Are you looking for a Fiance Visa Lawyer? Our attorney has handled countless K-1 Fiance visa applications over the more than 10 years as an immigration lawyer and can help you bring your fiance to the United States. The process of applying for a K-1 Fiance Visa can sometimes seem daunting and can be filled with potential pitfalls. Using an experienced lawyer can help you avoid mistakes and keep your petition moving in a timely manner by avoiding delays.
What is a K-1 Fiance Visa?
A Fiance Visa, also known as a K-1 Visa, allows a foreign individual – who is engaged to a U.S. Citizen – to enter the United States for the purpose of marrying the U.S. Citizen and later obtaining a green card.
This Visa is normally obtained for couples where the foreign fiance is not in the USA and does not have a U.S. Visa or Visa Free Travel. Portland Oregon Immigration Lawyer Mario Musil can assist you with obtaining this visa for your fiance!
A fiance Visa allows a U.S. Citizen to bring over a foreign fiance. The foreign spouse can be from any country and the visa is not country specific. The relationship MUST ultimately lead to marriage in order for the visa to be issued.
What is needed for a K-1 Visa?
- The person making the request for the visa must be a U.S. Citizen. A green card holder cannot apply for their fiance.
- The couple must intend to marry and should actually marry within 90 days of the foreign fiance entering the U.S.A.
- This may be obvious, but neither person can already be married. All prior marriages must be concluded with a valid divorce.
- The couple must have met in person in the past two years, unless a religious or other exemption is obtained.
- The U.S. Citizen petitioner must be able to financially sponsor the fiance or obtain a co-sponsor.
What Documents Do I need for a K-1 Fiance Visa?
- Birth Certificates of:
- US Citizen (Include Certificate of Naturalization or Proof of US Citizenship if born outside of USA)
- Immigrant Fiance
- Copy of passports / visas of foreign Fiance
- Prior Marriage Licenses and Divorces of:
- US Citizen
- Immigrant Fiance
- Any records of prior criminal arrests.
- US Citizen
- Immigrant Fiance
- Past 3 Tax Returns and W2’s or 1099s of US Citizen ( Of Co-Sponsor if one)
- Pay Stubs from current Employment of US Citizen
- 2 Passport Style Photos of Each person.
- Photos of Couple together – i.e. trips, meetings, etc.
- Letter of Intent to Marry From Fiance.
- Affidavits of relationship and/ or documents showing relationship:
- Hotel and plane ticket receipts, movie or concert tickets, e-mails, phone records, etc.
An experienced fiance visa immigration lawyer can assist you in determining which documents are specifically needed for your case.
How Much does a Fiancee Visa Application Cost?
- USCIS Fiance Visa Fee: $535.00
- State Department Fiance Visa Fee $265.00 – Can Fluctuate
- Fiance Visa Physical – Generally between $150.00 – $350.00
After the Fiance enters the United States, gets married and applies for Adjustment of Status, there will be additional Immigration Fees:
- USCIS Adjustment of Status Fee: $1,140.00
- USCIS Biometrics Fee : $85.00
What should the Fiance Letter of Intent Say?
Below is a sample of a Letter of Intent that can be used by a fiance to indicate ability and willingness to marry within 90 days of arriving to the USA on a K-1 Fiance Visa.
Fiance Letter of Intent Petitioner: *Name of US Citizen* Address of US Citizen Beneficiary: *Name of Foreign Fiance* Re: FIANCE VISA PETITION To: United States Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Date: Dear Sir or Madam: I, *Name of Foreign Fiance*, do hereby state that I am legally able and willing to marry *Name of US Citizen*, the U.S. Citizen petitioner, and intend to do so within 90 days of my arrival into the U.S. using the K-1 visa. Sincerely, _____________________________ *Name of Foreign Fiance*
What is the typical timeline for a K-1 Fiance Visa?
Obtain Documents and Prepare Application
During this time, you will gather the required evidence and work with your attorney to prepare the K-1 Fiance application for filing with USCIS.
A few weeks after the application is filed, you will receive a written receipt indicating the Fiance Visa Application is being processed.
