The K-1 visa is for foreign nationals that are engaged to be married to a U.S. citizen. The purpose of the visa is for the foreign future spouse to temporarily enter the U.S. Thereafter, the couple has 90 days to get married and apply for permanent residency. Failure to do so may result in the removal of the foreign fiancée.
The process begins when the Petitioner files a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. If USCIS recognizes the relationship between the Petitioner and Alien Fiancé(e), they notify the National Visa Center (NVC) of their approval. The NVC forwards the approval to the U.S. Embassy or consulate where the Alien Fiancé(e) lives. A K-1 Visa application is submitted there, and a visa interview is conducted. If approved, the Fiancé(e) has up to six (6) months for a single entry to the U.S. Upon entry to the U.S., a Customs & Border Patrol officer will make the ultimate decision about whether to admit the Fiancé(e). Once in the U.S., the Fiancé(e) only has 90 days to be married. Once married, the Fiancé(e) may apply to USCIS to adjust status to Permanent Residence.
USCIS is currently reporting an estimated time range of 5 to 7 months for K-1/K-2 Visas. Please note that this does not include the time needed for the visa application in the home country of the Alien Fiancé(e). This varies greatly from country to country. An experienced immigration attorney will be able to provide an estimated processing time for the applicable home country.
A K-1 visa is valid for a period of six months. This means that the Alien Fiancé(e) can travel to the U.S. within six months from when the visa is issued. However, once they have entered the U.S., they can only remain for 90 days. If they have not been married within that time frame, they should leave the U.S.
The Alien Fiancé(e) may apply immediately for work authorization for a non-extendable period of 90 days after their entry to the U.S. Alternatively, they may also apply for work authorization when they apply for their Green Card. That authorization is valid for one year and may be extended.
If the Alien Fiancé(e) has unmarried children under the age of 21 living with them abroad, they may be eligible for K-2 visas to enter the U.S. with their parent. They must be included in the original petition to USCIS and must travel at the same time or after the K-1 visa holder.
Once the couple is married, applications for a Green Card may be filed for all K-1 and K-2 visa holders associated with the original petition.
If you fail to get married within the 90 days, the Alien Fiancé(e) and any children included in the original petition must leave the U.S. Failure to depart is a violation of U.S. immigration law and can lead to deportation. Any future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits may also be negatively affected. Please note that the K-1 visa holder may only apply for a Green Card based on their marriage to the petitioner. If they are married after the 90 days, other options may be available.
Fiancée Visa applications are complex and should be handled by a highly experienced K-1 visa attorney in Orlando. There are many steps in this process and an attorney can prevent you from making costly mistakes. If you or someone you care about is seeking a Fiancée Visa in the United States, please contact our experienced Orlando Immigration Attorney at Mubarak Law in Orlando today. We understand how important these cases are to our clients, so they are important to us! We have helped many clients in the past and will be happy to help you too. We offer a free phone consultation at (407) 502-3000. You may also fill out our online form located on this page and we will get back to you shortly. We have a 24-hour emergency service. Your privacy is very important to us and we will keep your information confidential.