?

A: K visas are issued to two groups of people: 1) U.S. citizen fiancées who are outside the U.S. (issued K-1 visas), and 2) U.S. citizens' spouses who are outside the U.S. (issued K-3 visas). The minor children of such fiancées or spouses who will accompany them to enter into the U.S. may apply for a "K-2" or "K-4" visa respectively. The purpose of the K-1 visa is to allow the alien fiancée/fiancé who lives outside the U.S. to travel into the U.S. to marry the U.S. citizen. 

K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that recognizes the beneficiary's intent to immigrate based on his/her planned marriage to a U.S. citizen, and allows the beneficiary to enter the United States to complete the marriage. The K-1 fiancée visa is suitable for: 

1) Fiancé or Fiancée of U.S. citizens to enter the U.S. and marry the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days;

2) U.S. citizens to bring their fiancé or fiancée to the U.S. to marry within 90 days.

The purpose of the K-3 visa is to promote family reunion and serves as a temporary remedy for the long delayed family based immigration petition process. It allows the alien spouse to stay in the U.S. while waiting for the result of the pending immigration petition. The alien spouse may obtain work authorization during the waiting period.

Q: Who can file the K-1 visa application? 

A: If you are an American citizen and are planning on marrying a foreigner, you have the option of bringing you fiancée/fiancé to the United States on a temporary non-immigrant visa to marry and live here. You may also apply to bring your fiancée/fiancé's unmarried children, who are under the age of 21, to the United States via the same visa petition.

The K-1 visa is a temporary visa to the United States for the sole purpose of getting married within the United States. This visa is not a permission to stay in the U.S. for long term. You have 90 days to get married after your fiancée/fiancé arrives in the country. If she or he plans to stay and work in the U.S., you will have to file another petition and application in order to adjust his/her status to a permanent resident (Green Card).

Legal permanent residents (Green Card holders) may not file petitions for the fiancée/fiancé visas, although they may petition for the immigration visa of their new spouse after the wedding.

Q: What is the distinction between a K-1 and a K-3 visa? 

A The K-1 visa is for the purpose of admitting an alien fiancé of a U.S. Citizen, while a K-3 visa is for the purpose of admitting the alien spouse of a U.S. Citizen for whom a family based immigrant petition (Form I-130) is pending.

The K-3 visa is available to the spouse of a U.S. citizen who may choose to enter the U.S. as a nonimmigrant, and then adjust status to Lawful Permanent Resident. Although initially designed to overcome long delays associated with the traditional immigrant visa process for the spouse of a U.S. citizen, the experiences and concerns soon revealed that the K-3 visa process is complicated, and often takes longer than was first anticipated. 

Q: What are the benefits of the K-1 visa? 

A: The K-1 fiancée visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows the fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen to enter into the U.S. and get married to the U.S. citizen. The benefits of the K-1 visa include:

1) The K-1 fiancée visa generally has a shorter processing time compared to marriage-based immigration visa petitions;

2) The alien fiancée/fiancé can apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765 and engage in employment;

3) The children of alien fiancée/fiancé can accompany the alien to the U.S. on the K-2 dependent visa, as long as they are named in the fiancée visa petition.

Q: What are the benefits of a K-3 visa?

A: The benefits of a K-3 visa include:

a) Backlogs on adjudicating visa petitions filed by United States citizens for their immediate relatives can exceed a year and half at some of the USCIS Service Centers, and immigrant visa issuance by a consulate can routinely take another six months. The K-3 visa, intended to improve the speed with which a family can be united in the United States, can substantially shorten that lengthy waiting period for U.S. Citizen spouses to enter the U.S.

b) Once admitted to the United States, the spouse issued K-3 visa will be eligible to adjust status to permanent residency. This is a significant benefit because of enhanced procedural safeguards available to persons who adjust to permanent resident status, in contrast to persons who must apply for immigrant visas abroad.

c) Additionally, upon entry, the K-3 visa holder will be eligible to work in the United States. If the United States citizen petitioner is low-income and unable to meet the minimal income level necessary to submit the I-864 Affidavit of Support form that is required before a non-citizen can be approved for residency, then the K visa holder's ability to work is a great advantage, because when calculating income, the United States petitioner can include the non-citizen beneficiary's income if the petitioner and the beneficiary have lived together for six months.

