K1 Visa Lawyer for Fiancé Visa

With a history spanning over 25 years, ILG’s K1 Visa Lawyers are committed to delivering strategic and effective legal representation for US immigration to clients globally. We value each client and case, understanding the significant benefits of immigration for the United States.

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Understanding the K-1 Visa

ILG understands that any time spent apart from one’s loved ones can be a difficult and trying experience. We go to great lengths to unite US citizens with their fiancés who are overseas. The K-1 visa, also known as the fiancé(e) visa, serves as a vital gateway for individuals engaged to U.S. citizens, offering a unique pathway to unite couples and commence their lives together in the United States. This nonimmigrant visa is exclusively designed for foreign-citizen fiancés, granting them the opportunity to travel to the U.S. and marry their U.S. citizen sponsors within 90 days of arrival.

Once the marriage takes place, the next crucial step involves applying for an adjustment of status to attain permanent residency. This process is facilitated through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), ensuring a smooth transition from fiancé(e) to legal permanent resident (LPR).

K1 Visa Requirements

There are three basic requirements to receive a K-1 visa:

  • The parties must have met in person within the past two years (in some cases this requirement can be waived-see below)
  • They must have a good faith intention to marry
  • They must be legally able and willing to get married within 90 days of the alien’s arrival in the US

Sponsorship by a U.S. Citizen

The sponsoring fiancé must be a U.S. citizen, as lawful permanent residents cannot sponsor their fiancés for a K-1 visa. Our law offices specialize in clarifying eligibility criteria, ensuring a smooth sponsorship process.

Marital Status Confirmation

Both partners must be unmarried, substantiated by presenting divorce decrees, annulments, or death certificates from any previous marriages. Our experienced team assists in assembling and submitting the required supporting documents to validate your eligibility.

Validation of Relationship

Proving the validity of your relationship is paramount. Our immigration attorneys assist in compiling evidence, demonstrating the authenticity and depth of your connection, a crucial aspect of the fiancé visa process. Same-sex partners are eligible for a K1 visa, regardless of the legal landscape in the foreign fiancé's home country.

In-Person Meeting Requirement

The couple must provide evidence of meeting in person within the two years preceding the visa application. We navigate exceptions and special circumstances, addressing factors such as extreme hardship or cultural norms, ensuring a comprehensive approach to this requirement.

Financial Requirements

Meeting income thresholds is a vital aspect of K-1 visa eligibility. Our team advises on income requirements and facilitates the use of joint sponsors if the U.S. citizen sponsor falls short of meeting the criteria alone.

K1 Visa Application Process

Start the K1 visa application journey with confidence by reading the steps below. For personalized guidance, consult a DC immigration lawyer for expert assistance.

Form I-129F Submission

Embark on your K-1 visa journey with confidence. The initial step involves the U.S. citizen fiancé filing Form I-129F ("Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)") with USCIS. This form is crucial for establishing the validity of the relationship. Once submitted, expect a receipt notice within 30 days, and potentially a Request for Evidence (RFE) if more information is needed. Upon approval, USCIS will issue an approval notice, marking the beginning of the next phase.

Form DS-160 and Interview Preparation

Transitioning from USCIS to the U.S. Department of State, the sponsored fiancé receives a notice from the U.S. Embassy outlining the visa interview details and required documents. The next move involves completing the State Department's DS-160 form, and the actual K-1 visa application. It's essential to print the confirmation page post-submission.

Arrival and Marriage Celebration

With the K-1 visa approved, the sponsored fiancé has six months to travel to the U.S. Upon arrival, the couple must marry within 90 days to maintain K-1 status. Failure to marry within this timeframe necessitates an immediate departure. Unlike other visas, the K-1 doesn't allow for changes or adjustments to different travel visas. The sole purpose is for the sponsored fiancé to join the sponsoring fiancé and marry within 90 days.

How can Immigration Group help?

