The K-1 nonimmigrant visa allows the Fiancée of a U.S. citizen to enter
the United States for a 90-day period to marry and
apply for conditional permanent resident status (green card).
K-1 Basic Requirements
To qualify for a K-1 visa, the parties must present
proof that they:
- Have previously met in person within two years of filing the
petition, unless this requirement is waived by the USCIS for the
reasons such as extreme hardship, culture, religious or societal
- Have a bona fide intention to marry; and
- Are legally able and actually willing to marry in the United
States within 90 days after the Fiancée arrives. If either
party has been married before, they must show that the prior marriage(s) has been properly terminated.
K-1 Adjustment of Status
Upon marriage to the petitioner within 90 days of arrival, the
K-1 Fiancée should apply for adjustment of status to become a
conditional permanent resident.
The only ground on which the Fiancée may adjust status is
marriage to the petitioner. Without the marriage, the Fiancée K cannot obtain an extension of stay or apply for a
change of status. If the marriage does not occur within 90 days, the Fiancée is
supposed to leave the United States. Otherwise he or she becomes
subject to removal.
A K-1 visa petition has two steps. Step One: the USCIS must approve the visa
petition. Step Two: the State Department must issue the visa.
- Step One - Petition and Approval by USCIS
File the K-1 visa petition (Form 1-129F) with the USCIS
service center having jurisdiction over the U.S. citizen petitioner.
In general, a K-1 petition should include the following
- USCIS Form I-129F - include any unmarried children under 21 who
are traveling with the Fiancée or following to join him or her in
the United States;
- USCIS Form G-325A for both petitioner and beneficiary;
- Color photographs of both parties;
- Other evidence, such as affidavits from the parties or friends
attesting to the relationship; proof of meeting each other;
correspondence between the parties; documentation of wedding plans,
- Evidence of the petitioner's U.S. citizenship;
- Proof of the termination of any previous marriage of either
- If applicable, proof of permission to marry.
If the USCIS approves the petition, it will forward it to the
appropriate consular post. The approval is valid for four months,
and it can be extended by a consular officer. If the USCIS denies
the petition, you can appeal to the USCIS's Administrative Appeals
Once the State Department consular post receives an approved K-1
petition from the USCIS, it will send a letter to the beneficiary
outlining the steps for visa issuance.
- Step Two - Visa Issuance by Consulate
The beneficiary must present a set of documentation at the
consular post, which generally includes the following:
- State Department Form DS-156K
- State Department Form DS-156 in duplicate
- Valid passport
- Birth certificate
- Evidence of termination of any prior marriages
- Police certificates
- Two photographs
- Proof of the engagement
- Evidence of medical clearance
- Evidence of available adequate financial support
The minor children of a K-1 principal beneficiary who are listed
on the petition may receive K-2 status if accompanying or following
to join the beneficiary. No separate petition is required.
K-3 Spouses and K-4 Children
The K-3 visa is intended for those aliens
who married U.S. citizens abroad and were awaiting approval of an
immigrant petition and an immigrant visa. The K-4 visa is for the children
of K-3 Spouse.
To qualify for K-3 status, the visa applicant must:
- Have married a U.S. citizen;
- Be the beneficiary of a relative petition (Form I-130) filed by
the U.S. citizen spouse;
- Seek to enter the United States to await approval of the
petition and subsequent lawful permanent resident status; and
- Have an approved Form I-129F, "Petition for Alien Fiancée,"
forwarded to the U.S. consulate where the alien wishes to apply for the K-3 visa.
To qualify for K-4 visa, the children of the K-3 spouse must be under 21 years of age and unmarried.