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What are the requirements for a fiancé visa?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Family Immigration

Many family-based immigration visas focus on biological family members. People can extend immigration opportunities to their children and other close family members in some scenarios. The immigration opportunities for permanent residents are somewhat different than those for naturalized citizens. Citizens have more options available to them.

If someone wants to bring a fiancé to the United States, they generally need to be a citizen. Both natural-born and naturalized citizens can qualify for a fiancé visa. A fiancé or K-1 visa allows a United States citizen to bring their fiancé from another country into the United States for marriage.

What are the requirements for a K-1 visa?

Visa paperwork and background checks

A K-1 visa requires that a foreign national fiancé undergo background checks like any other potential immigrant must. They must submit to a thorough criminal background check and typically also need to provide medical records as well. Beyond that, they may need to submit biometric information to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The fiancé has to meet the standards maintained by the USCIS to qualify for a K-1 visa.

A valid relationship

There are two main methods to prove that an engagement is legitimate. The first involves demonstrating a real romantic relationship. Travel records, emails, social media posts and other personal records can help prove that fiancés have an existing relationship and intend to marry each other. However, not everyone gets married out of romantic desire. People who belong to traditional cultures can also qualify for K-1 visas if they accept an arranged marriage negotiated by their family members. If their family arranged a marriage, documentation affirming that could help them qualify for a K-1 visa.

A prompt wedding ceremony

K-1 visas are not like many other visas that last for years. Individuals typically have just 90 days to get married after their fiancé enters the country. At that point, the visa expires, and the fiancé may face removal from the country. It is therefore crucial to have plans underway for a marriage ceremony after securing a K-1 visa.

Engaged people hoping to enjoy married life in the United States may need to apply for a K-1 fiance visa. Learning about program requirements – and seeking legal guidance as necessary – can help people better navigate the visa application process.