K-1 Visas for Fiancees of US Citizens
The K nonimmigrant classification is available for certain spouses and children of U.S. citizens. The K-1 visa permits the fiancée of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States for a ninety (90)-day period in order to marry the U.S. citizen/petitioner and apply for conditional permanent residence.
An eligible fiancée of a U.S citizen will be classified as K-1. An eligible child of the U.S. citizen and foreign fiancée will be classified as K-2.
The USCIS will give aliens granted admission to the United States in the K nonimmigrant classification a 90 day period within which to marry the U.S. citizen petitioner. Because the K visa is a non- immigrant classification yet is one that is designed to facilitate the immigrant admission of an intending fiancée and/or child, if the K-1 fiancée marries his/her U.S. citizen petitioner, the K-1 visa holder can remain in the United States and apply for adjustment of status to conditional permanent resident.
Elements of K-1 Visas:
- To be eligible for K-1 nonimmigrant status, the foreign national must be the fiancée of a U.S. citizen.
- An individual can be issued a K-1 visa only after a petition, FILED IN THE UNITED STATES, has been approved, based on satisfactory evidence of the following:
- That the couple previously met within the two (2) years of the date of filing the petition, UNLESS A WAIVER IS GRANTED;
- That the couple has a bona fide intention to marry; AND
- The couple is legally able and actually willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States within 90 days after the foreign fiancee’s arrival.
- If the couple does not marry within ninety days, the K-1 fiancee and any K-2 dependents will be required to depart the U.S.-failure to depart will result in removal.
Important K Visa Concepts
It is extremely difficult to coordinate marriage plans with obtaining a visa to enter the United States. Where a couple intends to marry often impacts which visa category to choose. It is therefore very important to consult with an immigration attorney on these very important details.