Steps to Bringing your Fiance to the US through the K-1 Visa

Step 1: File a petition with the USCIS on behalf of your Fiance

You, the US citizen, must file the Petition for Alien fiance (Form I-129F) with your local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. Click here to see the additional documents you need to file the petition.

Note: You cannot file this petition at an embassy, consulate or U.S. immigration office abroad.

Tips: Instead of waiting in long lines at the USCIS field office make an appointment online at USCIS Website.

Step 2: The Fiance's obtains a visa at a US consulate at his/her home country

After the USCIS approves the petition, it sends the petition to the embassy or consulate where your fiance will apply for a K-1 non-immigrant visa. Once approved he/she will get a visa stamped on their passport and will be ready to come to the United States. Click here to see the required documents your fiance will need while applying for the visa at a US consulate in his/her home country.

What Happens and What to Do After Getting the Fiance Visa?

Once you've received the K-1 Visa successfully you are ready to enter the United States. Following are some important information and steps for you and your fiance to follow through on after entering the United States.

Step 3: Entering into the United States

After getting the fiance visa, your fiance enters the United States through a U.S. immigration port-of-entry. The U.S. immigration official gives your fiance instructions on what to do at the the port of entry.

Step 4: Get Social Security Number

Your fiance can apply for a social security number card. There are many advantages of having a social security number card the sooner the better.

A permanent resident of the United States needs a Social Security number to:

  • Work in the United States
  • Conduct business with a bank or financial institution
  • Pay taxes or to be claimed on a tax return
  • And for other purposes not listed.

Refer to the Social Security Website for further instructions

Step 5: Get Married

As per the condition of the K-1 Visa you and your fiance must get married within 90 days of his/her arrival.

Step 6: Apply for Permanent Residency (Green Card) by Filing Adjustment of Status (AOS/I-485)

If your spouse plans to work and stay in the US, after marriage, he/she must file Form I-485 Application to register as permanent residence or to adjust status with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live in the United States. You must fill out the Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, with the USCIS for your spouse's application to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR).

File the following 2 forms at nearest USCIS Field Office:

Step 7: Remove Conditions on Permanent Status for Your New Spouse

The permanent residence you have received through this marriage is conditional, which means your new spouse's green card will expire in 2 years. You'll have to file the I-751 petition in order to remove this conditional status.

Find Out More On Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence
Download I-751 Form - Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence

Required Documents of the Sponsor for K-1 Petition

Documents Required of the United States citizen who is petitioning his/her fiance to come and live in the U.S. The following needs to be provided at the USCIS field office when filing for petition.

  • Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance
    If your fiance has unmarried children who are under 21, they are eligible to accompany your fiance, but only if they are listed on this form.
  • Evidence of Your U.S. Citizenship
    Your original U.S. birth certificate, your U.S. passport, your Certificate of Naturalization, or your Certificate of Citizenship. (Please see USCIS Form I-129F for information on the use of copies.)
  • 2 G-325A Forms Biographic Data Sheets
    Completed and signed G-325A Forms, one with your information and one with your fiance's.
  • Color Photos of You and Your Fiance
    One color photo of you and one of your fiance taken within 30 days of filing
    >>Find out more about photograph specifications
  • Prior Marriage Nullification Documents
    A copy of any divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees if either you or your fiance have been previously married.
  • Permission to Marry
    Proof of permission to marry if you or your fiance are subject to any age restrictions. (For instance, in some U.S. states, you must receive special permission to marry if you are under the age of 16.)

Required Documents For K-1 Visa Application

The following documents should be provided by your fiance to the US consulate in his/her home country while applying for the K-1 Visa.

  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States.
  • Valid Birth certificate
  • If applicable, divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse for both the applicant and the petitioner
  • Police certificate from all places lived since age 16
  • Medical examination (vaccinations are optional, see below)
  • Evidence of financial support - Form I-134 Affidavit of Support may be requested. (Should be sent by American sponsor.)
  • Two Non-immigrant Visa Applications, Form DS-156 (A Form DS-156, prepared in duplicate.)
  • One Non-immigrant Fiance Visa Application, Form DS-156K
  • Two nonimmigrant visa photos
    (each two inches 50 X 50 mm square, showing full face, against a light background)
  • Evidence of a fiance relationship - i.e. photos of engagement.
  • Payment of fees

The consular section at the embassy or consulate where you, the fiance of an American citizen, will apply for a visa, will tell you about any additional specific requirements that you need to fulfill to complete your visa application, such as where you need to go for the required medical examination.

Note: The consular officer may ask for additional information according to the circumstances of the case. Documents in foreign languages should be translated.

Tips: Take clear, legible photocopies of civil documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, to the interview. Original documents can then be returned to you.

Where Should I File the Petition?

If you are filing for your fiance, file this petition at the Service Center with jurisdiction over your area of residence.

If you are filing for your fiance and live outside the United States, submit this petition to the Service Center with jurisdiction over your last place of residence in the U.S.

If you are a U.S. citizen, and are using this form to bring in your wife or unmarried child under the LIFE Act, file this petition at:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
P.O. Box 7218
Chicago, IL 60680-7218

Find out more about the LIFE Act
>> Find a USCIS Office next to you

Vaccination Requirements

All applicants for immigrant visas are required to have the following vaccinations (if appropriate for age, medical condition, or medical history):

  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Rubella
  • Polio
  • Tetanus and diptheria toxoids
  • Pertussis
  • Influenza type B
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella
  • Pneumococcal

Note: As a fiance you are not required to fulfill this requirement at the time of your medical examination for a fiance visa. However, you may want to do so. These vaccinations are required when you adjust status to permanent residence following your marriage.

Extending the Petition

The Form I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval from USCIS. Consular officers can extend the validity of the petition (revalidate the petition) if it expires before the processing of the visa application is completed

.

What if my visa is denied? How can I appeal?

If your petition for a fiance visa is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal. Generally, you may appeal within 33 days of receiving the denial by mail. Your appeal must be filed on USCIS Form I-290B. The appeal must be filed with the office that made the original decision. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU) in Washington, DC. (Sending the appeal and fee directly to the AAU will delay the process.)

Fees - How much will it cost?

Fees are charged for the following services:

  • Filing an Alien Fiance Petition, Form I-129F - $340USD
  • Filing I-130 - $420USD
  • Medical examination (costs vary from post to post)
  • Fingerprinting fees (if required)
  • Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, fees for getting the documents required for the visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.).
  • Filing Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status
    $985 plus $85 biometric fee for a total of $1070 if you are 14 years of age or older. If you are under 14 years of age, and are filing with the I-485 application of at least one parent have a fee total of $635; if not filing with the I-485 application of at least one parent have a fee total of $985. If you are 79 years of age or older, the fee is $985 with no biometrics services fee.
  • If applicable, $275USD for Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence