Question: I am a U.S. citizen. My girlfriend lives in China. I plan to propose to her and then apply for a K-1 visa for her. What are the steps to apply for a K-1 fiancée visa?
Answer: A U.S. citizen can apply for a K-1 visa to allow a fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S. The K-1 visa application process has four unique stages. Below is a detailed explanation of each of these four steps.
Step 1: Submit Form I-129F to USCIS.
The first step to apply for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa is to submit Form I-129F to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Form I-129F collects basic information about you and your fiancé(e). Together with this form, you should submit as much documentation as possible to prove that you and your fiancé(e) have a genuine relationship, have seen each other in person in the past two years, and intend to marry within 90 days of his or her arrival in the U.S. Examples of such evidence includes:
- Photos of you and your fiancé(e) together,
- Plane tickets and boarding passes,
- Passport stamps,
- Proof of gifts you have given each other,
- Letters from each of you and any mutual friends, and
- Pictures of the engagement ring.
Step 2: Submit Form DS-160 to the NVC.
After USCIS approves your Form I-129F, USCIS will transfer your case to the National Visa Center (NVC). During this step, you must submit Form DS-160 and provide extensive background information about your fiancé(e). This information includes your fiancé(e)’s birth certificate, police certificate, passport, and proof that he or she is not currently married. You must also submit your most recent year’s tax return and proof of your current income.
Step 3: Attend consular interview.
After the NVC approves your application, it will transfer your case to the U.S. consulate in your fiancé(e)’s country. The consulate will then notify your fiancé(e) of the date and time that he or she must appear for an interview. Before the interview, your fiancé(e) must first attend a medical exam and bring the results of the exam to his or her interview. In addition, your fiancé(e) must bring all supporting evidence that was previously submitted. If the consulate approves the application, your fiancé(e) will receive a K-1 visa that allows him or her to travel to the U.S.
Step 4. File Form I-485 with USCIS.
Once your fiancé(e) has a K-1 visa, he or she can travel to the U.S. You and your fiancé(e) must get married within 90 days of his or her arrival in the U.S. After you and your fiancé(e) are married, you must submit Form I-485 to apply for his or her green card. You must submit your marriage certificate and as much evidence as possible to prove that you have a genuine marital relationship. In addition, you must submit your tax return for the most recent year and proof of your current income to prove that your income meets the legally required minimum. Finally, you and your new spouse must participate in an in-person interview. If USCIS approves the application, your new husband or wife will receive a two-year conditional green card.
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ImmiFree.Law is The Harrison Law Firm P.C.’s online platform to make the family immigration and naturalization process more efficient, accurate, and affordable. Baya Harrison, Esq. is an attorney licensed in New York, Florida, and California. Attorney Harrison has helped numerous individuals and families navigate the U.S. immigration process, specifically family-based petitions and naturalization.