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Critical Aspects You Should Know When Applying K-1 Visa

4 min read

To obtain a K-1 visa, you’ll have to file a petition or application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The process will vary depending on your situation, but you must also submit Form I-485 with supporting documentation to get your green card approval. Here is a guide that will help you in understanding the k-1 visa application process. 

How Do You Begin the Process?

 You’ll have to fill out forms such as Form I-90 and the petition or application and any required documents like photos of yourself and submitted family history documents. You can also use resources like USCIS’s guidebook that offers information on obtaining a K-1 visa for fiancés through consular processing.

What Documents Do You Need to Submit? 

You’ll need to submit evidence of your relationships, such as photos of the two of you together and a copy of your fiancé’s birth certificate. You may also need to provide the USCIS with evidence that proves the marriage will occur. If your fiancé is currently in the U.S, you’ll have to prove that they will return home by submitting documents like an approved I-130 petition or K-3 visa application and an affidavit from a U.S.-based relative affirming that they have met with your fiancé in person at least once before submitting this paperwork. If your fiancé is outside of the U.S, you may need to prove that they intend to leave the country within 90 days of filing for a K-1 visa or within two years of receiving an approved I-130 petition.

Can You Get Married Abroad? 

Yes, you can get married in a consulate in the process of applying for a K-1 visa. While not all countries have marriage laws like the U.S., many have laws that permit U.S. citizens to get married abroad and still file for a green card once they arrive home. You’ll want to check with your country’s consulate if there are specific requirements before getting married overseas.

K-1 VISA

Can You Get Married in The U.S. And Get a K-1 Visa?

 In some cases, you might apply for a K-1 visa while only living in the U.S. If your fiancé is currently in the U.S., they may be able to file an I-130 petition on their own and still file for a K-1 visa to travel abroad once it’s approved. However, the agency may provide information about this option via phone, email, or its website, stating that you can get married and file for a green card together even if you’re already in the U.S. You’ll need to check with your local USCIS office about any other requirements before applying for a K-1 visa through this process.

How Long Will It Take to Get Approved? 

Form I-485 will take about 6-8 months from your filing date. However, the process can vary depending on your background check results, an interview with a USCIS officer, and a medical examination. After your interview and medical exam, you’ll be advised about when to submit Form I-485. If you plan to travel abroad in the meantime, you should contact the U.S. consulate in your country of origin at least three weeks before traveling so that they can verify that your fiancé can leave the country promptly once their application for a K-1 visa has been approved.

What is the legal process if you apply for a K-1 visa after your fiancé files for a green card? When you apply for your fiancé’s I-130 petition or marriage-based green card through the U.S. consulate, they will file an I-90 petition or application on your behalf to obtain the K-1 visa. That will be done concurrently with the I-130 petition or application submitted to the USCIS and approved. As soon as USCIS approves your I-130 petition, they’ll send you an approval notice stating when they can send Form I-797 to the consulate to begin processing Form K2 and issuing a stamp that confirms you are now married.

How Do You Get a K-1 Visa Stamp? 

The consulate will send Form I-797 to your spouse, who will present it along with their valid passport at the time of your marriage. Your spouse can then apply for permanent residence or a green card using Form I-485 once you’re married and living in the U.S. This is called consular processing, which is the other way to obtain a green card through a K-1 visa.

What If Your Marriage Falls Apart? 

Your marriage must be legally valid before applying for this benefit. If you or your spouse is no longer legally married but wants to remain in the U.S., you may file Form I-485 and Form I-751, Petition to Remove Permanent Barriers that Prevent Immigrating or Adjusting Status to be petitioned for a green card based on marriage fraud. If your marriage falls apart in applying for a green card via consular processing, your spouse may still apply for a green card if they can prove that the marriage was entered into in good faith and does not pose a threat to national security.