With the internet, social media and other technological advancements, more Americans than ever are meeting and marrying foreign nationals. For a U.S. citizen in a relationship with a foreign national, the decision of whether to marry, when to marry and where to marry can present many challenges. While we cannot resolve every issue arising from bi-national relationships, once the decision to marry is made, we can make the filing and approval of a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) and the issuance of the K-1/K-2 visas as smooth and efficient as possible.
Many foreign fiancé(e)s enter the U.S. with K-1 visas. The minor children of K-1 fiancé(e)s can enter the U.S. with K-2 visas. The K-1 visa allows foreign fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens to enter the U.S. so that they can be married and become lawful residents of the U.S.
The K-1 process has two steps. The first step is the filing of a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Form I-129F) by a U.S. citizen petitioner on behalf of a non-citizen fiancé(e). The Petition is filed with a regional processing center of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS, formerly INS) and is accompanied by:
- evidence of the Petitioner’s U.S. citizenship;
- evidence that the Petitioner and fiancé(e) have met each other, in person, within the two years prior to filing the Petition;
- evidence that the Petitioner and fiancé(e) are free to marry, i.e. divorce certificates;
- evidence of the existence of a bona fide relationship and intent to marry.
Once the Petition is approved by the CIS, the case passes to the National Visa Center for additional processing and then to the Embassy/Consulate serving the fiancé(e)’s country of residence for final review and the scheduling of an in-person interview.
The Consulate/Embassy will be able to provide:
- a Non-Immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-156 (prepared in duplicate);
- a Non-Immigrant Fiancé(e) Visa Application, Form DS-156K; and
- an Application for Immigrant Visa, Form DS-230, Part I only.
In addition to the above forms, procedures require a medical examination, a police certificate, an Affidavit of Support (Form I-134) and a variety of other documents.
Once issued, the K-1 visa will allow your fiancé(e) (and the accompanying K-2 dependents) to enter the U.S. to be married. The marriage must take place within 90 days of admission. Following the marriage, your alien spouse (and any dependents) may file Applications for Adjustment of Status, requesting lawful permanent residence (green card) in the United States.
For information about procedures, processing times, costs and other details for the fiancé visa application, please contact us.