Q: What are the requirements for K-1 visa? 

A: The requirements for K-1 visa include: 

  • The alien fiancée/fiancé must be outside the U.S.;

  • The U.S. citizen must first file an I-129F petition with the USCIS and have it approved before the alien fiancée/fiancé may apply for a K-1 visa. 

  • Both the U.S. citizen and the fiancée/fiancé must remain unmarried until the arrival of the alien fiancée/fiancé in the U.S. 

  • The alien fiancée/fiancé and U.S. citizen must have met personally at least once in the two years before the I-129F petition was filed.

Q: Who is eligible for K-1 visa?

A: As a fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen, you are eligible for K-1 visa if you are:

1) You and fiancée/fiancé are legally eligible to marry under the laws of your country as well as the laws of the U.S.;

2) You will marry the petitioning U.S. citizen within 90 days of entering the U.S.;

3) You intend to enter the U.S. solely to marry the U.S. citizen;

4) You have met the U.S. citizen within the last two years before filing for the K-1 fiancée visa. This requirement can be waived only if meeting your fiancé in person would violate long-established customs, or would create extreme hardship for the U.S. citizen.

Q: What are the K-1 visa conditions and restrictions?

A: Until the marriage takes place, your fiancée/fiancé is considered a non-immigrant. Your fiancée/fiancé may enter the United States only one time with a fiancée visa. If your fiancée/fiancé leaves the country before you are married, your fiancée/fiancé may not be allowed back into the United States without a new visa. 

If the marriage does not take place within 90 days, or your fiancée/fiancé marries someone other than you (the U.S. citizen filing the petition), your fiancée/fiancé will be required to leave the United States. If your fiancée/fiancé intends to live and work permanently in the United States, your fiancée/fiancé should apply to become a permanent resident after your marriage.

If your fiancée/fiancé does not intend to become a permanent resident after your marriage, your new spouse must leave the country within the 90-day original non-immigrant admission.

Q: What are the limitations of a K-1 visa? 

A: The law does not allow non-immigrant aliens to change to K status while they are in the U.S. It is solely available to those outside the U.S. for the purpose of family reunification with the U.S. citizens. Further more, K-1 visa/status holders may not change to any other non-immigrant status while they are in the U.S. If a person is temporarily barred from entering into the U.S. for previous violation of U.S. immigration law, she or he cannot use K-1 visa to enter into the U.S.

The K-1 visa expires ninety days after the fiancée/fiancé enters the United States. Within that period, the fiancée/fiancé must marry the United States citizen petitioner, or face termination of her/his status and potential removal from the United States.

If the fiancée/fiancé fails to marry the petitioner, she or he will not be allowed to adjust his/her status in the United States from K-1 visa holder to any other immigrant or nonimmigrant status. This does not mean that she or he would be barred from acquiring lawful permanent resident status if she or he were in fact eligible to immigrate based on other grounds, such as qualifying employment. She or he could only obtain such residency, however, by applying for an immigrant visa at an appropriate United States consulate abroad. she or he is also subject to the same grounds of inadmissibility caused by previous immigration law violations such as overstay status, etc. On K-1 visa, you may not:

1) Change to any other nonimmigrant status while you are in the U.S.;

2) Use K-1 visa to enter the U.S. if you have been temporarily barred from entering into the U.S. for previous violation of U.S. immigration law.

Q: What are the limitations of K-3 visa?

A: The USCIS only admits K-3 spouses for a two-year period. The USCIS may grant extensions of K-3 visas in two-year increments if the marriage-based I-130 visa petition, the adjustment of status application, or the immigrant visa petition is still awaiting adjudication.

Also, the law does not allow non-immigrant aliens to change to "K-3/K-4" status while they are in the U.S. It is solely available to those outside the U.S. for the purpose of family reunification with the U.S. citizens. Further more, K-3/K-4 visa holders may not change to any other non-immigrant status while they are in the U.S. If a person is temporarily barred from entering into the U.S. for previous violation of U.S. immigration law, she or he cannot use K-3 visa to enter into the U.S.

