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K1 Visa (Fiancé or Fianceé of U.S. Citizens) Fianceé Visa Basics

A Fiancée Visa (also known as a K1 Visa) is a travel document that allows a foreign Fiancée of a U.S. Citizen to enter the United States for the sole purpose of getting married. Fiancée Visas are generally considered the quickest vehicle to legally bring a foreign fiancée to the U.S. with the intentions of marriage and immigration.

What are the necessary steps to obtain a Fiancée Visa?
There are two major steps to the Fiancée Visa process: The first step involves the filing of a Petition for the Alien Fiancée by the U.S. Citizen (also known as the “Petitioner”). This Petition is filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and must be sent to the appropriate USCIS Service Center, which is based upon the geographic residency of the U.S. Citizen.

Once the Petition has been approved by the USCIS, the second step involves the filing of the foreign fiancée visa application, including several forms and affidavits of support, the Foreign Fiancée’s interview and the eventual issuance of the Fiancée Visa at his/her country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Once the Fiancée Visa is issued, how does it work?
The Fiancée is free to enter the United States once a valid Fiancée Visa is issued. Once the Fiancée enters the U.S., the marriage between the Petitioner and the Fiancée must take place within 90 days of the Fiancée’s entry. If the Fiancée does not marry the Petitioner within 90 days, or if the Fiancée marries someone other than the Petitioner, the Fiancée must leave the United States after 90 days.

Who is eligible to file a Petition for a Fiancée Visa?
U.S. Citizens who intend to marry a foreign national in the United States may file a Petition. The U.S. Citizen and foreign Fiancée must be free to marry. This means that they are both unmarried, or that any previous marriage has ended in divorce, death, or annulment. The couple must also have met in person (at least once) within the last two years prior to the filing of the Petition.

Are Fiancée visas ever issued to couples who have not met in person?
There are extraordinary and extremely limited circumstances in which fiancée visas have been issued to couples who have never met. For example, fiancée visas may be issued under rare instances where a couple has not met in person due to certain religious or other extreme hardship cases.

Can Fiancée Visas be extended or renewed after the initial 90 days of entry if there is no marriage?
No. The Fiancée must leave the country if he/she does not marry within the 90 day period after U.S. entry. They may not re-enter the U.S. again under the same us fiancée Visa. They may, however, re-enter the U.S. after approval of a completely new Fiancée Visa/K1 Visa by starting the entire process again with the same Petitioner or a new Petitioner.

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