K-1 Visas

K-1 Visas

BACKGROUND

If you are engaged to be married to a U.S. Citizen, you may petition for a K-1 visa. The K-1 visa requires a marriage ceremony to occur within 90 days of entry to the United States. Once the beneficiary has married, they can apply for a green card (to become a legal permanent resident of the United States). Spouses of U.S. citizens enjoy shorter wait periods on the path to citizenship and in some cases, they can also apply to bring their children with them to the United States.


COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Does my relationship qualify for a K-1 visa?

Are there any exceptions to the rule regarding having met each other during the 2-year courtship period?

What kind of evidence do I need to prove that my relationship is bona fide and we intend to marry?

If my petition is approved, does that ensure that a visa will be granted?

Does anything special have to happen prior to the interview?

Are there any financial considerations for the U.S. citizen intending to bring their foreign-born spouse to the United States on a K-visa?

What can a U.S. citizen do if their financial situation does not meet the above-named financial requirement?

Are there any additional forms that need to be filed?

Can the minor children of my intended spouse also be admitted to the United States?

What are the qualifications for minor children to accompany the intended spouse of a U.S. citizen?

Can the intended spouse or the child of an intended spouse of a U.S. Citizen legally work in the U.S.?

If I enter the United States as a relative of a U.S. Citizen and the marriage does not last, can I continue with my application in conjunction with another U.S. citizen if I happen to be in a different union?

If I had a medical examination prior to admission as a K nonimmigrant, am I required to have another medical examination at time of adjustment?

If a new medical examination is not required, do I still have to prove that I have complied with vaccination requirements?

As a green card holder married to a U.S. citizen, how long after I receive my green card can I become a U.S. citizen?

What if I have more questions regarding K-1 status?

 

Does my relationship qualify for a K-1 visa?

A couple must have met each other in person within 2 years prior to the filing, be legally able to marry, and have specific plans to marry.

Are there any exceptions to the rule regarding having met each other during the 2-year courtship period?

This two year rule maybe waived if the in-person meeting would cause extreme hardship to the petitioner or would violate strict and long established customs of the beneficiaries foreign culture or social practice.

What kind of evidence do I need to prove that my relationship is bona fide and we intend to marry?

Evidence such as photographs, videos, email or other correspondence exchanges, plane ticket receipts, phone bills, etc. can all be submitted as well as any specific wedding plans, letter from the wedding officiant, honeymoon plans/reservations, etc. are acceptable.

If my petition is approved, does that ensure that a visa will be granted?

Approval of the petition does not ensure that the visa will be granted. If the petition is approved it is then sent to the National Visa Center of the State Department, which then forwards it to the Embassy or Consulate nearest the foreign national. An interview is conducted and from there the Department of State will issue a visa to enter the United States on K-1 status should the beneficiary be deemed approvable.

Does anything special have to happen prior to the interview?

Prior to the interview, the foreign fiancé’s petitioner will need to begin the K-1 process by filing Form I-129F. Once the I-129F is approved, the foreign fiancé(e) has four months to apply for a K-1 visa by completing Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, online. If an application for a K-1 visa is not filed within four months, the petition will expire.

Are there any financial considerations for the U.S. citizen intending to bring their foreign-born spouse to the United States on a K-visa?

Yes, income evidence is reviewed to ensure that the petitioner meets the minimum income requirements. The current requirement mandates that the petitioner’s meets or exceed 100% of the U.S. poverty guidelines.

What can a U.S. citizen do if their financial situation does not meet the above-named financial requirement?

If necessary, a co-sponsor can be enlisted to meet the income requirement.

Are there any additional forms that need to be filed?

All K nonimmigrants are required to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence and Adjust Status, after arrival to adjust status as a permanent resident of the United States.

Can the minor children of my intended spouse also be admitted to the United States?

Yes, minor children can also accompany your fiancé(e) by applying for a K-2 visa. Minor stepchildren can be admitted with a K-4 visa.

What are the qualifications for minor children to accompany the intended spouse of a U.S. citizen?

The child must be less than 21 years old, unmarried and seeking to immigrate to the U.S.

Can the intended spouse or the child of an intended spouse of a U.S. Citizen legally work in the U.S.?

Upon receipt of the K-visa, either party may apply for a work permit using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

If I enter the United States as a relative of a U.S. Citizen and the marriage does not last, can I continue with my application in conjunction with another U.S. citizen if I happen to be in a different union?

K non-immigrants may only adjust status as a permanent resident through the same U.S. citizen (fiancé(e), spouse, or stepparent) that petitioned for them to receive their K visa status.

If I had a medical examination prior to admission as a K nonimmigrant, am I required to have another medical examination at time of adjustment?

You do NOT need another medical examination at the time of adjustment if the following criteria are met:

  • Your Form I-485 is filed within 1 year of your overseas medical examination
  • The medical examination did not reveal a Class A medical condition
  • If you did have a Class A medical condition, you received a waiver of inadmissibility and you have complied with the terms and conditions of the waiver

If a new medical examination is not required, do I still have to prove that I have complied with vaccination requirements?

Even if a new medical examination is not required, you still must show proof that you have complied with the vaccination requirements. If the vaccination record (DS 3025) was not properly completed and included as part of the original, overseas medical examination report, you will have to have the vaccination report completed by a designated civil surgeon. In this case, you are required to submit Part 1, Information About You, Part 2, the vaccination chart, and Part 5, the Civil Surgeon’s Certification, of Form I-693 (in an envelope sealed by the civil surgeon)

As a green card holder married to a U.S. citizen, how long after I receive my green card can I become a U.S. citizen?

After meeting some residency requirements (present in the U.S. for at least 18 months of the prior 3-year period), from green card to U.S. citizenship would take approximately 3 years. Please consult with an attorney if you intend to become a U.S. citizen but will be living as a green card holder for extended periods of time outside of the United States.

What if I have more questions regarding K-1 status?

This list of questions is not exhaustive. Please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding K-1 that you may have.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal in vice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.