This a visa for a fiancé of a U.S. citizen. The process starts with a petition in the United States and ends with a Consular interview where the fiancé must prove a physical meeting within the past two years. The major benefit is that if you enter on the K1 visa you can skip the I-130 which is the first step of the Green Card adjustment process.
To qualify for a K1 fiancé visa, you must intend to go through with your marriage within 90 days of entering the United States on a K1 visa. The marriage must be a valid marriage built on a long-standing relationship, and with the intent of forming a future life together. The marriage cannot be for the sole purpose of applying for a visa, green card, or any other immigration benefit.
If the marriage is completed within the first 90 days of being within the United States, your K1 spouse may then apply for permanent resident status and receive their Green Card.
During the application process, you will be interviewed and heavily scrutinized to prove the legitimacy of your relationship. Be prepared to provide proof that you and your fiancé have seen each other at least once in the past two years before the application. There are exceptions to this, though, in the case that the two of you meeting would violate local cultural customs and traditions, or if the meeting would have resulted in severe hardship for the sponsoring party. You will have to apply for a waiver if this is the case.
This is highly relevant to same-sex couples who may not be able to openly display their relationships in a way that would provide physical evidence of their meeting. However, under the July 1, 2013 directive from the Secretary of Homeland Security, visa applications will be processed equally regardless of the sexuality of the applicants. This means that regardless of the applicants’ sexualities, they will be eligible for K1 fiancé visas.
During your interview, be prepared to answer questions including but not limited to the following:
● Have you been married before? If so, why did the marriage end?
● Have you ever been sponsored for a K1 visa before? If so, what happened to the relationship?
● What is your fiancé’s full name, birthday, and age?
● Describe where your fiancé lives
● Have you met your fiancé’s parents? If not, why?
● How many siblings does your fiancé have, what are their names, and have you met them?
● What languages does your fiancé speak?
● Why do you love your fiancé?
● Has your fiancé ever been married before?
● When, where, and how did you meet?
● How often do you meet and how long have you been dating?
● What activities do you do together, what interests do you share, how do you maintain communication over a distance, and is that hard for you?
● What are your plans for the wedding and your future together?
For couples who have already married overseas or who plan to marry overseas, K1 visas are nonapplicable. If the applicant is already residing in the United States under a different visa type, a K1 visa is also nonapplicable. Instead, you should look into how to apply for a Green Card.
After your fiancé is admitted into the U.S. on a K1 visa, they may immediately begin looking for employment. They should do so by filling out and submitting form I-765 for employment authorization. Should you fail to marry within 90 days, the visa will expire and your spouse will have to leave the U.S. If they do not leave, they will be subject to an immigration violation and may be deported. K1 visas cannot be extended, so it is crucial that you meet this deadline.
If, for whatever reason, the marriage was postponed but you still marry after the 90 days, you may apply for a Petition for Alien Relative with form I-130. If your fiancé has children under the age of 21, they will also be eligible for entry through your fiancé’s K1 visa. Just be sure to include their names on the application.