How does the K1 fiancé visa work? What you need to apply for one

Love knows no bounds, and we at Alvva understand that sometimes our hearts connect us with someone living far away. When long-distance love blooms between a U.S. citizen and their partner from another country, the K1 visa can help them start a new life together. Let's explore how to make your dreams come true with the K1 fiancé visa.

K1 Fiancé Visa Timelines: What to Consider

We know that the distance between you and your loved one can be tough to deal with. It’s also important to understand the options you have for starting a life together in the US, which may make it more practical to wait until after you’re married and apply a marriage-based Green Card instead. Getting the K1 fiancé visa takes approximately 7 months, while a marriage-based visa can take around 10-13 months, but can give you more flexibility once you enter the U.S. Check out our blog post for more information on the two options.

How to qualify for a K1 Fiancé Visa

The K1 fiancé visa helps you and your foreign partner come together in the U.S. to get married. But, there are some important rules you need to follow:

  1. One of you must be a U.S. citizen. (Green Card holders can't sponsor a fiancé for this visa.)
  2. Both of you must be single and ready to marry.
  3. Prove your love is real (photos, trips, letters, testimonials from friends or family).
  4. Show that you've met in person at least once in the past two years, or give valid reasons why this hasn't happened.
  5. Promise in writing to marry within 90 days of arriving in the U.S.
  6. The U.S. citizen must have enough money to support their fiancé (at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines).

Good news! Love conquers all, and K1 fiancé visas are available to couples of any gender. Love knows no limits!

Applying for the K1 Fiancé Visa

When it's time to join your lives together, follow these steps to apply for the K1 fiancé visa:

  1. File Form I-129F to show you plan to marry.
  2. Include proof of U.S. citizenship, foreign passport copy, declarations from both partners, and necessary photos.
  3. Wait patiently for the USCIS to review your application (usually takes about 30 days).

Once your application is approved, you'll receive a case number. Your documents will be sent to the nearest embassy or consulate, where you'll complete the DS-160 form and pay the required fees. Finally, you'll have an approval interview, and then you'll be on your way to the U.S. with a 6-month visa!

K1 Fiancé Visa Costs

You'll need to cover these K1 fiancé visa expenses, in addition to other costs that may come up, like for preparing your documents and travel:

  1. Form I-129F filing fee: $535 USD
  2. Medical exam: about $200-$500 USD
  3. K1 visa application fee: $265 USD

In total, you'll spend around at least $1,000 USD to make your long-distance love a reality (not including Permanent Residence fees after marriage which are $1,225).

At Alvva, we're committed to offering peace of mind and a brighter future for the Latino community, one loving couple at a time. We plan to offer support for fiancé visas in the future, but if you decide instead that a marriage visa is the right path for you and your partner, we’re here to help. If you’d like support preparing your marriage Green Card application, get started here.