Q: What a re the ineligibility for a K-1 visa application?

A: Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a K-1 visa. Examples of these ineligibilities are:

  • Trafficking in drugs;

  • Having HIV/AIDS;

  • Overstaying a previous visa;

  • Practicing polygamy;

  • Advocating the overthrow of the government;

  • Submitting fraudulent documents.

The U.S. consular officer will tell you, the applicant, if you are ineligible for a K-1 visa, whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility and what the waiver procedure is.

Q: What is the distinction between a K-1 and a K-3 visa? and what are K-2 and K-4 visas?

A: A K-1 visa is for the purpose of admitting an alien fiancée/fiancé of a U.S. Citizen, while a K-3 visa is for the purpose of admitting the alien spouse of a U.S. citizen for whom a family based immigrant petition (Form I-130) is pending.

A K-2 visa is for the purpose of admitting the dependent child of a K-1 fiancée/fiancé. A K-4 visa is for the purpose of admitting the dependent child of a K-3 spouse.

Q: Can K-1 visa holder apply for Employment Authorization Document?

A: K-1 visa holders may accept employment in the U.S. by obtaining an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The USCIS normally take 90-120 days to process EAD applications and the authorized stay for a K-1 fiancée/fiancé is only 90 days, therefore you may not receive the EAD in a timely manner, The EAD can only be valid for the period of authorized stay.

Q: How long can I stay in the U.S. on K-1 visa? 

A: A K-1 visa is issued with a validity of 6 months. You have to enter the U.S. before the expiry date shown on your K-1 visa. After your arrival in the U.S., you have 90 days to get married or you must return to your home country. There is no legal way to extend the 90 day limit.

Once the marriage has taken place in the U.S., you must apply to adjust to permanent resident status. You would first generally obtain a two-year conditional residency, and would have to file additional paperwork later for the conditions to be lifted.

Q: How long does it take to get K-1 visa?

A: The length of time varies from case to case according to its circumstances. Some cases are delayed because the applicant does not follow instructions carefully or supplies incomplete information. It is important to give correct addresses and telephone numbers. In addition, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate may need to get security clearances for the applicant. Security clearances take time.

Q: What are the procedure of a K-1 visa?

A: There are three steps the parties must undertake for fiancés of U.S. citizens (K-1):

1) The U.S. citizen must file an I-129F petition with the USCIS;

2) Once the I-129F is approved, the USCIS will notify the American Consulate abroad specified on the petition; 

3) The alien fiancée/fiancé should submits an DS-160 non-immigrant visa application with a completed I-693 medical examination form and other requested documents to the U.S. consulate, for the issuance of the K-1 visa. Normally, an interview will be conducted at the U.S. consulate before the K-1 visa is issued. 

Q: What is form DS-160 for K Visa Applications?

A: U.S. Department of State now uses the form DS-160 for K1/K2 Visa Applications and K3/K4 Visa Applications. All K visa applicants are required to fill the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. The DS-160 replaces the following previous forms:

  • DS-156 Electronic Visa Application form (EVAF);

  • DS-156K Nonimmigrant Fiance Visa Application form;

  • DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration (parts I and II) for processing K-1 and K-2 nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applications. 

  • Department of State will also no longer accept DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application forms for K visa applications.

Q: Where can I find the Form DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application?

A: The online nonimmigrant visa application form DS-160 is used for temporary travel to U.S., and also for K-1/K-2 and K-3/K-4 visa applications. The form DS-160 should be submitted to the Department of State's website at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/. The DS-160 form collects all of the required information, and it can be revised as necessary. The DS-160 form is filled out and submitted online at DOS website, and all submitted data is stored in the Department of State's database.

Based on the information provided in the Form DS-160 and the personal visa interview, the U.S. consular officers can determine an applicant's eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa or a K visa. 

Q: If I need help for the form DS-160 application, what should I do?

A: The important notice for completing the DS-160 includes:

1) The DS-160 form is easy to use, and it has interactive help. The applicant should answer all questions on the DS-160 accurately, otherwise the applicant may have to correct the application, or reschedule a visa interview appointment.

