The K-1 visa, also known as the fiancé(e) visa, is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married.
Here's a more detailed description of the K-1 visa:
Purpose: The K-1 visa is intended for individuals who are engaged to a U.S. citizen and plan to marry in the United States. It allows the foreign fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. for a temporary period in order to complete the marriage process and apply for permanent residency.
Eligibility: To be eligible for a K-1 visa, the following criteria must be met:
- The petitioner (U.S. citizen) and beneficiary (foreign fiancé(e)) must have met in person at least once within the past two years.
- The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen, not a green card holder.
- Both parties must be legally free to marry and intend to marry within 90 days of the beneficiary's entry into the United States.
- The beneficiary must pass a medical exam and obtain required vaccinations.
- The beneficiary must not have a criminal record or pose a threat to national security or public safety.
- The U.S. citizen petitioner must first file a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Form I-129F) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- After USCIS approves the petition, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing.
- The NVC will then forward the case to the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate in the beneficiary's home country.
- The beneficiary must attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate and provide supporting documents, such as a valid passport, evidence of the relationship, proof of financial support, and any other relevant documentation.
Duration of Stay: The K-1 visa allows the foreign fiancé(e) to stay in the United States for a temporary period, typically up to 90 days. During this time, the couple must get married and apply for permanent residency (green card) for the foreign spouse.
Adjustment of Status: After getting married, the foreign spouse must file an Adjustment of Status application (Form I-485) to apply for permanent residency in the United States. This process can take several months and requires additional supporting documents, such as proof of the marriage, medical exam results, and police certificates.
Restrictions: K-1 visa holders are not allowed to change their status to any other nonimmigrant visa category while in the United States.
Overall, the K-1 visa provides a way for U.S. citizens to bring their foreign fiancé(e)s to the United States for the purpose of getting married and applying for permanent residency. It's important to follow all visa regulations and requirements to ensure a smooth and successful application process.