Initial Approval From USCIS
Generally, 5-9 months after the filing of the Visa Application, USCIS will approve the case. Sometimes, before the approval, USCIS may ask additional questions about the relationship. This is called a request for evidence.
Transfer to The State Department and U.S. Embassy
After the initial approval, the case will be forwarded to the US. State Department and the Local U.S. Embassy in your fiance’s country
After your fiance pays the Visa Fee and an interview is scheduled, Your fiance visa lawyer will prepare the fiance for the interview. Your fiance will then do their medical examination and attend the interview.
Generally, one to four weeks after the interview, the US. Embassy will issue the Visa and return the passport to your Fiance. After such time, your Fiance must enter the United States and then must marry you within 90 days of entering.
Does the US Petitioner’s Criminal Background Affect a Fiance Visa Petition?
In the early 2000s, The US Congress was concerned that foreign fiances were particularly susceptible to domestic violence and abuse— especially those whose engagements were set up through a marriage broker (sometimes called “mail-order brides”). As a result, Congress enacted the International Marriage Brokers
Regulation Act (IMBRA). Since the IMBRA, the fiance visa application (Form I-129F) now asks whether the US Petitioner and the foreign fiance met through an international marriage broker. In addition, Form I-129F now also asks all U.S. citizens if they have a history of violent crime and crime relating to any substance abuse. If you met your fiance through a marriage broker or have a criminal history, speak to a Fiance Visa Lawyer to determine the best way to ensure the success of your K-1 application.
How can I prepare for the actual K-1 Fiance Visa Interview? What questions can I expect?
Your fiance visa lawyer should prepare you for the specific topics to be discussed at your interview, but in general, you should expect the following:
- Dress Professionally
- Suit and tie for men if possible or at least a button down shirt and slacks.
- Professional dress or suit for women.
- No flip flops or jeans
- Arrive at the Embassy Early. The time on your interview letter is the time of the actual interview, please allow at least 30-60 minutes to get through security and to check in.
- When you arrive to the Embassy, present the security personnel your appointment letter and your valid passport. Once you get through security, there is usually another reception where you check in and are usually assigned a number.
- At some point you will be called by name or number and will be taken to your interview location.
- When you are in the office with the interviewer, be polite and do not sit until asked to.
- The officer will ask you for your appointment letter and your passport.
- You will then be asked to raise your right hand and to swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
- The questions that the officers ask may not always be the same and may not necessarily be in the following order, but usually they are as follows:
- Most officers begin be reviewing the DS 160 form. They will ask your name, address, date of birth, etc and everything that is on the form. Please review the form and familiarize yourself with the questions. If there are answers that are incorrect or misspelled on the form, the officer will correct them. This is normal and part of the process.
- If you do not understand a question, tell the officer, they will rephrase it.
- At any point, the officer may ask to see documents pertaining to the petition, so be ready to present them.
- After the officer reviews the form, they normally start asking questions about your relationship with your fiancé. Below are some typical types of questions asked. Please note, that each interview is different, so the questions you receive may not be the same:
- Have you ever been to the USA?
- Do you have any relatives in the USA?
- Are you divorced?
- How did you meet your fiance?
- When did you meet in person?
- How long have you known each other?
- When was the last time you met your fiance? Where?
- When did your fiance propose?
- What do you love about your fiance?
- When are you going to travel to the U.S.?
- If so, on what kind of visa did you travel to the U.S.? How long did you stay? When did you return?
- What is your fiance’s birthday?
- Where was your fiance born?
- What does your fiance do for living?
- Where does your fiance work?
- What is your fiance’s designation at work?
- Does your fiance have any brothers and sisters?
- Where does your fiance live?
- Where do your fiance’s parents live?
- Do you have any brothers and sisters?
- What do your parents think about this engagement? Do they approve of it?
- When did your fiance divorce?
- Why did your fiance’s first marriage not work out?
- Does your fiancé have any children? How many, how old? Do they live with your fiancé?
- Are you willing to take care of your fiancé’s children if they live with him/her?
- When and where are you going to have the wedding?
- How much time have you spent together?
- Did you have an engagement party?
- Did you make a formal announcement of your engagement to family and friends?
- How do your families feel about your plans to get married?