2) The form DS-160 application is the first step in the visa application process. After an applicant submit the form DS-160 online application, he or she needs to contact the U.S. embassy or consulate to confirm whether the applicant needs to be interviewed by a U.S. consular officer, and he or she may need to schedule an interview time.

Q: What are the K-1 visa processing times? and how do I apply for K-1 visa?

A: The K-1 fiancée visa processing times vary with each individual’s circumstances. Under normal circumstances, it takes 3 to 5 months at the USCIS plus 2 to 3 months at the U.S. Consulates to process the visa. To apply for a K-1 visa, a petition must be submitted by your U.S. citizen fiancé/fiancée to the USCIS along with:

1) Letter from the U.S. citizen stating the intention to marry each other;

2) Proof that the U.S. citizen and the alien fiancée/fiancé have met in person within two years of filing the petition (this may be waived for reasons like cultural issues or extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen);

3) Proof that both person are legally able to marry (age for getting married, no divorce pending cases etc);

4) Proof of U.S. citizenship of the petitioner;

5) Birth Certificate of alien fiancée/fiancé;

6) Divorce decree or Death Certificate of any previous spouse.

When the USCIS approves the petition, it sends the petition to the U.S. Consulate abroad, which will issue the K-1 visa. The consulate determines whether the foreign fiancée/fiancé would be eligible to receive an immigrant visa, before approving the K-1 visa.

Q: What happens after obtaining K-1 visa?

A: After an alien fiancée/fiancé has obtained a K-1 visa and entered the U.S., she or he must get married to the U.S. citizen who petitioned for him/her within 90 days of admission. After marriage, the alien fiancée/fiancé becomes the spouse. She or he may file an immigration petition and adjustment of status application or immigrant visa application to become a permanent resident.

The minor children of K-1 visa holders will be admitted for a period of time the same as that of their parents, or until the day before such children's 21st birthday or marriage, whichever is shorter. An alien admitted to the U.S. as a K nonimmigrant will be authorized to work after filing an I-765 application with the USCIS. 

The K-1/K-2 holders may enter the U.S. only one time with their K-1/K-2 visas. If they leave the U.S. before marriage, they need to apply for a new visa to come back. After they file the adjustment of status application, they are required to obtain Advance Parole before the trip abroad in order to avoid abandonment of the adjustment application. 

Q: When will be termination of K-1/K-2 status

A: The K-1/K-2 status will be terminated when the alien fiancée/fiancé marries someone other than the U.S. citizen who petitioned for her/him. And K-1/K-2 nonimmigrants are required to leave the U.S. if the anticipated marriage does not take place within 90 days. 

Q: My American citizen fiancé is sponsoring me for immigration, does it matter where we get married?

A: If you wish to marry in the U.S. and take up indefinite residence after marriage, you can apply for a fiancée visa. If you wish to marry outside the U.S. and travel to the U.S. to take up residence, you will require an immigrant visa.

Q: Which is quicker to process, an immigrant visa or a fiancée visa? 

A: The time taken for the K-1 fiancée visa process varies with each individual case. However, in general, a fiancée visa application may be slightly quicker than an application for an immigrant visa, as immigrant visa petitions are taking longer to be processed and approved by the USCIS. If the time factor is of importance, you should contact the USCIS office where you will file the petition to ascertain processing times before deciding on applying for a fiancée visa or immigrant visa. 

Q: What is the "Conditional Permanent Status"?

A: After your marriage, your new spouse will initially receive conditional permanent residence status for two years. Conditional permanent residency is granted when the marriage is less than two years old at the time of adjustment to permanent residence status. 

The permanent resident status will expire in two years from when it was given, unless you successfully petition to have the condition removed. As a new couple, you need to file the Form I-751 during the 90-day period immediately before the second anniversary of the date your alien spouse was granted conditional permanent residence.

Q: What is the process to have the conditional resident status for my spouse removed?

A: You are required to file a petition with the USCIS to have the conditional resident status removed for your alien spouse. The petition must be filed 90 days before the second anniversary of your spouse being admitted into the U.S. on an immigrant visa, or adjusting status on marriage, if your spouse entered on a fiancée visa.

Q: I will not marry within 90 days of my fiancée's arrival in the U.S. Can we still apply for a fiancée visa? 

