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K1 Fiance Visa

What Is the K1 Fiance Visa?

The K1 fiance visa (also known as the K1 fiancé(e) visa) is a type of visa a U.S. citizen can use to allow a foreign fiance to travel to the United States and get married within 90 days. If you are a U.S. citizen engaged to a foreign national, it is very likely the K1 fiance visa is the fastest way for you to bring your fiance to the U.S.

Do I need a fiance visa lawyer?

Some people go through the K1 visa process without the help of a lawyer. Most people who hire a good immigration lawyer are happy they made that decision. Whether you hire an immigration lawyer for your fiance visa case is a personal decision. Do a consultation with a fiance visa lawyer who can explain the process and assess your situation, then make an informed choice. 

What are the K1 fiance visa requirements?

To file a K1 fiance visa petition you must be a U.S. citizen. In most cases, you need to have met your fiance, in person, sometime in the last two years. If either you or your fiance were previously married, you will need proof that those previous marriages were legally terminated. You must be able to prove you have sufficient income or assets to provide for your fiance after marriage. Finally, to navigate the K1 fiance visa process successfully, you will need to prove comprehensively that your relationship with your fiance is valid and that you both intend to marry.

Family Visas

How do you bring a family member to the United States?

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and want your family member to move to the United States and live here permanently with a green card, you will need to file a family visa petition. In most situations you will file form I-130 “Petition for Alien Relative.” As the US citizen or permanent resident, you are referred to as the “petitioner.” As the foreign national, your relative is referred to as the “beneficiary.”

If you are a US citizen, you can petition for your:

  • Spouse;

  • Parents (if you are at least 21-years-old);

  • Children;

  • Siblings (if you are at least 21-years-old).

If you are a permanent resident, you can petition for your:

  • Spouse;

  • Unmarried children.

Family visa petitions can be complex. An incorrect or incomplete filing can cause delays or result in denial of the petition. Before filing a family visa petition, contact an experienced immigration lawyer to make sure your relative is eligible.

Family Green Card

Who is eligible for a family green card? 

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an eligible foreign relative to come to the United States to live permanently. The foreign relative is issued a permanent residence card (“green card”). The wait time to process the petition and obtain a “green card” depends on the classification of the foreign relative.

Immediate Relatives

The INA does not limit the number of immediate relative “green cards” that are issued each year. As such, the processing time is not subject to a numerical limitation.

The following is a list of foreign persons considered “immediate relatives”: 

Immediate Preference Category

  • Unmarried Sons and Daughters (under 21 years of age) of U.S. Citizens

  • Spouses of U.S. Citizens

  • Parents of U.S. Citizens (21 years of age or older)

Eligible Relatives

The INA limits the number of family based ‘green cards’ that are issued each year to relatives other than “immediate relatives” based on a preference category. Each preference category is assigned a number of immigrant visas (“green cards”). In addition, there is a limit to the percentage of immigrant visas (“green cards”) that can be allotted to each country in a year. Since the demand for immigrant visas (“green cards”) is higher than the limited number and greater for some countries, an immigrant visa (“green card”) “waiting list” forms. As such, your foreign relative’s preference category and country of origin will determine the time the relative petition will remain at the NVC until an immigrant visa number (“green card”) becomes available. The wait time can be years.

The following is a list of foreign persons other than “immediate relatives”:

Family Preference Category 1

  • Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years or age or older) of U.S. Citizens

Family Preference Category 2

  • Spouses and Children (under 21 years of age) of Permanent Residents

  • Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents

Family Preference Category 3

  • Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens

  • Family Preference Category 4

  • Brothers and Sisters of Adult (21 years of age or older) U.S. Citizens

Immigrant Visa Availability Criteria

As stated, the INA limits the number of family based immigrant visas (based on certain criteria) that are issued per year (unless your foreign relative qualifies as an “immediate relative”). Since the demand for immigrant visas is higher than the limited number, an immigrant visa ‘wait list’ forms. This means that even if the USCIS approves a relative petition your foreign relative will not get an immigrant visa immediately.


If the government is trying to send you back to your home country, you will be placed in removal proceedings. Removal is commonly referred to as deportation. If you are afraid of returning to your home country, you may be able to stop the government from sending you back by applying for asylum. The process of applying for asylum is long and complex. It is very important to talk with an experienced asylum lawyer before applying for asylum or presenting a case in immigration court.

Immigation: FAQ
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