Effectively maneuvering through immigration law complexities, especially in the context of employment-based green cards, requires the assistance of a skilled attorney. Here’s why ILG is the preferred choice:

Comprehensive Knowledge of Immigration Law

ILG’s employment-based green card attorneys specialize in immigration law, ensuring a deep understanding of the intricate legal aspects of the application process. With over two decades of experience, our Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Law firm is well-versed in the complexities of immigration law.

Tailored Solutions for Unique Concerns

Each employment-based green card case is unique, necessitating a customized approach. ILG’s experienced immigration attorneys assess your specific circumstances, whether it involves establishing a new office, employee transfers, or permanent residency. This personalized strategy significantly increases the chances of a successful application.

Proven Success Record

Attorney Glen Wasserstein, featured in interviews by major networks like NBC, BBC, and Fox News, boasts a history of success. An experienced employment-based green card lawyer with a track record of accomplishments demonstrates the ability to navigate immigration law complexities, instilling confidence in clients seeking reliable immigration solutions.

Necessary Documentation for K1 Visa

This comprehensive set of documents is crucial for a successful K-1 visa application process:

Form I-129F

This form is a fundamental part of the K1 visa process, filed by the U.S. citizen fiancé to initiate the visa application process.

Proof of U.S. Citizenship for Sponsoring Fiancé

Include a clear copy of a passport, certificate of naturalization, or birth certificate to establish U.S. citizenship for the sponsoring fiancé.

Copy of the Foreign Fiancé’s Passport

Submission of a copy of the foreign fiancé's passport is a required document for processing the K-1 visa.

Evidence Proving Relationship Authenticity

Compile various forms of evidence such as photos, travel itineraries, letters, and correspondence to substantiate the authenticity of your relationship.

Proof of In-Person Meeting Within Two Years

Submit documentation, including flight bookings, hotel itineraries, pictures, and emails, to demonstrate that the couple has met in person within the two years preceding the form submission.

Sworn Statements Confirming Intent to Marry

Both partners must sign sworn statements affirming the nature of their relationship and their commitment to marrying within 90 days of the foreign partner's arrival in the U.S.

Copy of All Previously Issued Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Records

Include a copy of all Form I-94 records issued to the sponsored fiancé during previous arrivals and departures in the United States.

Passport-Style Photos

Provide one passport-style photo for the U.S. citizen fiancé and one for the foreign partner as part of the visa application process.

Affidavit of Support (Form I-134) [for U.S. Citizen Fiancé]

This form is crucial for the sponsoring U.S. citizen fiancé to demonstrate their financial ability to support the foreign fiancé during their initial period in the United States.

Most Recent Tax Returns [for U.S. Citizen Fiancé]

Submission of the most recent tax returns is essential to validate the financial stability and eligibility of the sponsoring U.S. citizen fiancé.

Proof of Relationship [for U.S. Citizen Fiancé]

Include a copy of the approved I-129F package originally filed with USCIS to provide additional evidence supporting the legitimacy of the relationship.

Visa Duration

Processing Timeline for K1 Visa

The K-1 visa application process involves several stages, and understanding the expected duration is crucial for planning. Currently, the K-1 visa process takes approximately 6 months from the initial filing to the visa interview.

Initiating the process, the U.S. citizen fiancé must submit Form I-129F to USCIS, presenting evidence of the relationship's authenticity. USCIS processes this form and typically sends a receipt notice within 30 days. An approval notice follows the successful evaluation of the form.

After the approval of Form I-129F, USCIS notifies the National Visa Center (NVC) to assume control of further processing. The NVC stage averages about 7 months but can vary based on the applicant's home country.

After NVC processing, the sponsored fiancé receives a notice for the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in their home country, with an average wait of 1 month. The interviewing officer decides the interview or requests additional evidence.

Upon approval, the sponsored fiancé has 90 days to enter the U.S. and get married. Subsequently, the couple needs to apply for an Adjustment of Status (AOS) for a marriage green card. The K1 to AOS timeline is currently 13.5–20.5 months, with potential variations.

