U.S. citizens may file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, to help a foreign fiancé come to the United States for marriage or an existing spouse for the purpose of adjusting status to permanent resident. In short, it establishes a qualifying relationship so that the U.S. citizen’s beneficiary may apply for a K visa. The petition initiates the request process for the U.S. government to issue a K visa to the foreign national. K visas help reduce separation between U.S. citizens and their respective beneficiaries.
If you are a U.S. citizen, use Form I-129F to petition:
- Your foreign national fiancé as a K-1 nonimmigrant so that he or she may enter the United States to marry you and pursue adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident; or
- Your foreign national spouse as a K-3 nonimmigrant so that he or she may enter the United States to pursue adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident.
Petition for Alien Fiancé
Filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, is the first step for a foreign national fiancé to come to the United States for the purpose of marriage and permanently immigrating. In general, eligibility to file the I-129F petition requires that you and your fiancé:
- Are legally free to marry and intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé’s admission to the United States; and
- Have met each other in person within the two years immediately before you file the petition, unless you establish that either:
- The requirement to meet your fiancé in person would violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé’s foreign culture or social practice, and that any and all aspects of the traditional arrangements have been or will be met in accordance with the custom or practice; or
- The requirement to meet your fiancé in person would result in extreme hardship to you; and
- Meet the requirements set in the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005.
The K-1 visa permits the foreign national fiancé to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. If the K-1 nonimmigrant wants to remain in the United States, he or she must also file Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status.
RECOMMENDED: Overview of the K-1 Visa Process
Petition for a Spouse
Filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, is the second step for a foreign national spouse to come to the United States for the purpose of adjustment of status. Eligibility to file the I-129F petition requires that there by a pending Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The U.S. citizen petition will need to submit evidence that he or she has filed Form I-130 with USCIS.
The K-3 visa permits the foreign national spouse to travel to the United States and file Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status. The purpose is to reduce the time a U.S. citizen and spouse may need to be separated while waiting for an immigrant visa through consular processing.
What Happens After Filing Form I-129F
The approval time for Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, can vary significantly. Even after USCIS approves the I-129F petition, certain intending immigrants will still have a long wait.