Everything You Need to Know About the Fiancé(e)/K-1 Visa

Also known as the fiancé visa, the K-1 visa is a temporary visa that offers eligible individuals a straightforward path to a green card in the United States. Learn more here from a top-rated immigration attorney.

Author: Massiel Silva Tadeo, Founder, Tadeo & Silva

Attorney Massiel Silva Tadeo is a partner and owner at The Tadeo & Silva Law Firm. She specializes in removal (deportation) defense, family immigration, and hardship waivers. Published on: December 20, 2021, Last updated on: January 04, 2022.

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What Is the K-1 Visa?

The K-1 nonimmigrant visa is a fiancé(e) visa intended for foreign nationals engaged to be married to an American citizen. The K-1 visa allows a foreign citizen fiancé to travel to the United States and marry their U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arriving in the country. 

The foreign citizen fiancé will then have to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security, asking for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident. 

Since a fiancé(e) visa allows the foreign citizen fiancé to move to the U.S. and get married to a U.S. citizen after arriving in the United States, the fiancé(e) needs to meet several eligibility criteria set by the National Visa Center (NVC). Eligible minor children of K-1 visa applicants will usually be granted K-2 visas. 

At Tadeo & Silva Law, we have helped many U.S. citizen-sponsored spouses obtain fiancé visas over the years. Our green card lawyer knows all about the processes and laws of Homeland Security and USCIS, and we are prepared to apply that understanding to help you reach your goals. Contact us today, and we may just be able to help you get your K-1 visa in a timely manner. 

K-1 Visa Fee Charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Immigrations services will usually charge visa applicants a range of fees for K visas. Some of the fees you may be charged include:

  • Filing Form I-129F for an alien fiancé(e) petition
  • Application to register permanent residence or to adjust status under Form I-485
  • Non-immigrant visa application processing fees for K visa applicants
  • Medical examination fees
  • Other costs may include photocopying and translation charges and fees for obtaining documents for the visa application, such as birth certificates, police certificates, and passports.

For all the different fees charged by the Department of State, check the different internet sites of the USCIS and immigration services. You can also check out the U.S. embassy or consulate websites or, if not, the USCIS office abroad for K-1 visa fees.

How Much Does K1 Visa Cost?

The total cost for a K-1 visa is about $1,000, which can be broken down into several components. These include:

A fee of $500 for Form I-129F may be paid by personal check, cashier’s check, or money order. If you are filing at a USCIS Lockbox facility, you may use a credit card, and if by check, you write the check to the Department of Homeland Security.

Once you get the approval of Form I-129F, the U.S. citizen fiancé will have to do a medical exam that typically costs about $200 though this may vary depending on the provider.

The actual fee for the K-1 visa application is usually $265, which will be paid at the interview. However, this can also vary depending on the U.S. embassy or consulate at which you apply for the K visa.

Note that the fees here may not include additional costs such as photocopying and translating documents, in addition to getting required documents such as passports and birth certificates.

If you are looking for a U visa attorney and have been wondering about the costs, you should contact an immigration lawyer. Tadeo & Silva has an exceptional U visa attorney who has a solid grasp of what is required.

Call us today, and we will provide the legal advice and information you need to pay the fees and charges to make the application for the visas you need.

Requirements for a K-1 Visa

The K-1 visa allows a U.S. citizen to bring their foreign citizen fiancé(e) to the United States. Once in the U.S., they will be expected to get married within 90 days, which will then confer immigration benefits such as a green card/permanent residence or United States citizenship to the foreign citizen fiancé(e).


K-1 Visa Required Documents

The U.S. citizen sponsor, the foreign citizen fiancé(e), and children eligible for a K visa will need to have the following documents and forms when attending the interview with a consular officer.

  • The online nonimmigrant visa application Form DS-160 filled. All applicants for a K visa, including the children, need to complete the form and print the confirmation page to be brought to the visa interview.
  • A valid passport whose validity is at least six months beyond the intended period of stay in the U.S. unless the USCIS approves one for country-specific exemptions.
  • Death or divorce certificate from previous marriages for both the U.S. citizen sponsor and the foreign citizen fiancé(e)
  • Birth certificate
  • Police certificates from your current country of residence and all the countries you were resident in for six months since you were eighteen. Note that these certificates are also mandatory for children sixteen years or older.
  • Evidence of financial support that may include an Affidavit of Support and filling in Form I-134
  • Medical examination
  • Evidence of a relationship between the U.S. citizens sponsor and their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
  • Two passport size photos
  • Payment of required fees

The consular officer has the prerogative to request further information that may include proof of relationship with a U.S. citizen sponsor. The U.S. embassy or consulate may also request that any documents you present in foreign languages be translated.

You will also be required to present legible, clear photocopies of all translations and documents, including birth certificates and divorce certificates.

