What is a K-1 visa?
A K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé(e) visa, is a non-immigrant visa category that allows a U.S. citizen to bring their foreign fiancé(e) to the United States for the purpose of getting married. The primary purpose of the K-1 visa is to enable the couple to marry in the United States and subsequently apply for the foreign spouse to adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).
Here’s an overview of the key points related to the K-1 visa:
- Eligibility: To apply for a K-1 visa, the petitioner (U.S. citizen) must be legally eligible to marry, and both the petitioner and the foreign fiancé(e) must be free to marry each other. This means they cannot already be married to someone else, and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated through divorce, annulment, or the death of a spouse.
- Intent: The couple must demonstrate a genuine intention to marry and establish a life together in the United States. The K-1 visa is not intended for casual dating or other non-immigrant purposes.
- Petition: The U.S. citizen petitioner initiates the process by filing a petition (Form I-129F) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the petition is approved, it is sent to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign fiancé(e)’s home country.
- Visa Application: The foreign fiancé(e) applies for the K-1 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate, where they will undergo a medical examination, background checks, and an interview.