The K-1 fiancé visa may be granted to the foreign fiancé of a U.S. citizen, allowing that individual to enter the United States for the purpose of marriage.
Once the foreign fiancé enters the United States, he or she can marry the U.S. citizen and then, if desired, apply for a green card through adjustment of status.
Steps for Obtaining a Fiancé Visa
The process for obtaining a fiancé visa begins with the U.S. citizen filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Upon approval, the case moves to the National Visa Center for coordination with the U.S. embassy or consulate in the beneficiary’s country of residence. Finally, the foreign fiancé can apply for a K-1 through the embassy or consulate followed by an interview.
How Long It Take to Get a Fiancé Visa
The exact K-1 processing time line can vary, but many applicants are able to enter the United States within 6-9 months. There are multiple steps and the process is handled by multiple agencies from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to the National Visa Center to the U.S. Department of State. Therefore, submitting a well-prepared I-129F petition from the start is essential. The form must be accurate and the supporting documents must adequately meet the requirements.
Adjustment of Status Through a K-1 Visa Entry
The marriage does not automatically result in a green card or legal status. The foreign national must submit an adjustment of status application to apply for permanent residence (green card). The adjustment of status process includes a package of several forms and steps detailed in Adjustment of Status Through a K-1 Visa Entry.