Bride and Groom

K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

What is a K1 Visa?

A K1 visa is also known as a fiancé(e) visa. This visa allows a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen to live in the United States for 90 days after entering through a U.S. border crossing. If you enter the United States on this visa, you and your future spouse must marry within the visa's 90-day validity period. The foreign fiancé will have to leave the United States if the marriage does not take place within the 90-day validity period. If the engagement is terminated before the wedding, the visa will be revoked.

However, there are some basic eligibility standards that the visa recipient must meet before the visa is granted.

Who is Eligible for a K1 Visa?

Most visa-based immigration processes have stringent eligibility restrictions. The US government sets the rules, and the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) guarantees that they are followed. A K1 visa is similar in that it only lets a limited number of persons entering the United States.

  • The sponsoring partner must be a citizen of the United States. A K1 visa cannot be sponsored by a Green Card holder.

  • Marriage is legal for both partners. There must be divorce papers, death certificates, and other supporting documentation claiming the dissolution of past marriages.

  • Even though the foreign fiancé's place of birth does not recognize same-sex weddings, same-sex partners can apply for K1 visas.

  • Emails, itineraries, images, and written testimonies from friends and relatives will be required to show the genuineness of the relationship. Include travel arrangements and tickets that show many trips were taken.

  • In the two years coming up to the visa application, the couple must demonstrate at least one personal meeting. This requirement may be removed if the foreign spouse is unable to do so owing to religious, cultural, or social standards that make it impossible.

  • Within 90 days of admission, both partners must provide formal proof of their intent to marry. Wedding plans, invitations, deposit payments to suppliers, and other forms of travel arrangements for the wedding itself will all help.

  • The foreign spouse must demonstrate financial means equal to or greater than 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If this is not possible, someone in the United States (typically the husband) must sign an affidavit of support claiming to be the foreign spouse's financial sponsor.

Documents Required for a K1 Visa

So, what documents are required to file a K1 visa petition? As previously stated, your circumstance is unique and may necessitate the submission of extra documentation. But, for the time being, here are the basic documents that must be submitted with every K1 visa application:

  • Form DS-160  An online nonimmigrant visa application must be completed by you and all of your minor dependents (Form DS-160). Print the confirmation document and bring it to your visa interview as proof.

  • Each person requires their own DS-160.

  • The real petition for an Alien Fiancé is Form I-129F.

  • A valid passport - issued by your home nation.

  • Certificates of divorce or death - Used to prove the annulment of prior marriages.

  • One from each country where you have resided for more than 6 months since you were 16 years old.

  • A registered physician will conduct a medical examination.

  • Form I-134, an affidavit of support, is proof of financial support (if necessary).

  • Two passport-style pictures of the beneficiary are required.

  • Evidence of the relationship - As previously stated, physical proof of the relationship.

  • Payment receipts - Evidence that the processing costs were paid.

How to Apply for a K1 Visa

Step 1

Form I-129F

  • On behalf of the beneficiary, the sponsor fiancé must file Form I-129F. The application must include all of the above-mentioned supporting information.

  • The sponsor spouse must additionally submit the following personal information:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship.

  • Photo for a passport.

    The USCIS will notify you that they have received your case after roughly 30 days. Keep track of your notifications for future use. If they need further information, they may send you a Request for Evidence (RFE). To reduce the processing time on your case, please supply any additional needed information as soon as feasible.

Step 2 – Form DS-160 and Interview

Your fiancé is still in a different country. They must submit an application for a nonimmigrant visa online (Form DS-160). The USCIS will contact them to schedule an interview at the nearest US embassy or consulate in their home country. They must supply a copy of the confirmation page from their completed Form DS-160 application. A copy of the information needed to file Form I-129F must also be brought by the sponsored fiancé.

The officer in charge of the case will decide whether your application is successful the same day as the interview or the next day. So make sure you have all of the necessary proof and supporting documents for your interview, and study some of the likely K1 visa interview questions in advance.

Step 3 – U.S. Entry and Marriage

After the visa is approved, you have four months to travel to the United States. The 90-day period in which you must marry begins the moment you arrive. It's worth noting that the K1 visa does not allow for status transfers to other nonimmigrant visas like the H1B or F. Only after you are married can you begin the process known as Adjustment of Status.

K1 Visa Cost

The filing fee for Form 129F is $535. You must additionally pay the $265 visa cost at your visa interview. As a result, the formal filing fees total $800. This does not, however, include the fees of your medical examination or any other charges you may incur in order to obtain your K1 visa.

K1 Visa Processing Time

The USCIS takes roughly 30 days to acknowledge the receipt of your initial Form I-129F. It could take another 6-9 months for them to process it after that (not including the extra time added if they issue a Request for Evidence). Only once this time has passed may the foreign fiancé begin the process of applying for a nonimmigrant visa online. From application acceptance to a request for an interview at your local US embassy or consulate, this procedure can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.

Keep in mind that these processing times are based on a typical situation with no problems. As a result, getting a K1 visa can take anywhere from 10 months to over a year.

K1 Visa Holder Transition to a Green Card

You can apply for a marriage-based Green Card after your wedding. Best of all, your children on a K2 visa (dependent minors under the age of 21) will be eligible for permanent residency through your marriage-based Green Card. While they are applying for a marriage-based Green Card, a foreign spouse who is already married to a US citizen can move here on a K3 visa.


You've probably had enough of waiting! The only thing standing in your way is obtaining permission to travel to the United States with your fiancé. Apply for your K1 visa today by following the steps outlined above. You'll be one step closer to the wedding of your dreams!