Non-Immigrant Visa for Finace(e)

1.      What is a fiancé(e) as defined under the U.S. immigration law?

Under U.S. immigration law, a foreign citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen is the recipient of an approved Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F, who has been issued a non-immigrant K-1 visa for travel to the United States in order to marry their U.S. citizen fiancé(e).

 

2.      What are the eligibility requirements needed for a fiancé(e) visa?

The following are the eligibility requirements needed to be proven by the U.S. citizen sponsor:

  1. The sponsor is a U.S. citizen.
  2. They intend to marry their foreign citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of the date of entry of the foreign citizen fiancé(e) in the United States.
  3. That both of them are free to marry and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by divorce, death or annulment.
  4. That both of them have met in person, at least once within 2 years of filing the petition.

 

3.      What is the first procedure to be done by the U.S. citizen sponsor to acquire a non-immigrant visa for their fiancé(e)?

The U.S. citizen sponsor must file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS office that serves the area where the U.S. citizen sponsor lives. After the USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will give the U.S. citizen sponsor a case number and send the petition to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the foreign citizen fiancé(e) lives.

 

4.      What are the required documents that the foreign citizen fiancé(e) must bring to the visa interview?

The foreign citizen fiancé(e) must bring the following documents to the visa interview:

  1. Completed Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  2. Passport with a validity date of at least 6 months beyond the intended stay in the U.S.
  3. Divorce or death certificate(s) of any previous spouse for both the U.S. citizen sponsor and the foreign citizen fiancé(e)
  4. Police certificates from the present country of their residence and all the countries they had lived for six months or more since age 16
  5. Medical examinations
  6. Evidence of financial support
  7. Two 2x2 photographs
  8. Evidence of relationship with the U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
  9. Payment of fees

 

The consular officer may ask for additional information, such as photographs and other proof that the relationship with the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) is genuine. Documents in foreign languages, other than the language of the country in which the application takes place, should be translated. Applicants should take to the visa interview clear, legible photocopies of civil documents and translations, such as birth and divorce certificates. Original documents and translations will be returned.

 

5.      Can a U.S. visa applicant be exempted from the medical examination?

No. In preparing for the interview, applicants need to schedule and complete a medical examination. Before the issuance of an immigrant or a K visa, every applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination which must be performed by an authorized panel physician.

 

6.      Can the required medical examination be performed by a non-authorized physician?

No. Medical examinations performed by non-authorized physicians will not be accepted.

 

7.      What are the procedures usually done in a medical examination?

The medical examination includes a review of the applicant’s medical history, physical examination, chest X-ray, and blood tests. The physical examination will at least include examination of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin and external genitalia. The authorized physician will either give the applicant the medical examination results to hand-carry to the visa interview or will send the results directly to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

 

The applicant may also bring the following documents to their medical examination:

  1. The applicant’s vaccination immunization records
  2. Their prior chest x-rays
  3. Copies of their medical history records
  4. Their passport, identity card, laissez-passer or travel document

 

8.      Is there a need for vaccinations for this type of non-immigrant visa?

No. Such vaccinations are not required for K visa issuance though they will be required when adjusting the status to that of legal permanent resident following the marriage between the foreign citizen applicant and the U.S. citizen sponsor. Thus, K visa applicants are encourage to get the following vaccinations which are required under the U.S. immigration law:

  1. Hepatitis A
  2. Hepatitis B
  3. Influenza
  4. Influenza type b
  5. Measles
  6. Meningococcal
  7. Mumps
  8. Pneumococcal
  9. Pertussis
  10. Polio
  11. Rotavirus
  12. Rubella
  13. Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
  14. Varicella

 

9.      What will happen during the interview process?

During the visa interview, applicants will be required to present evidence to the consular officer that they will not become a public charge in the United States. Applicants may be asked to present evidence that they are financially capable of supporting themselves or that their U.S. citizen fiancé(e) are able to provide support.

 

The consular officer may ask the U.S. citizen sponsor to submit a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support. He may be further requested to submit Form I-864 to USCIS with application for adjustment of status to that of legal permanent resident following the marriage of the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) and their foreign citizen fiancé(e)

 

10.  What is the validity of the Petition?

The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval by USCIS. A consular officer may extend the validity of the petition if it expires before the visa processing is completed.

 

11.  How long will it take before the applicant can get their K visa?

The length of time varies from case to case according to the circumstances. Some cases are delayed because applicants do not follow instructions carefully or supply incomplete information. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by the consular officer.

 

12.  What happens when the foreign citizen fiancé(e) is finally issued a visa?

When the foreign citizen fiancé(e) is issued a K visa, the consular officer will give them their passport containing the K-1 visa and a sealed packet containing the civil documents that the applicant had provided, plus other documents prepared by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It is important that the sealed packet is not opened. Only the DHS immigration official should open the packet upon the entry of the foreign citizen fiancé(e) in the United States.

 

13.  When should the K-1 visa holder enter the United States?

The K-1 visa holder must enter the United States either before or at the time as any qualifying children holding K-2 visas.

 

14.  Can the K-1 visa holder bring their child with them to the United States?

If the child is under 21 years old and is not married, a K-2 visa may be available to them.

 

15.  When can the K-1 visa holder marry their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)?

The K-1 visa holder must marry their U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of their entry into the United States.

 

16.  What if no marriage took place between the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) and the foreign citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of the date of arrival of the foreign citizen fiancé(e) in the United States?

The fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended and the foreign citizen fiancé(e) must leave the United States at the end of 90 days. If they do not depart, they would be in violation of U.S. immigration law and may result in removal (deportation) and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.

 

17.  What if the foreign citizen fiancé(e) is already in the United States in another status and the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) decide that they get married?

If the foreign citizen fiancé(e) is already on U.S. soil and entered using a visa other than a fiancé(e) visa, when they marry, the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) may file a I-130 relative petition for the foreign citizen fiancé(e) along with the petition.

 

18.  What if the foreign citizen fiancé(e) entered the United States illegally?

In most cases, the foreign citizen spouse will not be able to adjust status to that of a permanent resident while in the United States. In this case, the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) may file a I-130 relative petition once they marry their foreign citizen fiancé(e). If approved, the foreign citizen fiancé(e) will have to pursue an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or consulate overseas.

 

19.  What if the foreign citizen fiancé(e) already has a fiancé(e) visa and they don’t want to get marry within 90 days?

The fiancé(e) visa is a temporary visa that simply permits the foreign citizen fiancé(e) to enter the United States so that they can marry their U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days from the date of entry. It is not a way for the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) to bring a person in the United States so they can get to know one another or spend more time together to decide whether or not they want to marry each other.

 

20.  Can the foreign citizen fiancé(e) work in the United States while on a fiancé(e) visa?

Yes. The foreign citizen fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with a USCIS Lockbox based on their place of residence. Any work authorization based on a non-immigrant fiancé(e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry. However, the foreign citizen fiancé(e) would be also eligible to apply for an extended work authorization at the same time they file for permanent residence. In such a case, the foreign citizen fiancé(e) has to file Form I-765 together with Form I-485 as soon as they get married.