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Applying for a Fiancé(e) Visa

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A K-1 visa, or a fiancé(e) visa, allows for a foreign national to marry a U.S. citizen within the 90 days of his or her arrival. After marriage, the foreign national will apply for the adjustment status to a permanent resident via the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The foreign national that travels to the U.S. and marries a citizen is required to pass certain requirements to obtain an immigrant visa. To learn more about fiancé(e) visas, get in touch with a Tampa immigration lawyer for effective assistance.

It is the duty of the U.S. citizen sponsor to file Form I-129F, which is the petition for alien fiancé(e). The form must be filed with your local USCIS office, not at a consulate, a U.S. embassy, or a USCIS office abroad. Then, the foreign national fiancé(e) must follow the specific instructions given to him or her by the NVC, amongst which a medical examination location is determined. The fiancé(e) will have inkless, digital fingerprints taken during the required interview for consulate records. The process may be slowed down due to extraneous administrative processing taking place after the initial interview with the consulate officer. Children of K-1 visa applicants may apply for K-2 visas, as long as they meet the visa requirements and pay an individual fee per child.

Visa applicants must schedule and participate in a medical examination performed by an authorized panel physician prior to the interview. Although some vaccinations are not required for K visa issuance, applicants are recommended to receive the vaccinations that are required under U.S. immigration law.


The K-1 visa addresses a fundamental need for many bi-cultural couples: The ability to spend time together in the United States in order to test the strength of the relationship and to allow the foreign nationals to gain perspective on the American lifestyle.

Processing Time
The K-1 can be processed in six to nine months, which is a relatively short time considering the process includes both a stateside petition and a consular application and interview. This processing time can vary depending on personnel shortages in the USCIS and security clearance procedures at the foreign consulate.

Immigrant Intent Not a Barrier
For most non-immigrant visas, the applicant has the burden of proving the intent to return to the home country. In many consulates, this requirement is strictly construed, resulting in the issuance of very few visas. The K-1 visa does not have this requirement, making the issuance of the visa less restricted.

Most marriage experts maintain the importance of getting to know your spouse before marriage. The decision to get married is an important one which carries many consequences and potential advantages. Long-distance relationships do not allow the couple to gain the same insight as living together and spending time in the same country. The K-1 visa allows couples to experience a "look-see" at what their marriage together here in the United States might be like. It provides the opportunity to experience the contrasts in heritage, culture, language, religion, and political perspective. The magnitude of the time spent together will allow the couple to see each other in a more realistic light, resulting in a better decision to marry.

The United States citizen has the benefit of the consulate conducting a pre-clearance for HIV and tuberculosis, as well as criminal activity. The foreign applicant will also be advised if the United States sponsor has been convicted of domestic violence, three or more convictions for controlled substance or alcohol, or a serious crime.

Includes Children
The K-1 visa provides for the issuance of a K-2 visa for the unmarried children (under the age of 21) of the K-1 visa holder.

Employment Authorization
The K-1 visa holder is allowed to apply for employment authorization once the marriage is completed and the application for adjustment of status is filed.

Allows for Adjustment of Status
The K-1 visa allows the sponsored foreign national, once married to the petitioner, to adjust status in the United States, rather than requiring a return trip abroad to undergo consular processing.

Judicial Review
The K-1, once married, can seek judicial review of any decision denying benefits under the application for adjustment of status. This avoids the consular process where the decision of the consular officer is final and not subject to judicial review.


The sponsor must be a United States citizen.

The sponsor must be of legal age, single, and have the legal capacity to marry. The beneficiary must also be of legal age, single, and have the legal capacity to marry.

Physical Meeting
The sponsor and the beneficiary must have met in person within the 24 months immediately preceding the filing of the petition unless the meeting would violate strict and long-established customs of the culture or if such a meeting would result in extreme hardship to the citizen sponsor.

Intention to Marry
The sponsor and the beneficiary must intend to marry within 90 days of entry to the United States.


Marry or Return
The foreign national has 90 days in which to get married or return to the home country.

No Adjustment of Status or Change of Status
The K-1 visa holder may not seek an adjustment of status by marriage to a different person from the petitioner, nor may the K-1 visa holder seek a change of status from K-1 to another non-immigrant visa category.

Tampa Fiancé(e) Visa Attorney

Along with various other requirements, the U.S. consulate requires proof of financial support for the foreign national, by either the foreign national or the U.S. citizen fiancé(e). A Form I-134, affidavit of support, may be requested for submittal from the U.S. citizen. Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. is proud to offer superb service to clients on a corporate and individual basis. Our firm is AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, has lawyers that are Certified Immigration and Nationality Law Specialists by the State Bar of Florida Board of Legal Specialization, and has over 100 years of combined experience. Our promise to provide honest representation is what sets us above the rest.

Get assistance with all of your visa needs. Contact a fiancé(e) visa lawyer for skilled guidance. We have offices nationwide, including Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Texas.

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