Who can apply for a K-1 visa?

A petition can be submitted by any US citizen who declares his intention to legalize relations with a citizen of another country. K-1 visa applies to both the fiancé and fiancée. The important thing is that you have to meet with your fiancé at least once in the last two years prior to applying for the visa. If the K-1 visa is approved, you will have 90 days from the date you entered the USA to get married to a US citizen who filed the documents.

Each case is unique so that the requirement related to the meeting can be waived if circumstances are beyond the ordinary conditions.

IMPORTANT: after entering the USA, you can apply for a green card but only through your American spouse who requested the K-1 visa for you. You cannot obtain the green card in any other way – neither through getting married to another US citizen, nor through investments, nor through business or work. The K-1 visa has a special restriction so that foreign nationals cannot just enter the USA and then leave their American fiancé to try other ways of legalization.

Features of the fiancé visa

The set of documents collected for the fiancé visa is sent to USCIS. When the documents are approved, you will be informed about other papers you need to prepare as well as about the date of the interview.

As for the documents, they need to be prepared and correctly translated into English. If they are not properly prepared and contain inaccuracies, your visa application will be denied. If everything is in perfect condition, you will get approval as soon as the interview is completed.

That is interesting:
same-sex couples enjoy the same opportunities and privileges as opposite-sex couples. Therefore, a male can invite a male partner and a female can invite a female partner on the K-1 visa. Then, provided that the couple officially gets married within 90 days after the immigrant enters the USA on the K-1 visa, the US citizen will be able to submit a petition for his or her spouse to get a residence permit.

What documents are required?

  • Form I-129 F. It is a petition that can only be filled in and sent by a fiancé(e) who is a US citizen. Half of the questions are directly related to the alien fiancé(e) but he or she cannot fill this form in. They also do not need to sign it – it should be signed by a US citizen fiancé(e).
  • Form G-325A which is biographical information. This form must be filled in by both future spouses. Since the immigrant fiancé(e) at this time is outside of America, it is necessary to scan the document and send it to him or her by e-mail in order to receive the original signature.
  • All the necessary evidence that would indicate that your fiancé(e) is a US citizen. This will require a birth certificate, a passport and a Certificate of Naturalization (for those who were not born in America but immigrated there).
  • A letter from the US fiancé(e) with a description of the intentions to legitimize the relationship.
  • One passport-style photo from you and your fiancé(e). It is better to take a picture in the last month before filing a petition.
  • A Divorce Certificate if you or your fiancé(e) were married before. If you are widowed – a Death Certificate and its translation are required.
  • Evidence that you have met.
  • Evidence that you continue to maintain relationships between meetings.
  • You need to attach the receipt proving that the American fiancé(e) paid for the petition.

What to do if you have a child?

If your child is under 21 years old, the K-2 visa will automatically be issued for him or her when you receive the K-1 visa in the USA. Consent of the child’s father is usually not asked but it all depends on the state – you have to take into account that the local authorities might want you to attach the consent to the standard set of documents.

We advise you to resolve this issue as soon as possible: problems may arise in the future if you find out about the necessity of obtaining the consent too late.

That is interesting and important!

In some cases, it is better to first make a K-1 visa, and then register the marriage with an American fiancé(e) in the United States. Namely, it is better to do so in a situation when your children are over 18 but not yet 21 years old.

The fact is that if you plan to first get married and then file a petition for family reunification, you will need to demonstrate that you had married a US citizen before your child reached 18 years old. So, if you just got married, and your child is 19, he or she will not have the opportunity to apply for a residence permit.

As for the K-1 visa, the situation is much more favorable for children aged 18 to 21 years. If the mother of the child receives this visa, then a child of any age up to the age of 21 will receive the K-2 visa. And then, when entering the United States, even though the mother and the American fiancé(e) got married after the 18th anniversary of the child (but not later than 21 anniversary), the child can also apply for a green card. In the case of family reunification without the help of these visas, such a procedure would have been impossible.

What to consider when collecting documents?

We will help you to collect all the necessary documents that are included in the standard set for obtaining the visa. This stage is the most difficult one. If at least one important paper is missing the whole process will have to be started from the very beginning.

It is important to remember: you will need documents that would confirm that there really is a relationship between you and a specific American citizen; also you will need something that could be proof of your intentions.

All the documents are collected – what next?

  • The Immigration Service either approves your petition – it usually takes from 3 to 9 months – and reports this to the relevant embassy, or requests additional information needed to make a decision.
  • When the embassy is informed about your petition being approved, you will be invited to an interview. You will also need to prepare a set of documents for the interview.
  • Thus, an American fiancé(e) has to provide information about the amount of his or her yearly income as it is assumed that he or she will be your sponsor.
  • Do not forget about visiting doctors: in addition to the usual procedures, you will need to be examined to confirm that you have all the necessary vaccinations and that you do not have any dangerous infectious diseases.
  • After that follows the most difficult stage – the interview. When you pass it, the visa will either be approved or denied.

How to behave with the consulate officers?

First of all, you need to know that you have the right to come in for an interview with the fiancé(e) – he or she will be the best support for you. This is allowed officially, all you need is for your fiancé(e) to bring his passport to confirm that he is a US citizen. However, the requirements and rules of each American embassy may vary – so you should ask permission for the presence of an American fiancé(e) in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises.

The face-to-face interview is the most important stage, as apart from examining the collected documents the consular officer will also examine you. It is better to dress up stylishly and elegantly but in a low-key; provocative styles to be excluded. We can not ignore the human factor.

During the interview, stay calm, answer questions very clearly. The longer you delay your reply, the more suspicion the consulate officer will have. If he suspects deception, your case will be considered longer.

IMPORTANT: during the interview, they may contact your fiancé(e) by phone (if he or she is not accompanying you in the consulate and staying in the USA at the moment). Perhaps he or she will be asked the same questions as you were asked to compare the answers. Therefore, the American fiancé(e) must be available at the time of the intervie.

How to track your passport after the interview?

If you have performed well at the interview, the consul will approve your visa. But what next? Your international passport must be left at the embassy so that the visa is pasted in. There is no need to return for the passport – it will be sent to you by mail.

Your passport will be sent to the address you had provided when you scheduled the interview. You will receive it within a week. Not to worry about the safety of the document, you can easily track it online by its tracking number.

When the envelope with your passport is in your city, the company you applied to will call and inform you about it. Also, inside, there will be guidance on obtaining a social security number and extra photos in case you have attached more than one copy to the petition.

Reasons for a K-1 visa denial:

  • incorrect behavior at the interview. Perhaps you fussed or stammered. They also refuse anyone who cannot answer even the simplest questions about the relationship with the future spouse;
  • incorrectly collected or executed documents. Special attention should be paid to the translation of papers into English – any inaccuracy entails the visa denial. The same is with documents – if one of them is absent, even the most (in your opinion) insignificant one, the consulate representative will not agree to give you the visa;
  • you met your fiancé(e) through a marriage agency. The US government is suspicious of this method of dating however meeting on the Internet does not raise any extraneous questions;
  • significant age difference. If the American fiancé(e) is much older than the immigrant fiancé(e), or vice versa, the consulate officer will be alarmed;
  • unsatisfactory financial situation of the American fiancé(e). When issuing the visa, consulate representatives must be sure that the fiancé(e) who moves to the United States will not lack money.

None of this will happen if you immediately secure the support from a professional. We can help not only with doing all the paperwork and preparing you for the interview but also with obtaining a green card. Since if you and your spouse duly registered your marriage in the USA, you can apply for the green card as well.