What is a fiancé visa and how does it work in the United States? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration attorney practicing law here in St. Louis, Missouri. The K-1 visa is a visa that’s available for people who want to come to the United States and marry a US citizen. The law requires that once you arrive on a K-1 visa that you do in fact get married and file within 90 days of arrival. In other words you can’t wait to get married.
So these are for people who are serious about getting married. And one of the requirements to getting a K-1 visa, that is what these visas are called, is that you and the US citizen have physically met in each other’s presence at some point in the last two years. So that’s a prerequisite to filing. That means that if you haven’t met within two years that your K-1 visa is going to be denied.
The form that we use is called an I-129F, and I know that you probably don’t really care about the form, but the way that it works is that we work it a lot like we do a spouse visa. The first part of the process happens in the United States at USCIS. That’s with the US citizen filing forms with the Immigration Service demonstrating the relationship and the connection between the couple.
Once it’s approved at USCIS the case is sent to the National Visa Center where the case is processed. That’s the time when they ask for original documents. They may ask for more documentation of the relationship. Then once it gets out of the National Visa Center it sent to the Embassy for an interview.
A person who is coming on a K-1 visa can bring their child if they have one on a K-2 visa. It usually takes about 9 or 10 months for the fiancé to get here. There was a time in the past where USCIS was processing things called K-3 visas and you can still file those. A K-3 visa was designed to help speed up the immigrant visa process for spouses and they allowed people to file a separate petition on the K-3, but the National Visa Center and the State Department aren’t processing those anymore so we really don’t waste our time with K-3 visas anymore.
If you have any questions about the fiancé visa, they’re actually pretty straightforward. They’re not as fast as people would like. They still take a significant amount of time. The best thing you can do when doing a K-1 visa is to make sure that you document a lot the relationship, that you show the connection between the couple and that you get everything in order when you file. If you have any questions about it give us a call 314-961-8200 or you can always email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.