If you have gotten engaged to a foreign national and plan to marry in the United States, you know that you have to follow the correct U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services protocols to bring your loved one into the country.
While your fiancé(e) may be able to visit temporarily on a tourist visa, they will need a K-1 visa if they plan to stay.
Eligibility requirements for K-1 visas
To be eligible for a K-1 visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- You are a U.S. citizen.
- You have met your fiancé(e) in person within the last two years.
- You and your fiancé(e) are legally free to marry.
- Your fiancé(e) is outside the United States.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s arrival in the United States.
There are some exceptions to these rules. For example, you can ask for a waiver from meeting each other in person in the last two years if you can prove that doing so would create an undue hardship for you or that it violates cultural or social practices for you or your partner.
Application process for K-1 visas
The application process for a K-1 visa involves several steps. You must first file a petition and complete Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). After that, USCIS will review your petition and, if approved, forward it to the National Visa Center for further processing. When the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate receives your form, your fiancé(e) will apply for a K-1 visa and attend an interview. If your partner receives a K-1 visa, he or she can enter the United States, and you must then marry within 90 days.
Bringing your fiancé(e) to the United States with a K-1 visa can be a complex process, but it can also be a rewarding one. By meeting the eligibility requirements and following the application process, you can start your life together in the United States.