Law & Legal & Attorney Immigration Law

Things to Know About a K-1 Visa

    Who Is Eligible for a K-1 Visa?

    • The K-1 visa is intended to allow a U.S. citizen's foreign fiancee to travel to America for up to 90 days. Within that period, it is expected that the American sponsor will marry his fiancee. After a marriage certificate from a court is issued, the K-1 visa can be changed to a permanent residence status. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is responsible for changing the status.

    Requirements for a K-1 Visa

    • Because K-1 visa holders are intending to immigrate to the United States, they are subjected to similar requirements as those applying for immigrant visas. The visa applicant is required to complete a medical examination and have digital fingerprints taken at the consulate or embassy where he is applying. While K-1 visa applicants are not required to have vaccinations to receive a visa, the vaccinations will be needed in order to change to resident status. The U.S. citizen and foreign fiance must have met within the last two years. Proof that the citizen can financially support the foreign fiance will be required during the visa interview.

    How to Apply

    • Foreign citizens must receive an approved Petition for Alien Fiance(e) (Form I-129F). This form must be completed by the foreign citizen's U.S. sponsor (fiancee). The completed form and a $340 filing fee (as of March 2011) have to be submitted to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration service office within the United States. After the petition is approved, it will be sent to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy, where the foreign fiancee will be applying for a K-1 visa. An interview with a consular official is required before processing a K-1 visa. Applicants must bring a nonimmigrant fiancee visa application (Form DS-156K), two nonimmigrant visa applications (Form DS-156), a passport, birth certificate, police certificate from resident country (a certified report of the applicant's police record), medical examination documents, two passport photos and evidence of financial support. During the interview process, the consular official will ask for proof -- photos, joint bank account information and personal history -- of the relationship's legitimacy.

    K-2 Visas -- Children of K-1 Visa Holders

    • If the foreign fiance has children, they automatically receive K-2 visas upon approval of a K-1 visa. All children need to be listed on the Petition for Alien Fiance(e) (Form I-129f) to qualify for a K-2 visa. All children need to file for a change of status from K-1 visa to permanent resident separately from their parent. Children must be unmarried to qualify for a K-2 visa.

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