K-1 Visa Eligibility Requirements
Is there a special someone living abroad? Do you want them to come to the United States to get married? Then, a K-1 Visa could be right for you!
If so, you will need to file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (also known as a K-1 Visa). Road to Status can help you prepare your application online and be ready to file today!
Of course, there are a few requirements you must meet:
- You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
- You have met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition.
There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
- If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of you or your fiancé(e)’s culture or religious or social practice.
- If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
Your K-1 Visa petition is filed. Now what?
If USCIS approves your Form I-129F, the U.S embassy or consulate closest to your fiancé(e) will invite them to apply for the actual fiancé(e) visa. Once your fiancé(e) has been issued the visa, they have no more than 6 months to travel to the United States to seek admission.
What can you do with your visa?
The fiancé(e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days so you can be married. However, the K-1 visa does not guarantee admission to the United States.
Also, 90 days can go by fast. Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. If you do not get married within 90 days, your fiancé(e) should leave the United States or risk violating U.S. immigration law and possibly affect future immigration benefits.
Don’t forget the kids!
On a more positive note, if your fiancé(e) has a child (under the age of 21 and unmarried) a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available for them to join you and your fiancé(e) in the United States.
Adjustment of Status
Once you are married, your spouse may apply for permanent residence by filing a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status (connect this to Road to Status forms).
If you are married for less than two years at the time the Form I-485 is approved, your spouse will be granted conditional permanent resident status – the condition being that you remain married – and issued a Green Card valid for 2 years.
Since a conditional Green Card cannot be renewed, conditions must be removed. It is extremely important that you submit your petition to remove conditions or your spouse will lose lawful permanent resident status and be subject to removal.
To remove conditions, Form I-751 must be submitted to USCIS within 90 days before the end of your spouse’s two-year conditional Green Card period. Both spouses file the form jointly, unless an exception applies, and Road to Status can help you file online when you are ready.