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Fiancé Visa (K-1 Visas) Process

Fiancé Visa (K-1 Visas) Process

Fiancé Visa Process

Fiancé visas are non-immigrant visas that allow someone who is engaged to a U.S. citizen to enter the country with the intention of getting married to their Petitioner within 90 days of that entry. After the applicant and the fiancé are married, the immigrant can apply for a green card. There are multiple steps to this process, and it is always recommended to work with a California immigration lawyer that can help you through it.

Request Consultation

Obtaining a green card for your fiancé, but the process is long and complicated. You should always first request a consultation with an immigration lawyer that can advise on your case. An attorney will also help you through every step of the process, so you have the best chance of approval.

Determine Eligibility

Whether or not you are eligible for a fiancé visa and ultimately a green card will largely depend on your relationship with your petitioner, and your past criminal and immigration history. Some past actions can make you inadmissible to the United States, and understanding the recourses (such as a waiver) you may have should be done early on in your case.

File Petition for Alien Fiancé

The first step when applying for a fiance visa is to file the appropriate form, which is known as Form I-129F. When filling out the form, you will have to establish the fact that you are in a legitimate relationship with a U.S. citizen and meet other qualifying criteria. Lawful permanent residents are unable to request a K-1 visa for a fiance.

Gather Documentation

You will need several documents when applying for a fiance visa. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship for your fiance
  • Your passport
  • Evidence that your relationship is legitimate, such as photos or flight records
  • Proof that any past marriage either of you was involved in has ended
  • Evidence that you two have met in person at least one time within the two previous years
  • Any sworn statements applicable in your case
  • A copy of Form I-94 that you received when entering the country to visit (if any)
  • A passport-style photo of each person in the relationship
  • The filing fee

Wait for Processing

After the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received your petition, they will send you a notice that they have started processing it. Processing will begin in 30 days, but it can take between six to nine months to complete. You may check current processing times at: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/

Receive NVC Notice

Approximately 30 days after the USCIS has approved your petition, they will transfer the case to the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). This agency will then send you a notice that the USCIS has approved your petition.

Complete Visa Application

After receiving NVC’s notice, you must complete the DS-160 form online, which is the actual application for a visa. Print the confirmation page after you have completed the form, as you will need it for your interview.

Interview Preparation and Medical Examination

A lawyer can help you gather the necessary documents you will need for the interview and will let you know what you can expect at the consular interview. The interview is the opportunity for the Department of State Officer to review your forms and supporting documentation with you, and determine your eligibility for the benefit you are requesting. You must bring the original documents for the Officer to examine. You will have completed a full medical examination and registered for courier service prior to the interview. The exact requirements will vary by consulate.

Attend Interview

You will have to attend an interview at a consulate office or the U.S. Embassy, depending on the location stated on your NVC/consular notice. Only the fiance wishing to enter the country must attend the interview, and it usually takes place four to six weeks after the notice is received.

Enter U.S. and Marry

You will receive a sealed visa packet if you are approved and it is essential that you do not open this, or you may not be allowed into the country. After your K-1 visa is approved, you must enter the country within four months of the approval (or expiration date stated on your K-1 Visa) and get married no more than 90 days after entering the U.S.

Apply for a Green Card

After you have obtained your visa, which is temporary, you can apply for a green card and obtain lawful permanent resident status. The process for applying for a green card inside the United States is called Adjustment of Status and an experienced immigration attorney can help guide you through this final important stage of the Fiancé process. 

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If you are getting married to a United States citizen, our Salinas immigration lawyers at Miranda, Magden & Miranda can provide the sound legal advice you need. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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