How does the K1 fiancé visa work

Long-distance love can also be formalized. Find out what the fiancé visa is and how you can apply for it.

Love is not governed by time zones, geographical locations, or exchange rates. Dozens of couples live outside the United States and maintain a long-distance relationships with American citizens. How do the couples seal the deal? process the K1 fiancé visa.

Like all immigration procedures in the United States, this one also takes time. Getting the K1 fiancé visa takes approximately 7 months. For this reason, it is essential that you identify if this alternative suits you or if you prefer to get married abroad and then apply for a Green Card for spouses, which can take around 10-13 months, but will give you a solid immigration status.

Characteristics of the K1 fiancé visa

The K1 fiancé visa is a document that allows the partner of a US citizen to enter the territory to marry. The first and most important restriction is that the civil ceremony must take place within 90 days of entering the United States. And later, they can apply for a Green Card by marriage.

To apply for a K1 fiancé visa, the couple must meet several eligibility criteria. Here we present the most relevant:

  • One member of the couple must be a US citizen (a Green Card holder cannot sponsor their fiancé).
  • Prove that both are single.
  • Submit evidence of the legitimacy of the courtship (photographs, trips, letters, or emails, as well as written statements from friends, co-workers, or acquaintances that support their relationship).
  • Demonstrate that the couple has met in person, at least once in the last two years. If this is not the case, they must present evidence of social, religious, or cultural reasons, which have prevented it.
  • Make individual declarations signed in which they express their intention to marry within 90 days of the couple's arrival.

The sponsor must have a solid income, at least equal to 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If this is not the case, they can resort to a complementary financial sponsor, who commits by means of an affidavit to support the couple.

It is important to mention that K1 fiancé visas have no restrictions regarding the gender of those involved. Same-gender couples can freely marry in the United States.

The process to get the K1 fiancé visa

You must present form I-129F, with which the intention to marry will be validated. In addition, attach the following documentation specific to the couple:

  • The sponsor's proof of citizenship; It can be a copy of the birth certificate, passport, or certificate of naturalization.
  • Copy of the foreign passport of the person who wishes to enter the United States.
  • Two affidavits, one from each member, with a general description of the nature of the relationship and guaranteeing the intention to marry within the required period.
  • Copy of any Form I-94 that may have been previously issued to the sponsored fiancé.
  • A photo of each member of the couple, passport style.

The response time of the USCIS is usually 30 days to notify the receipt of the documents. Once the petition is approved, a case number will be assigned by the National Visa Center and the case will be assigned to the embassy or consulate closest to the fiancé's address. Once this happens, the couple must complete the DS-160 application online and pay the corresponding fee.

To complete the process, two weeks will pass for the approval interview, where a stamp will be placed on the passport to enter the United States valid for 6 months.

K1 fiancé visa cost

The fee to submit form I-129F is $535 USD, which can be paid by money order with a personal or cashier's check, or credit card if you go to a USCIS safe deposit box. Additionally, you must cover other fees such as the payment of a medical exam with established providers and this requirement has an approximate cost of $200 USD.

At the end of the process, the K1 visa application fee will be paid, which has a cost of $265 USD, which formalizes a total estimated cost of $1,000 USD. This amount does not include the Adjustment of Status to obtain Permanent Residence after marriage.