Given how critical it is to file your documentation accurately, you will need to work with an immigration lawyer from the get-go. Contact us today, and we may be able to help you with the sourcing and filing of all the necessary documents you may need to file your visa applications.

K-1 Visa Processing Time

It usually takes five to seven months to get an approved petition from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Note that this is just the processing of the Petition for Alien fiancé From I-129F.

It usually takes an additional three to four weeks for the applicant to get instructions from the NVC on obtaining their K visas.


How Long Does a Visa Take to Process?

For your Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), usually referred to as Form I-129F, you can usually check the status of your petition on the USCIS website.

Once the National Visa Center receives your application from the U.S. embassy or consulate, it will process it. The time it will take to process your K1 visa will vary depending on the circumstances in the case.

Some K-1 visa applications will be delayed due to incomplete information or not following instructions. Some K visa applications will also require additional administrative processing following the consular interview.

With our years of experience working in immigration, we understand the legal requirements and timelines for a wide range of visas. Moreover, we will work hard to make sure your applications move as fast as possible. Working with a lawyer avoids the pitfalls of submitting incorrect information, which can significantly improve the approval timelines.

K-1 Visa Interview Checklist

About a month after the approval of your I-129F fiancé sponsorship form, the USCIS will hand off the K-1 visa application to the Department of State for further processing.

The U.S. citizen-sponsored fiancé(e) will then get a notice from the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country, asking them to attend a visa interview on a given date in addition to a list of required documentation.

The K-1 visa applicant will then complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, usually on Form DS-160 that is usually filled out online. Once you get the confirmation, it is critical to print the page after submitting it online.

Some of the documents required by the State Department for a K-1 visa application include:

Sponsored Fiancé Documents

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Sealed medical exam form
  • Birth certificate
  • Police clearance
  • Valid, unexpired passport

U.S. Citizen Fiancé Documents

  • Affidavit of support
  • Proof of relationship
  • Most recent tax returns

The interview will usually be conducted at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate where the U.S. citizen fiancé makes their application. The interview usually happens between 4 to 6 weeks following the initial notice from the U.S. embassy or consulate.

The consular officer will usually decide whether you will need additional documentation and evidence. This evidence will have to be submitted directly to the U.S. embassy or consulate.


Most Common Questions K-1 Visa Interview

There are several questions both you as a U.S. citizen sponsor and your U.S. citizen fiancé may have when going to the K-1 visa interview. Some of the most common include:


Does My U.S. Citizen Fiancé Need to File Separate Petitions for My Children?

You do not need to file separate petitions as eligible children can apply for a K visa on the approval of the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) Form I-129F, which your U.S. citizen finance usually has to file on your behalf.

Still, it is critical to note that the U.S. citizen fiancé needs to list the eligible children when filing the petition. Each applicant needs to pay the K visa application fee. Once you are married, your eligible children will have to apply to adjust status to become U.S. citizens or green card holders.

Your child cannot be included in your application for adjustment of status, permanent residence application, or to become a green card holder. Under American immigration law, a child can only be eligible if unmarried.

Still, to file to adjust status for a child after marriage to a U.S. citizen fiancé, the child’s relationship with your fiancé(e) needs to have been established before the child is 18.


Do Children Have to Travel with the U.S. Citizen Fiancé(e)?

Your children may travel with you or follow you later to the United States. Regardless, the children need to travel within the validity of their visas. You will not have to file separate petitions if the children follow you within a year or travel with you to the states following the issuance of your visas.

If the eligible children travel later than twelve months following the issuance of your K-1 visa, they will need to get separate immigrant visa applications as they will not be eligible for K-2 visas.

If the child still has a valid K-2 visa and you happen to have adjusted your status to become a green card holder or permanent resident, the child may be eligible for travel on a K-2 visa.

Contact Tadeo & Silva today for any questions you may have on the K-1 visa process. We have a competent attorney ready to help you understand the immigration processes and explain the different requirements for the visas that you may apply for.

K1 Visa Adjustment of Status

You can get most of the information on fiancé visas from the USCIS website. For adjustment of status, the requirements include:

  1. If you marry within 90 days, your fiancé would be eligible for a Green card by making an application to register to adjust status or register permanent residence.
  2. Once the immigration authorities review Form I-485 and the documents submitted by your fiancé(e), the consular officer may request more additional documentation or evidence.
  3. Both the citizen spouse and the fiancé will have to attend the interview for adjustment of status.
  4. If you have been married for less than two years at the time of approval of Form I-485, the USCIS will grant conditional permanent resident status, resulting in a Green card valid for at least two years.

Given that each case is different, it is critical to always work with an immigration lawyer when going through the process. At Tadeo & Silva, we have experienced and skilled lawyers who thoroughly understand immigration law and processes.

Contact us today, and we may just be able to help you get your K-1 visa and ultimately become a U.S. permanent resident or citizen.

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