Fiancés and Fiancees
The K-Visa, what is it?
The K-visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the fiancé(e) of an U.S. citizen, who is outside the U.S., to enter the U.S. The alien fiancé(e) receives K-1 status, and any alien minor children accompanying or following to join receive K-2 status.
Note: After the marriage the alien spouse should apply promptly to the INS for permanent residence, using Form I-485.
Benefits of an K-Visa
- The U.S. citizen does not have to travel to the alien's country to get married.
- The alien does not have to wait until after the wedding to apply for the immigrant visa, as processing can take a few months.
- Minor children can enter on the same K-visa as the alien.
- The U.S. citizen and the alien fiancé(e) must both be free to marry.
- The U.S. citizen and the alien fiancé(e) must have met each other during the two-year period preceding the filling of the petition, unless
- The requirement to meet your fiancé(e) in person would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)'s foreign culture or social practice, or
- It is established that the requirement to personally meet your fiancé(e) would result in extreme hardship to you.
- The marriage must take place within a statutory 90 days period.
Forms and Documents Checklist
Documents to show the status of the U.S. citizen:
- The birth certificate of the U.S. citizen, if he/she was born in the U.S.
- The certification of naturalization of the U.S. citizen, if he/she was naturalized.
- The original certificate of citizenship, or the Form FS-240 (Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen), if the U.S. citizen is born outside the U.S., and is a U.S. citizen through his/her parents.
In place of any of the above, the U.S. citizen may give INS his/her valid unexpired U.S. passport that was initially issued for at least 5 years.
Documents to prove that both can legally marry:
- If either the U.S. citizen or the alien fiancé(e) is of an age that requires special consent or permission for him/her to marry in the jurisdiction in which the marriage will occur, the proof of that consent or permission.
- If either one has been married before, you must have documents to show that all previous marriages were legally ended.
- One passport-type photo of the U.S. citizen and one of the alien fiancé(e).
No Adjustment or Change of Status
An alien admitted under subsection K may not
- adjust his or her status to that of permanent resident other than on the basis of the marriage to the citizen petitioner, or
- change to a different non immigrant status, or
- extend his or her stay.
The permanent residence that results from an adjustment of status to that of permanent resident on the basis of marriage will be conditional under IMFA (Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments). The IMFA conditions apply only to a permanent resident status that results from a marriage that is less than two years old.
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