What to Know About Applying for a Fiancé Visa
If you have a significant other who has citizenship in another country, you have to obtain the proper legal documentation in order to bring him or her into the United States if this is where you plan to reside permanently. This is what is known as a fiancé visa, or K-1 visa.
What is a K-1 Visa?
The K-1 visa, or the fiancé visa, is a nonimmigrant visa for the foreign-citizen fiancé of a United States citizen. It allows the foreign-citizen fiancé to travel to the United States with the intention of marrying his or her United States citizen sponsor within 90 days of arriving. From there, the foreign-citizen will apply for a status adjustment to legal permanent resident (LPR) through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Because the fiancé visa allows the potential spouse to enter the country with the intention of marrying, there are specific requirements that he or she must meet. However, not everyone who applies will be granted a K-1 visa.
Who is Defined as a Fiancé?
Under United States immigration laws, a fiancé has to be an applicant who is legally free to be married at the time the petition was initially filed and must have remained that way thereafter. The marriage has to be legally possible under the laws of the specific state where the marriage will take place.
Some general guidelines typically include that the U.S.-citizen sponsor and foreign-citizen fiancé must have met in person within the past two years. The USCIS may grant an exception to this requirement, based on select circumstances.
Basic Overview of the Application Process
The process starts with the U.S.-citizen sponsor filing a Form I-129F, which is a Petition for Alien Fiancé. It has to be filed with the USCIS office that services the area in which you reside. If the U.S. Citizen is abroad, it cannot be filed at a U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or a USCIS office outside of the United States.
Once the petition is approved, the USCIS sends it on to the NVC, or National Visa Center. The NVC issues a case number and then forwards the petition to the specific U.S. Embassy or consulate where your fiancé lives. The NVC mails a letter out when the petition is sent to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Once the letter is received, your fiancé has to start gathering information and preparing for the interview once it is scheduled.
The foreign-citizen fiancé has to gather documents, including proof of divorce if previously married. He or she will be required to file Form DS-160, which is the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, gather police reports, pay fees, submit to a medical examination, take photos, and have a passport that is valid for travel to the United States six months beyond the intended length of stay.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates have the right to ask for proof of your relationship, as well. This might be submitting photographs that prove you are really a couple and that this marriage is not going forward with the sole purpose of obtaining U.S. residency. If you have questions regarding establishing satisfactory proof, Arizona Statewide Paralegal is happy to provide you with a referral to a qualified immigration attorney who has experience with fiancé visa applications to obtain answers to your legal questions. Once you’ve obtained the legal advice needed then give us a call to complete the documents at a fraction of the cost.
All applicants are required to undergo a medical examination, which has to be performed by a physician who is authorized by the Embassy or Consulate. At some point, applicants will also have to have a series of vaccinations as outlined in the USCIS’s Vaccination Requirements for IV Applicants.
According to the USCIS, an Affidavit of Support is not required to be filed at the time that the Petitioner files the I-129f application. Applicants will show they have financial support and will not become a public charge once in the United States after the K-1 visa is issued and Fiance has traveled to the United States and has married the Petitioner. The I-134 will be filed when the K1 Visa spouse applies to adjust status. The foreign-citizen fiancé can present evidence that he or she can financially support him or herself, or the U.S. citizen can show that he or she is able to provide the required support. The U.S. citizen has to file Form I-134, which is the Affidavit of Support. Once you are married and applying for an adjustment of status, it jumps to 125% of the federal poverty line.
Expect the USCIS to look at prior criminal records, as well. For US citizens, they are looking for a variety of crimes, including child abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. If you are concerned about your criminal record, it is advisable to speak with an immigration attorney.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding K-1 Applicants with Children
There are some commonly asked questions about fiancé visas involving children that are important to point out.
What if the potential K-1 visa holder has a child, or children? Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants can get K-2 visas. We will add your children’s names to the I-129f Petition for you.
Does the U.S.-citizen fiancé have to file separation petitions for each child? No separate visa applications are submitted for K-2 visas, so only one petition for I-129F is required.
What if my child is married? According to U.S. immigration laws, the child must be unmarried, and the child’s stepchild relationship with the fiancé must be created prior to him or her turning 18 if you plan to file for status adjustment for your child following the marriage.
Do my children have to travel with me or can they come later? The children can either accompany you or travel later, as long as they travel within the valid period of their K-2 visas. It is important to note that they must travel within one year if they plan to obtain K-2 visas, otherwise they would be required to complete their own separate immigration visa petitions.
How Long is the Expected Wait Time for a Fiancé Visa?