- Have you made any wedding plans?
- When the interview is over, the officer may ask for additional details or evidence in order to complete the petition. This is fairly common and nothing to worry about. Speak to your fiance visa lawyer about any additional requests or concerns. The case usually gets approved shortly after we address their requests. If the officer has no requests, they will keep the passport and give you instructions on how to pick it up with the visa stamp in it.
Additional Interview Tips:
- When answering, answer out loud, yes or no. “Ahem” or shaking the head is not acceptable.
- Be organized. The more you are organized, the easier the interview will be.
- Do not joke with the officers.
- Be polite.
- If the officer is rude, be patient. If it becomes excessive, you may ask for a supervisor, but this is not common.
- Do not bring electronics, weapons or sharp objects.
- If you do not intend on arriving in the USA within the next 90 days, please tell the officer so that they can extend the validity of the visa to allow you to arrive at a later point.
VERY IMPORTANT: When you receive your passport back with the visa, you may also receive an envelope that says “DO NOT OPEN.” DO NOT open it as it will invalidate the interview and you’ll have to do it all over again. You will have to turn this envelope in at the airport to the customs and border patrol when you arrive in the USA.
What do I have to bring to my K-1 Fiance Visa Interview?
Always be sure to speak to you Fiance Visa Lawyer about what to bring to the interview, but in general, the following items should be collected and brought to the embassy:
- Your Visa Appointment Letter
- Your DS 160 Confirmation Letter
- Your SEALED medical exam results
- Your Passport
- Your Birth Certificate
- Background Check Results (Police Certificate)
- Three Passport Style Photographs.
- Certified records of prior marriages and/or divorces (If applicable)
- Record of No Marriage (If applicable)
- Copy of the I 129-f Fiance Visa Approval Letter
- Copy of your US Fiance’s Birth Certificate
- PLEASE NOTE some officers will require an original birth certificate, so it may be a good idea to have one at the interview.
- Copy of your US Fiance’s US Naturalization Certificate (If applicable)
- Your US Fiance’s records of prior marriages and/or divorces (If applicable)
- Affidavit of Support – I 134 and supporting evidence:
- US Fiance’s Recent Pay Stubs and/or social security statement.
- US Fiance’s Past 3 tax returns including W2’s
- US Fiance’s proof of assets, if income is bellow requirement.
- PLEASE NOTE some officers will require an original signed form I 134 instead of an e-mailed one.
- BONAFIDES: anything showing you have met in the past two years and that you have a valid relationship. Examples include
- Photos together
- Evidence of trips – hotel receipts, travel tickets, event tickets, etc
- Evidence of financial support or financial commingling – wire transfers, gift receipts etc.
- Copies of correspondence, e-mails, chats, TXT messages.
- If you have wedding plans, bring proof of those.
- It is a good idea to put these documents in a separate folder as the officer often asks for all of it once.
- Note, whatever you give the officer will not be returned, so do not give them one of a kind photos or sentimental items.
More questions? Get Your Free Initial Consultation with a Fiance Visa Lawyer Today:
Fiance Visa Frequently Asked Questions:
The processing times may vary depending on the country of origin of the fiance and the current workload of the various immigration departments involved. However, most fiance visas should be processed in a bout 6-9 months. The application is initially approved at USCIS and is then sent to the National Visa Center and then the US Embassy in the country of your Fiance’s residence. At this point, the Fiance will have to submit another set of documents online to the NVC or the Embassy before an interview is scheduled. Six to Nine Months is a Long Time. Are There Other Options? Depending on your particular situation, your fiance may be able to enter with a different visa or without a visa and later adjust her status to obtain a green card. Feel free to contact us to discuss this possibility further. You can check the current USCIS processing times on their website at https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/ .
The initial USCIS fee is $535.00 followed by a State Department Visa Fee of $265.00. The Fiance will also have to undergo an immigration medical examination that generally costs anywhere between $150 -$500 or more if the fiance does not have the proper vaccines. There may also be fees associated with translations and procurement of documents, such as birth certificates, divorce decrees, criminal records, etc. If you decide to use a Fiance Visa Lawyer for your case, the legal fee for our services is $2,500.00. You view more details about our flat fees on our Immigration Lawyer Fees page.