A: No, if the marriage will not take place within 90 days your fiancée's arrival in the U.S., it will not be possible to process an application for a fiancée visa. If your intent is to eventually marry in the U.S., then the visa free travel under the Visa Waiver Program or a nonimmigrant visitor or working visa is more appropriate. 

Q: Can we apply for K-1 visa while my fiancée is in the U.S.? 

A: No, your fiancée must apply for U.S. fiancée visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside the U.S., as it is required to enter the U.S. on the K-1 visa.

Q: Can my fiancée work in the U.S. before we marry?

A: The USCIS may grant permission for your fiancée to take up employment in the U.S. before the marriage takes place. To obtain Employment Authorization your fiancée will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with the USCIS Service Center which covers your fiancée's place of residence in the U.S. after your fiancée's arrival there.

Q: Can I apply for a fiancé visa if my fiancé's divorce is not finalized?

A: The fiancé visa petition cannot be filed until you are both legally free to marry. Therefore, you will be required to wait until your fiancé's divorce is finalized. 

Q: I only wish to travel to the U.S. to marry. We will return to my home country after the marriage. Do I still need a fiancé visa?

A: If you are traveling to the U.S. to marry a U.S. citizen with the intention of returning to your place of permanent residence abroad, you may apply for a visitor (B-2) visa, or if eligible, travel without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. Evidence of a residence abroad to which the B-2 visa holder or visa wavier traveler intends returning should be carried for presentation to an immigrant inspector at the port of entry. 

Q: What is the validity period for the K-1 visa? and what are the conditions that go along with it?

A: Upon approval and interview at the foreign consulate, the K-1 visa will be given with 3 distinct deadlines:

1) A visa will be issued with a validity of 180 days. You have to enter the United States before the expiration date shown on that visa;

2) From the date of entry another deadline becomes effective. You have to marry your fiancée/fiancé within 90 days after entering the U.S. on a K-1 visa;

3) After the marriage, you have another deadline to inform the USCIS that you have married and apply for change of visa status.

Q: What is needed at the K-1 visa interview?

A: For K-1 visa interview, you need to provide the following information or documents:

  • Proof of the relationship;

  • Photos showing the two of you together, letters and correspondence, telephone bills, airline tickets, etc.

The USCIS is very interested in being certain that it is not a "sham" marriage for the purpose of immigration. Typical questions can be asked like where you met? where the U.S. citizen works? where was your fiancé born?

Q: What forms should K-1 visa holders file to change status in U.S. after getting married to an American citizen? 

A: The following forms should be filed: Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative; Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence; Two completed and signed G-325A's (one from the petitioner and one from the beneficiary); Form I-765, Application of Employment Authorization; and Form I-131, Application for Advance Parole.

Q: What would be the status of a K-1 visa holder, after filing the application for Adjustment of Status?

A: Once the Petition for Alien Relative and application to Register Permanent Residence is filed (Form I-485) at the USCIS, the K-1 visa holder's status changes to an applicant with a pending Adjustment of Status. Upon receiving the work authorization card (EAD), she or he can start working while their case is pending, and can travel outside the country so long as they have an valid Advance Parole. 

Q: I want to file a K-1 visa application for my fiancée. How could your package of "Complete Do-It-Yourself Package of K-1/ K-2 Visa Application for U.S. Citizen's Fiancé(e)" help me?

A: To help you filing K-1 visa application for a U.S. citizen's fiancée or fiancé, we provide the high quality and case-proven "Complete Do-It-Yourself Package of K-1/ K-2 Visa Application for U.S. Citizen's Fiancé(e)" based on our extensive and practical immigration experience.

In this "Complete Do-It-Yourself Package of K-1/ K-2 Visa Application for U.S. Citizen's Fiancé(e)", we provide you the methods of how to prepare the application, how to collect evidence, how to show your relationship, how to prove your qualification, and how to write an application cover letter. We also provide step-by-step procedures for the application, various application strategies, sample cover letter, samples of filled forms, complete application document list, application required forms, detailed explanations of many related important issues, and more. With this package, you get all the information you need and the step-by-step knowledge and procedures of how to file a K-1 visa application and let your fiancée/fiancé enter United States quickly.