Everyone who applies for a fiancé visa is obviously curious as to how long they can expect the process to take. There is no real clear answer, as it as it can depend on a variety of factors. Processing times will vary at the service center that is handling your petition. The length of time it takes for the petition to be transferred to the consulate can vary, as well as how soon an interview date can be scheduled at the particular US embassy in question. How one country handles this process can deviate greatly from somewhere else.
Once your petition is filed, the USCIS determines which service center it is sent to. There is no way to select your own just because you have heard one service center has a shorter waiting period. In general, the approximate wait time can be five to six months for approval of a fiancé visa petition.
Once the petition is approved, the USCIS has to transfer the petition to the consulate through the National Visa Center. That process can take a month or longer. Then when the consulate has the petition, the individual embassy’s processes come into play.
No matter what, you can not forget that each petition is handled individually, which means there could be something in your background or on the petition that warrants additional administrative processing. Therefore, no one can accurately predict the specific time frame you can expect to receive an approval. It is generally recommended that you do not expect the entire process to take much less than a year.
Common Reasons K-1 Visas are Denied
There can be a variety of legal reasons a fiancé visa gets denied, but in some cases, it is because your documentation was incomplete. This is why it is important to have an AZ Statewide Paralegal prepare your application and submit your supporting documentation properly. If your paperwork is incomplete, your petition will be denied or they may provide you with a Request for Evidence to correct the missing information. If you do not reply on time, then they will deny your case.
Other issues, such as still being legally married to someone else, lacking proof to support your fiancé status, prior criminal convictions, and lying on your documentation are some ways your petition can get denied. There may be times when a person just has a bad interview and the immigration officer did not feel the relationship was valid, or some other related reason. This is why proper preparation and careful planning is so critical with K-1 visas.
Learn More About Arizona Statewide Paralegal Document Preparation Services
Arizona Statewide Paralegal offers a number of different services throughout Arizona. We are extremely proud of the fact that the Arizona Supreme Court has certified our entire staff. Our workforce consists of Arizona certified legal document preparers who have been helping Arizona customers with their legal document preparation needs for over two decades.
There may be times where you need to seek legal advice at various points during the process of applying for a fiancé visa; our legal document preparers can easily assist with the documentation process, along with select complex issues that could potentially arise. Why should you spend thousands of dollars in lawyers fees to draft standard forms and documents?
From preparing your fiancé visa application to helping with other immigration-related documentation, Arizona Statewide Paralegal offers the same level of service without the high hourly attorney rates. We can help ensure that all your documents and forms are properly filled out and filed in a timely manner. Our staff can also assist with other document preparation services you need within the state. Arizona Statewide Paralegal offers the added convenience of in-person consultations for any client who would prefer handling these types of legal matters in person.
If you begin researching document preparation services in Arizona, you will see results for a variety of legal businesses in the state that offer to prepare any and all legal documents. Unfortunately, this is where their support and services end in many cases. These document preparation companies do not offer any additional support or benefits beyond simply filling out your forms. Once the documents are completed, you will be expected to figure out what the next steps are and what else needs to be done. This can include filing your own documents with the appropriate agency, and in some instances, you will also have to find someone to serve any necessary parties who need to have notice.
These other document preparation companies do not assist with any other problems or pending issues, either. This means that if you have any other questions regarding how a process works, or you need additional information to understand how to properly file the document, you are likely on your own. Or, you may have to hire another agency and pay additional fees to get your questions answered.
Arizona Statewide Paralegal prides itself on offering professional customer service and maintaining a full-service paralegal business that can handle your statewide needs. Our team of paralegals will not leave a client trying to figure out on his or her own which stack of paperwork needs to be filed where, what court you need to contact, or what else is left to follow up on.
It is important that we point out that we are not licensed practicing attorneys. We cannot practice law in the state of Arizona or any other state. Basically, we cannot dispense legal advice or tell you how to proceed with your particular case. However, the state authorizes us to prepare your documents and forms and then guide you through the individual steps of the filing process. If you have specific legal questions that relate to immigration status, we are more than happy to provide you with a referral to a practicing skilled immigration attorney who is conveniently located near you.
If you require other immigration forms, or need other legal documents completed in relation to a fiancé visa, please contact our knowledgeable team members at Arizona Statewide Paralegal to inquire how our team might be able to further assist you. We take great pleasure in providing fast, friendly, and convenient services, all at a reasonably low price. Contact our office today to learn more about our document preparation services in Arizona for fiancé visas and other related immigration and legal matters. We look forward to assisting you with all your document preparation needs. Call us today to learn more about how we can assist you.