The K-1 Visa for
1. About the K Visa
The K visas are issued to two groups of people: U.S. citizens' fiancée/fiancé who are outside the U.S. (issued K-1 visas), and U.S. citizens' spouses who are outside the U.S. (issued K-3 visas). 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 is pending.
The K-1 visa allows 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) Fiancée or fiancé 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 K-3 visa promotes the 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.
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.
2. The K-1 Visa for Fiancée/Fiancé of a United States Citizen
The K-1 visa, also known as the fiancée visa, is used by United States citizens who wish to bring their prospective spouse to the United States with the intention of getting married. The visa application procedures and policies followed by U.S. consular posts vary depending on the local conditions and requirements. 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).
After an alien fiancée/fiancé has obtained a K-1 visa and entered the U.S., the alien fiancée/fiancé must get married to the U.S. citizen who petitioned for him/her within 90 days of admission. After the marriage, the alien fiancée/fiancé becomes the spouse. She or he may file an immigration petition and adjustment of status application to become a permanent resident.
The U.S. citizen spouse must complete and submit the Affidavit of Support with the alien spouse's application for permanent resident.
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.
3. K-1 Visa Application and Requirements after the K-1 Visa Is Issued
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.
4. Children for K-2 Visa
The minor children of K-1 visa holders will be admitted with K-2 visa, for a same time of their parents or until the day before such children's 21st birthday or marriage, whichever is shorter.
All children under 21 years old and unmarried of the alien fiancée/fiancé must be listed on the K-1 visa petition. The children must be present at the interview. A marriage certificate of the beneficiary along with the rest of the required documentation must be provided as a requisite for the child's K-2 visa.
The child accompanying the K-1 beneficiary may acquire K-2 status even after the beneficiary has married the U.S. citizen petitioner and acquired lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. The cut-off date for issuance of a K-2 visa is 1 year from the date of the issuance of the K-1 visa. After 1 year, the filing of an immediate relative or second preference immigrant visa petition would be required for the child.
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