Ep. 37 What is a Fiance Visa (K1) and what are the requirements to apply?

  • Only a US citizen, not a green card holder, can file a fiancé visa
  • You have to be married within 90 days upon arrival. If not, the foreign national must depart US
  • Both parties must be free to marry throughout the whole process
  • Physical meeting is crucial, however, there are exemptions. Provide proof of relationship

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of Ask An Immigration Lawyer – you ask, we answer, simple.

Today I will be talking about the K1 Fiancé Visa. What are the requirements, what it is. We have tons of questions about fiancé visas, a lot of confusion, who can or cannot apply for this visa.

So the fiancé visa also known as the K1, it’s a known immigrant visa, and it can only be filed by US citizen who’s bringing a foreign national fiancé. So it cannot be a green card holder it has to be US citizen and the parties cannot be married. That’s the whole point. That’s why it’s a K1 Fiancé Visa.

The fiancé visa is required to marry the US citizen sponsor within 90 days after arrival to United States. So a very interesting and unique visa because he have 90 days to actually get married and if not the fiancé … he or she must depart United States. They can’t stay here, they cannot marry somebody else. It has to be the original petitioner. There’s a lot of issues coming with that. People come here on a fiancé visa then they leave and marry somebody else. It’s not going to happen. Children who are unmarried under the age of 21 can follow the fiancé on a K2 visa for dependents.

So what are the requirements? Well the requirements are that … Again, US citizen must file for foreign national, not a green card holder. Both parties must be free to marry throughout the entire process. So anybody who’s going through a divorce process right now or not ready to marry cannot file for fiancé visa. Both parties must be free to marry at the time of filing.

Marriage has to be legally possible, according to the law of the state within where the marriage will take place of course.

Another requirement is that the parties must submit in the two years proceeding to the filing. So it’s really important. People who meet online, if they does not have physical meeting it’s going to be very difficult to file the K1 Visa.

Now, there’s an exemption for the requirement of the physical meeting. It has to be extreme hardship to the US citizen sponsor to meet the foreign national. For example if it’s a religious, cultural thing or that it cannot meet, some exceptions apply. But in most cases if there’s no physical meeting it’s going to be very difficult to get this thing approved.

Immigration may question the engagement if it’s bonafide, if it’s a real deal. It’s important to provide, proof of the relationship; email, correspondence, phone calls, Facebook, whatever you have to show that it’s a legitimate relationship. Pictures of the actual meeting, keep all this, any criminal issues that were [prior 00:02:52] the application you must have that ready to present at the time of the interview.

Again, it’s a great visa if you just met somebody and just want to be able to see if it’s going to work and get them over to the US. This is K1 Fiancé Visa. There you have it.

If you have any other questions, any concerns about the K1 email us. Go to jacob@askanimmigrationlawyer and send your questions and I’ll be more than happy to answer. You ask, we answer, simple. We’ll see you at our next episode.