The K-Visa categories are for a U.S. citizen’s alien fiancé/fiancée and their accompanying children (K1 visas and K2 Visas), or for a U.S. citizen’s alien spouse and accompanying children (K3 and K4 Visas). The K-1 visa allows the US citizen’s fiancée to come to the US to marry the US citizen.  The K-3 visa was created to allow the alien spouse to come to the US and live with their spouse in the United States.

The K-1 Visa is intended for the foreign fiancé/fiancée of a U.S. Citizen and the K-2 Visa is intended for any children that may want to accompany the foreign fiancé/fiancée. An example of this type of situation would be: United States citizen John Williams has a fiancée, Catherine, who lives in Bombay, India. John would like to be able to get married to Catherine here in the United States and start a new life with her and her son, George. Therefore, once John and Catherine have started to plan when they would like to get married, John will need to start the application process for the K-1 Visa to petition for his fiancée to be able to immigrate to the United States and the K-2 Visa to allow her son, George, to come to the U.S. too.

Eligibility Requirements

If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must show that:

  • You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
  • You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
  • You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
  • You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
    1. If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
    2. If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.

After the Fiancé(e) Visa is Issued

Once issued, the fiancé(e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application.

Treatment of I-129F petitions where the Department of State (DOS) refuses to issue the K-1 visa and returns the expired petition to USCIS.

Once USCIS receives a consular returned I-129F for K-1 classification from DOS and the petition has expired in accordance with 8 CFR214.2(k)(5), USCIS will allow the petition to remain expired and will not reaffirm or reopen the petition. Please note that this will not preclude the petitioner from filing another petition.

Children of Fiancé(e)s

If your fiancé(e) has a child (under 21 and unmarried), a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to him or her. Be sure to include the names of your fiancé(e)’s children on your Form I-129F petition.

Permission to Work

After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work with your USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence. Any work authorization based on a nonimmigrant fiancé (e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry. However, your fiancé (e) would also be eligible to apply for an extended work authorization at the same time as he or she files for permanent residence.

What happens if we do not marry within 90 days?

Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended. Your fiancé(e) should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If your fiancé(e) does not depart, he or she will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal (deportation) and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.