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What is the K-1 fiancé (e) visa?

The K-1 is a nonimmigrant visa granted to the fiancé(e) of a U.S. Citizen. A U.S. Citizen may bring his/her fiancé(e) to the United States if the following requirements are met:

  • The petitioner and fiancé(e) must intend to marry one another within 90 days of the fiancé(e)’s admission to the United States on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa;

  • Both must be legally free to marry; and

  • The petitioner and fiancé(e) must have met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. This requirement may be waived if meeting in person would violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice; or result in extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen petitioner.

What if my fiancé (e) has children? Can they immigrate with him/her?

If your fiancé(e) has unmarried children under 21 years of age, they will also be able to immigrate with your fiancé(e) under a K-2 nonimmigrant visa. The children’s names must be indicated in the specific form.

Can my fiancé(e) work when s/he arrives with K-1 visa?

After being admitted to the U.S. on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for work authorization and must receive it prior to beginning any work. S/he may also apply for work authorization together with the Green Card application. 

Can my fiancé(e) get a K1 visa if s/he has had some criminal problems in his/her home country?

Once the petition is approved, your fiancé(e) will have to go through consular processing and an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You and your fiancé(e) shall get married within 90 days of his/her admission to the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, so s/he may apply for a green card in the United States.

What if I, US citizen, have a criminal record?

Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you in applying for a K-1 visa  for your fiancé(e). It is important to obtain guidance from an immigration attorney licensed in the U.S. to discuss your case. Be aware that K-1 visa applicants will be provided with any existing criminal background information of their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)s that is received by USCIS during processing of their petitions.

What are the steps and how long does it take to obtain a fiancé(e) visa?

The first step to obtaining a K-1 fiancé(e) visa is to file a Petition For Alien Fiancé(e) with the USCIS. The current processing time for K-1 visas is 6-10 months. Once the petition is approved, your fiancé(e) will have to go through consular processing and an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, which may take up to 10 months to be scheduled.

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