Q: My fiancée and I are not married yet. How can my fiancé get a visa to enter U.S. to get married with me?

A: A K-1 visa or fiancée visa gives permission for an foreign fiancée or fiancé to enter U.S. to get married. To get a K-1 visa, the U.S. citizen needs to file a K-1 visa application with Form I-129F to the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). If the Form I-129F is approved by USCIS, the documents will be forwarded to the U.S. consulate in the foreign fiancée's / fiancé's home country for review. An interview with the K-1 applicant will be scheduled to take place at the U.S. consulate. A K-1 visa will be issued if the interview goes well.

After the K-1 visa is issued, the fiancée or fiancé has 6 months to enter the United States, and then have another 90 days to get married in the United States. If the foreign fiancée/fiancé wants to get a U.S. Green Card (adjusting status in U.S.), the official government issued marriage certificate is needed to submit the Form I-485 application - adjustment of status.

Q: I want to apply K-1 visa for my fiancée to come U.S. for us to get married. Do I need to file form I-134 as the Affidavit of Support? and how to prepare the financial documentation?

A: After filing the USCIS Form I-129F for an K-1 fiancée visa, the U.S. citizen should begin to consider to file the form I-134, which is needed once the Form I-129F petition reaches the U.S. embassy in the foreign fiancée's home country. 

To prepare the USCIS Form I-134, U.S. citizen should contact the bank or other financial institutions, and request information on their procedures to provide the financial documentation required by the Form I-134. For some cases, people may be surprised that gathering the required bank or other financial documentation from them is not simply an office visit, and may require several weeks for them to mail the requested documents and forms.

Q: How can my fiancé get a fiancé visa to enter U.S.? and will my spouse become a U.S. citizen automatically?

A: A fiancé visa grants permission to a foreign alien who is engaged to marry a U.S. citizen to enter U.S. for getting married inside United States. For your fiancé to get a fiancé visa to enter United States, you will need to file a petition using Form I-129F with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If the Form I-129F petition is approved, it will then be forwarded to the U.S. consulate in the fiancé's home country for review.  The review process could take several months. An personal interview with the alien applicant will be scheduled to take place at the consulate.

If the visa interview process goes well, the K-1 fiance visa will be issued to the alien applicant. Once the fiancé visa is issued, the alien immigrant has 6 months time period to enter United States, and then another 90 days for the alien  fiancé to get married inside United States. If possible, It it best to get married early in stay if the alien fiancé wishes to apply to adjust status inside United States to get a U.S. green card.

An immigrant who marries a U.S. citizen must apply for U.S. green card. This process includes many USCIS forms and documents. The green card application can be refused, because of a medical problem, criminal history, past immigration violations, or the U.S. immigration authorities' belief that the marriage is a fraud to get a green card.

After successfully obtaining a U.S. green card, the immigrant spouse can apply for U.S. citizenship, after 3 years as a U.S. permanent resident, assuming that the alien spouse still married and living together when the immigrant applies.

Q: I will apply for U.S. Green Card soon for my newly marriaged wife. How to prove a "bona fide" marriage or relationship for the immigration purpose?

A: To obtain a U.S. Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card) based on marriage, the petitioner has to prove that the marriage is real or "bona fide". This means a marriage in which the two people intend, from the start, to establish a life together as husband and wife.

Although marriage can mean different things to different people, a marriage entered into for the sole purpose of getting the immigrant a U.S. Green Card is clearly not bona fide. It’s called a “sham” or “fraudulent” marriage.

Uncovering sham marriages is a top priority of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which believes that a high number of the marriage-based green card applications it receives are fraudulent. USCIS is well aware that some U.S. citizens accept money to marry a foreign-born person, and some even create illegal, organized services that arrange marriages between U.S. citizens and green card seeking foreign nationals.

The result is that, when it comes to deciding whether a marriage is "bona fide", USCIS will take a hard look, and expect the applicant to provide plenty of solid proof that their marriage is real. Below are some ways that you can prepare to supply the needed proof, including steps you can take far in advance.