Change of status or adjustment of status for a K-1 Fiance is the process that takes place after the fiance arrives to the united states and gets married. It involves another set of applications that are filed with USCIS and usually another interview at the end of the process. The time frame varies depending on the caseload of the local USCIS field office, but generally it takes anywhere between 6-12 months. The major requirement is that the Fiance and her US Citizen sponsor be married within 90 days of entry into the US. If the marriage does not take place within 90 days, the fiance will not be able to adjust her K-1 visa to that of a permanent legal resident (green card holder). It is also highly recommended that the application be submitted within that 90 day time period.
Generally, the Fiance Visa will be slightly faster, so if your goal is to be together in the USA as soon as possible, the Fiance Visa is the better option. However, the spousal visa has its benefits, including the fact that a spouse that arrives with a spousal visa (Permanent Residence) is permitted to be employed basically right away. A Fiance Visa Lawyer can assist you in determining which process is best for you and your family.
Generally, the Fiance Visa is a one time entry visa – meaning that it cannot be used to leave the US and come back. Once the fiance Visa Arrives they should get married as soon as possible and file for adjustment of status – part of which should be a travel permit and work permit application. A Fiance Visa Lawyer can assist you in this process.
No, unless there is a dire humanitarian reason, generally a Fiance Visa petition cannot be expedited. Speak to a Portland, OR Immigration Lawyer to determine if your immigration situation would be case that could qualify for an expediting request.
After a a Fiance enters the US, they must marry and apply for adjustment of status. Once that process is done, the fiance will receive a two year green card. The green card must then be renewed (conditions removed). After three years of being a green card holder, the former fiance can petition to naturalize and become a US. Citizen. A Portland, OR Immigration Lawyer can help with the Naturalization process.
Generally, no, a Fiance must marry within 90 days of arriving – this time period cannot be extended. However, once the fiance marries and applies to adjust her status, she can remain in the USA while her case is processing.
Yes, it is possible for an incorrectly filed Fiance Visa Application to be denied. Also, applicants and petitioners with criminal and complex immigration backgrounds could see complications in their petitions. This is why it is important to have a competent Immigration Lawyer handle a Fiance Visa petition from beginning to end. A fiance visa lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes and help ensure that your petition has the best chances of being approved
Although you may be able to prepare the petitions and go through the process on your own, submitting the petition incorrectly can lead to a denial that may have other consequences in the future. Not knowing all of the nuances involved can prolong the process and sometimes lead to minor children aging out. The process involves working with multiple agencies, including U.S. embassies that are very difficult to communicate with. An experienced Immigration Lawyer can guide you through the entire Fiance Visa process and help ensure a successful outcome at the initial visa process as well as the subsequent adjustment of status. Contact a Fiance Visa Attorney today. Attorney Mario Musil handles Fiance Visa cases in Portland, Oregon and throughout the United States.
Yes, a fiance can petition for a Work Authorization allowing them to work and study while they wait for their green card to be approved. Normally, the work permit is issued within 90 days of applying for it. It is generally submitted with the application to adjust status.
Yes, same sex or gay couples are eligible to apply for K-1 fiance visas. Our offices has handled many same sex petitions in the past and can advise you on the process.
Yes, the unmarried and under 21 years old children of your fiance can follow their parent to the United States and also obtain a green card after the marriage takes place.
If either party has criminal background, it may be a bit more difficult to obtain the fiance visa, but there may be solutions. If the US Citizen has prior criminal charges involving domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, it may be important to show rehabilitation. Also the petitioner may decide to skip the Fiance Visa and simply marry their fiance in his or her home country. This would reduce the requirement to explain the petitioner’s criminal background. The foreign fiance may have a bit more difficulty with a criminal background and may require a waiver in her application. It is best to speak to a Fiance Visa Lawyer to discuss the specifics of your particular situation.
If your initial form I 129-F has been approved, the case will now be forwarded to the State Department. The fiance will have to complete the Form DS 160, pay the visa fee, schedule the medical exam and the interview. This process can be a bit challenging and it may be a good idea to utilize the help of a skilled immigration lawyer.
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