Getting married to the person you love is thrilling. But it can also be a time of stress. From planning a wedding to arranging the paperwork, you have many steps to complete. If your fiancé is a citizen of the United States but you are not, then you may also need to obtain a K-1 visa.
This process can be complicated, so we have provided some of the critical information that you should know.
The K-1 visa process
A K-1 visa allows the fiancé of an American citizen to immigrate to the U.S. As long as you and your partner marry within 90 days of your arrival, you can change your immigration status to become a permanent resident of the country.
These are the steps to obtaining a K-1 visa:
- Determine your eligibility
Your fiancé must be an unmarried citizen of the U.S. You need to have seen your fiancé face to face within two years of your visa application. You must marry each other within 90 days of your arrival.
- File an Alien Fiancé petition
Your partner must file a Petition for Alien Fiancé, or Form 1-129F. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review it, request additional information if needed and will eventually send it to the Embassy or Consulate of your home country.
- Attend an interview
You will then attend an in-person interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. An interviewer will ask questions about your nationality, upbringing, immigration goals and intentions to wed.
- Apply for a K-1 visa
In addition, you must complete and file an application for a K-1 visa. At the interview, the Embassy will determine whether to grant the non-immigrant visa petition. If it grants the visa, then you will have 60 days to arrive in the United States.
Planning a wedding is difficult enough without the added stress of applying for a K-1 visa. Many people choose to work with an immigration attorney to ensure that they complete every step of the process correctly. Whatever you choose, securing a K-1 visa is a critical part of immigrating to the U.S. to be with the person you love.