    * make your spouse a beneficiary on your retirement account or other accounts that require or allow a payout to a beneficiary upon the holder’s death;

    *  make sure that both spouses are covered under your health insurance policy, if the other spouse doesn't have his or her own insurance;

    *  if you live together, add your spouse to your house deed, mortgage, or apartment lease;

    *  if you live together, add your spouse’s name to your garbage, utility, cable, and other bills;

    * take out a joint credit card;

    *  open a joint bank account;

    *  file joint tax returns;

    *  join a gym or club together.

Q: I live outside the United States, and will marry a U.S. citizen husband soon. What is the necessary process for me to enter the U.S. to marry a U.S. citizen? How could I get this kind of visa to enter U.S.?

A: The U.S. citizen must file a fiancé/fiancée visa application (K-1 visa application) using Form I-129F, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the K-1 visa application is approves by USCIS, the USCIS will forward the approved application documents to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Then U.S. embassy or consulate will then contact the alien beneficiary with information and eventually schedule an interview for a fiancé/fiancée visa. 

After the interview and issue of the K-1 visa, the the alien beneficiary has 90 days from entry into the U.S. to marry the U.S. citizen. The alien fiancé/fiancée must leave U.S. within this time if he or she does not want to marry the U.S. citizen.

Q: My wife has a conditional Green Card (or conditional permanent resident status) in United States. How to  remove the conditions and receive a permanent U.S. Green Card?

A: If you are a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder, if you have been married less than two years when your alien spouse is granted U.S. permanent resident status, the alien spouse will receive U.S. permanent resident status on a conditional basis.

To remove the conditions on you spouse's residence status in United States, you and your spouse should apply together using USCIS Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. You must apply to remove conditional status within the 90-day period before the expiration date on the conditional resident card. If you fail to file during this time, your spouse’s resident status will be terminated and he or she may be subject to removal from the United States.

If your alien spuse has a child in previous marriage and if you are petitioning for a step-child and have not been married to the child’s genetic parent genetic or legal gestational mother for 2 years at the time the child receives permanent residence, the child will be granted conditional permanent resident status also.

Therefore Form I-751 can also be used to remove the conditional basis of permanent residence for the child. If your spouse and child became conditional permanent resident at the same time or within 6 months, the child can be included in your spouse’s petition. If the child became a permanent resident more than 6 months after your spouse, the child will need to file a separate Form I-751.

Q: For USCIS Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, what are the differences between sponsor, joint sponsor, and substitute sponsor?

A: An affidavit of support is a document an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently. The person who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor of the relative coming to live in U.S.  The sponsor is usually the petitioner of an immigrant petition for a family member. An affidavit of support is legally enforceable; the sponsor's responsibility usually lasts until the family member or other individual either becomes a U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 quarters of work - usually 10 years.

A joint sponsor is someone who is willing to accept legal responsibility for supporting the family member with you. A joint sponsor must meet all the same requirements as you, except the joint sponsor does not need to be related to the immigrant. The joint sponsor, or the joint sponsor and his or her household, must reach the 125% income requirement alone. You cannot combine your income with that of a joint sponsor to meet the income requirement.

If the visa petitioner has died after approval of the visa petition but U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decides to let the petition continue, a substitute sponsor must file a Form I-864 in place of the deceased visa petitioner.

Some other eligibility requirements apply to the substitute sponsor as well. He or she must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident of at least 18 years of age who has a domicile in the U.S. And the sponsor must be a relative of yours. In order to be a substitute sponsor, you must be related to the intending immigrant in one of the following ways: Spouse; Parent; Mother-in-law; Father-in-law; Sibling; Child (if at least 18 years of age); Son; Daughter; Son-in-law; Daughter-in-law; Sister-in-law; Brother-in-law; Grandparent; Grandchild; Legal guardian of the beneficiary.

Serving as a substitute sponsor is a primarily financial relationship, and it involves filling out an Affidavit of Support on USCIS Form I-864. The Affidavit must indicate that the new sponsor is able to support the immigrants and his/her own household, at a level that is at or above 125% of the federal Poverty Guidelines. In fact, by filing Form I-864, the substitute sponsor promises the U.S. government to pay back any need-based public assistance that the named immigrants receive for approximately the first ten years of their having a green card.

Q: I was in the K-2 status before, and will reach 21 birthday soon. Can I get Green Card without leaving the United States using CSPA protection?

