K-1 Fiance Visa Information
Fiance Visa Overview
Fiance visas allow a non-citizen fiance of a United States citizen to travel to the United States to get married and apply for a green card.
The first step of a fiance visa case is for the United States citizen to submit an "I-129F petition for alien fiance" to USCIS. This petition asks the government to allow the foreign fiance to immigrate to the United States. After the I-129F petition is approved, a fiance visa interview will be scheduled at a US consulate near where the foreign fiance lives.
The couple must get married within 90 days of the foreign fiance's entry into the United States with the fiance visa. After the couple is married, the foreign fiance can apply for a green card through the adjustment of status process.
Some of the general requirements for a fiance visa include:
- The couple must have met in person at least once in the past two years.
- The foreign fiance must not be “inadmissible” to the United States. If there is an inadmissibility issue, the foreign fiance may need to qualify for a waiver in order to get a fiance visa. The grounds of inadmissibility are complicated and include such things as criminal convictions, misrepresentations on past immigration applications and prior immigration violations.
If a fiance visa is not a good option for you, you should explore other options such as an immigrant visa or adjustment of status. If you are unsure which option is best for you, you should discuss your case with an immigration lawyer.
Fiance Visa Steps
The steps in the fiance visa process are:
Step 1: Make sure that you qualify for a fiance visa before you begin the process. Do not apply for a fiance visa if you don't qualify for it.
Step 2: Collect the information and supporting documents needed to complete your application package.
Step 3: Prepare and submit your I-129F petition package to USCIS.
Step 4: The official receipt notice from USCIS will arrive in the mail.
Step 5: Receive I-129F approval notice.
Step 6: USCIS sends the approved I-129F petition to the Department of State National Visa Center that then sends the package to the US embassy or consulate that serves the location where your foreign fiance lives.
Step 7: Complete the fiance visa interview with a consular officer.
Step 8: Your foreign fiance travels to the United States using the fiance visa.
Step 9: Get married within 90 days of your foreign fiance's arrival in the United States.
Step 10: Submit adjustment of status application to request permanent resident status and a green card.
Step 11: Attend adjustment of status interview.
Fiance Visa Timeline
In most cases, it takes between 6-9 months to get a fiance visa. If your case involves special issues such as the need to apply for an immigration waiver, your case may take longer than a less complex case.
The adjustment of status process after you get married will depend on which USCIS office handles the green card application. In most cases, it will take between 4-12 months to complete the adjustment of status process.
Your immigration lawyer will be able to give you an idea of how long your case will take based on the current processing times for the Las Vegas USCIS office.
There are other issues that can impact how long it takes for you to get your green card. For example, the wait for your green card could be considerably longer if you receive a request for evidence or if you are scheduled for a second interview after your initial green card interview. Working with an immigration lawyer can help you to minimize these types of delays in your case.
Fiance Visa Costs
The costs involved in getting a green card through the fiance visa process can be viewed in three groups: the required government filing fees, other required costs and attorney fees.
The required government filing fees are:
- $535 for the Form I-129F filing fee
- $265 for the K-1 fiance visa fee
- $1,225 for the Form I-485 adjustment of status filing fee
The government filing fees must be submitted with the application.
The other required costs that you should expect as part of the fiance visa process are:
- Medical exam – cost depends on doctor and location, often is between $250 – $700
- Passport photographs – cost depends on photographer, but often inexpensive
- Translation costs – varies by the translator and type of documents being translated into English
- Original documents/certified copies – varies by what documents need to be obtained
Depending on whether you work with an immigration lawyer, you may also have attorney fees as part of the total costs of the process.
Not everyone who applies for a fiance visa will need a lawyer to assist them with the process. You can learn more about whether you need a lawyer by reading the information on this website and by learning more about the role of an immigration lawyer in the fiance visa process. If you decide to hire an immigration lawyer to assist you, the legal fees will vary by law firm and the complexity of the case.
K-1 Visa Interview
The K-1 visa interview is one of the most intimidating parts of the entire fiance visa process. After the Department of State National Visa Center forwards your approved I-129F petition to the US embassy or consulate that will handle the visa interview, you'll receive information on how to schedule the visa interview.
The purpose of the visa interview is to determine whether your relationship is bona fide. In addition, the consular officer will review the affidavit of support to make sure that the income requirements to sponsor an immigrant are met.
If all goes well at the visa interview, your fiance will receive the K-1 visa a few days later and will be able to travel to the United States so that you can get married.
How We Can Help With Your Fiance Visa Application
Immigration Lawyer Fiance Visa Services
You are not required to work with an immigration lawyer, but working with one can be very helpful and can help minimize the stress involved in the fiance visa process.
Our immigration lawyer fiance visa services include the following:
- Explain the fiance visa process in detail to you to help you decide if it is the best process for you
- Review your immigration history to make sure that you qualify for a fiance visa
- Research and resolve any special issues with your case to minimize the risk that your application will be denied
- Prepare all forms necessary for your application, including your I-129F, DS-160, I-134, I-485, I-765, I-131 and I-864
- Pepare any legal letters or memos needed for your case
- Identify the supporting documents needed for your application
- Assist with preparing any affidavits or declarations needed for your case
- Assist you in preparing for your fiance visa and green card interviews
- Prepare and submit responses to any standard Requests for Evidence received from USCIS
- Attend your green card interview with you
I-129F Petition Review Services
Our application review service is for people who prefer to prepare their I-129F petition on their own, but want the peace of mind of having an immigration lawyer review the application before it is submitted to USCIS.
Our I-129F review service includes the following:
- We will review your I-129F form for accuracy and completeness
- We will review your supporting documents to evaluate whether all required documents are included and to provide you with our professional opinion of your documents
- We will prepare a written report for you that describes any issues that we found in reviewing your application
- An application review appointment to go over your application with us and to give you the opportunity to ask our lawyers any questions you have about your application and the next steps in the process