Renewal Process for K1 Visa

The I-129F petition, the initial step in the K-1 fiance visa process, is valid for four months from USCIS approval. However, if visa processing extends beyond this period, a consular officer can extend the petition's validity.

It's crucial to note that K-1 and K-2 nonimmigrant status automatically expires after 90 days, with no provision for extension. Failure to marry within this timeframe requires departure from the U.S. Violating this stipulation may lead to deportation and impact future eligibility for immigration benefits.

For those holding a 10-year green card nearing expiration, timely renewal is essential. The renewal process involves completing an application, either online or by mail, gathering supporting documents, paying government fees if necessary, and submitting the application for processing.

Our immigration services extend beyond the K1 visa process, covering diverse needs such as green card renewals. Our experienced attorneys guide you in obtaining a marriage visa and the renewal process, ensuring seamless navigation of immigration status.

Client Reviews

What an amazing team to work with. SO grateful for Jen, Catherine and the whole team, who worked so hard and were so patient with us through this whole process of obtaining our green cards. They are truly experts and can be trusted without a doubt to help you with your immigration needs! Utmost professionals and a pleasure to work with.

Sarah C.

Immigration Law Group has a wonderful team of lawyers. They handled my h1b and permanent residence paperwork in a way that really made me feel comfortable and brought me peace through a very stressful time. they are on top of things and always answered my questions in a timely manner. I highly recommend them if you want to make sure everything goes perfectly.

Kiran M.

Everyone at Immigration Law Group, from the attorneys to support staff, have been nothing but helpful, well-informed, and courteous to me from the start until now. Jen, and Catherine in particular, have been super helpful in explaining complicated procedures and processes in easy to understand ways–yet not dumbing down to the level where they are leaving out important details. I feel confident and knowledgeable with ILG working on my case, and there’s a personal level of communication and trust, which also puts me at ease during a difficult and tricky process. I highly recommend Immigration Law Group–I’m so glad I found them!

Andrew O.

We are very satisfied with the Immigration Law Group and the services they had provided us so far. They have very capable staff that is always on top of our cases and help us navigate them successfully. We have had great success with all cases and their rates are very reasonable. They know Immigration law better than any other law firm we worked with. I would recommend them without hesitation!

Alina T.

K1 Visa FAQs

The consular officer plays a crucial role in the visa interview stage. They assess the documentation, interview the foreign citizen fiancé, and determine if the relationship is genuine and meets all legal requirements.

The application is filed with USCIS.  If the alien has minor children, they will be given derivative status and allowed to enter the US with their parent. The application must include proof of the petitioner’s US citizenship and proof that each party is legally able to marry (e.g divorce decrees or death certificates or prior spouses). It is also advisable to submit evidence of marriage plans.

Once approved, the petition remains valid for four months. If the alien does not enter the US in that period, in can be revalidated by either an USCIS district officer or a State Department consular officer for another four-month period, as long as the parties are still able and intending to marry.

Aliens admitted in K-1 status are not allowed to seek an extension of status, or to change to any other nonimmigrant classification. During the 90-day period of admission, the alien must marry the US citizen petitioner. After the marriage takes place, the US citizen spouse may file an application for adjustment of status for the alien spouse.

USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) reviews Form I-129F, filed by the citizen petitioner, to assess the legitimacy of the relationship. If approved, USCIS notifies the National Visa Center, initiating the next steps in the process.

If the foreign fiancé does not arrive within the 90 days after K1 visa approval, their nonimmigrant status expires, potentially leading to legal consequences. It’s crucial to adhere to the specified timeline and marry within the designated period.

To obtain a waiver it must be shown that complying with the requirement would result in either extreme hardship to the US citizen, or that complying would violate traditional customs in the alien’s home country. This second method of obtaining a waiver will be strictly scrutinized to ensure there is no attempt to avoid the law.

We’re ILG, your Immigration Specialists

We Believe in Immigration. We ensure that all our clients get the best chance to a new life in the United States.