A: A K-2 child does not generally have a Form I-130 petition for alien relative filed by the U.S. citizen, which is required in order for Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) provisions to be applicable. Therefore, a K-2 child cannot utilize the CSPA when seeking to adjust status. Thus, a K-2 child may only seek Form I-485 adjustment before reaching the 21st birthday, and must adjust prior to his/her 21st birthday.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may accept a Form I-130 application filed by the U.S. citizen based on a parent-child relationship between the U.S. citizen and the K-2 child. For example, when the U.S. citizen has married the K-1 alien, and the K-2 child was not yet 18 years old at that time. In this situation, the K-2 child is considered the step-child of the U.S. citizen under the law. This will allow an alien child who once was in a K-2 status to adjust on the basis of being an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, and allow the K-2 child to utilize the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) when seeking adjustment of status - not age out while the Form I-485 application is pending. Exercising this CSPA option will require:

    * An existing parent-child relationship between the U.S. citizen petitioner and the K-2 child;
    * Filing of Form I-130 prior to the K-2 child's 21st birthday;
    * Submitting all required documentation and paying the required fees associated with Forms I-130 and I-485.

Q: When I arrived U.S. las month, I did not complete the paper Customs and Border Protection Form I-94. Do I really need the form as an admission process record?

A: Foreign visitors to the U.S. arriving via air or sea no longer need to complete paper Customs and Border Protection Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or Form I-94W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record. Those who need to prove their legal visitor status to employers, schools/universities or government agencies can access their CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) arrival/departure record information online at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov.

CBP now gathers travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. Because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper form I-94 at land border ports of entry.

If travelers need the information from their Form I-94 admission record to verify immigration status or employment authorization, the record number and other admission information they are encouraged to get their I-94 Number.

Upon arrival, a CBP officer stamps the travel document of each arriving non-immigrant traveler with the admission date, the class of admission, and the date that the traveler is admitted until. If a traveler would like a paper Form I-94, one can be requested during the inspection process. All requests will be accommodated in a secondary setting.

Upon exiting the U.S., travelers previously issued a paper Form I-94 should surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure. Otherwise, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP.

An I-94 form is needed by all persons except U.S. Citizens, returning resident aliens, aliens with immigrant visas, and most Canadian citizens visiting or in transit. Air and Sea travelers will be issued I-94s during the admission process at the port of entry. A traveler lawfully admitted (or paroled) into the U.S. may print their lawful record of admission (I-94 form) from this CBP website. If someone requests your admission information, this is the form you would provide.

Q: How to start a procese to bring my fiancé into the United States?

A: Many immigrants come to U.S. in pursuit of the American dream, and will get their green cards first before starting the process of sponsoring their fiancé. It it usually less expensive and easier to do it this way, versus bringing everyone over all at once.

There is no predetermined time for a U.S. citizen to sponsor a fiancé. It depends on the fiancé’s current place of residence or immigration status or history. If your fiancé resides with you in U.S, and entered the country legally, he may already be eligible to adjust their status in the U.S. However, if your fiancé entered the U.S. illegally, they might have to go abroad through the consular process.

If you are living in the U.S. and you plan to marry an immigrant from another country, it could take six months or longer for a fiancé visa (K-1 visa) and another three to six months or longer to get a U.S. green card.

The United States citizen must file a Form I-129F visa petition (K-1 visa petition) - Petition for Alien Fiancé, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After the Form I-129F petition, the immigrant must submit their visa application form online and attend an interview at a local U.S. consulate. After the interview, the fiancé will know if it has been approved for a fiancé visa to enter the United States. The immigrant will then have 90 days in the U.S. to get married and apply for a green card at a local USCIS office.

More Articles for K-1 Visa Application of U.S. Citizen's Fiancée
K-1 Visa for Fiancée of a United States Citizen
Requirements of Applying for a K-1 Visa
Limitations and Termination of K-2 visa
K-1 Visa Application and International Marriage Broker Regulation Act
Our Help Desk's Answers for Questions of K-1 Visa Application
Do-It-Yourself Package of K-1 Application for U.S. Citizen's Fiancee
K-1 Visa Application for U.S. Citizen's Fiancée or Fiancé
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