What is a K1 Visa?
The K1 visa (fiance visa or fiancee visa) is the route for US citizens who are looking to marry and live with their Philippines-born partner in the United States.
This non-immigrant visa allows your Filipino fiancé to come to the US to get married – although immigration law means you must hold your wedding within 90 days of your partner arriving in the country.
After the wedding ceremony, your new spouse can apply to adjust their status and apply for a marriage green card (CR1 visa) without having to return back to the Philippines.
In many cases seeking advice from an immigration attorney or law firm before completing the K1 application could avoid unnecessary visa processing time delays or additional costs.
- What is a K1 visa?
- Making a K 1 Visa application for your Filipino partner
- What requirements need to be met for the K1 visa?
- K1 visa income requirements
- Completing the Form I-129F
- Attending a visa interview in Manila
- What are the K1 visa processing times?
- What is the cost of K1 visa for my partner from the Philippines?
- Can my Filipina fiancé work with a K1 visa?
- Can a K1 visa be extended?
- Can my new spouse apply for a Green Card?
- How Can Total Law Help?
Making an application for a K 1 Visa for your Filipino partner
The first step to bring your future spouse to the US to get wed is for you to agree to sponsor and file an official I-129F petition completed form with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form can be downloaded from the USCIS website. You are only able to sponsor your fiancé if you are have full US citizenship.
If this petition is approved then it will be passed to the National Visa Centre (NCV) and your partner will be asked to submit an application for a K1 visa and then given an appointment date to attend a face-face interview at their local US Embassy or Consulate.
If your partner has dependents, such as unmarried children, that they would also like to travel to the United States with them then they should make an application for them at this time.
What requirements need to be met for the K1 visa?
To be granted a K1 visa the following requirements and all supporting documents must be in English or a certified English translation.
You must be a US citizen. Green card holders are not able to sponsor their Filipina fiancé for a K 1 visa. However, there is an alternative route available as you can opt to marry overseas and file for a F2A visa once you are wed. You will need to submit documents showing you are legally married.
You must marry within 90 days of your fiancé coming to the US. Immigration services will want to see evidence that your planned marriage is genuine as well as details of the upcoming wedding ceremony -this can include venue bookings etc.
You must be legally free to marry in the US. This means that both of you are single and are not currently married to another person. If either of you have been previously married, then you need to provide evidence that you are no longer married. This could be proof of divorce from their previous spouse with a divorce decree, annulment decree or a death certificate if widowed.
You must have met your fiancé(e) in person at least once within the last two years. These meetings must have occurred within two years of making a K 1 visa petition. It is possible to apply for a waiver of this nonimmigrant visa requirement if you can prove that meeting in person would violate the cultural traditions and customs of your partner’s country or if the meeting would create extreme hardship for either party.
You can prove that you meet the financial support requirements. If you are sponsoring your partner from the Philippines, you must demonstrate that you have the financial ability to support both you and your future spouse while living in the US. You will need to prove that you have the required current income – you may need to provide bank statements, wage slips etc.
K1 Visa income requirements
The K1 does not require visa applicants to met specific income requirements must they must ensure they file a DS-5540 (Public Charge Questionnaire) to prove that they will not become a public charge during their time in the country.
However, the sponsoring US citizen must be at or above 100 per cent of the Federal Poverty Level. This amount does vary depending on states and other factors that can be explained by contacting the USCIS office.
Completing the Form I-129F
Your partner from the Philippines will need to complete a Form I-29F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)). Alongside the form, they are required to provide supporting documents to the immigration authorities including:
- Proof of the citizenship of the US sponsor – such as original birth certificates, official adoption decree
- Copy of the passport of the US citizen or naturalization certificate
- Evidence that shows the relationship is genuine – this can include phone bills, photographs, witness statements from friends etc
- Proof that you have met in person at least once within the past 2 years – the immigration services will ask for supporting documents such as hotel bookings, flight records etc
- A statement from you and your partner detailing your relationship and your plans to get married
- Two passport-sized color photos of each partner – this must not be taken more than 30 days before applying for the visa
- Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouses
The form and supporting documents will be reviewed and if approved the application will be passed to the National Visa Center who will then forward it on to the local US Embassy or Consulate – in many cases this will be at the US embassy in Manila.
Attending a visa interview in Manila
Your fiancé will then need to complete a DS-160 form and then will then receive a visa interview appointment letter with an interview date and time. If your partner is currently living in the Philippines at the time of application, they will most likely be asked to attend the US embassy in Manila for the face-to-face interview.
The DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) Form can be completed online and allows for temporary travel to the US. Your partner will need to take confirmation of completing this form to their visa interview.
Part of the aim of the consular interview is to establish if your relationship is genuine and your fiancé will be asked questions about your marriage plans and their background. If the consular officer accepts the answers given by the visa applicant then a K1 visa will be approved – you should usually get an answer around a day after the interview.
What are the K1 visa processing times?
According to US immigration services, it can take around 7 months for the administrative processing of your Philippine fiance K1 visa application. This time can vary due to consular processing times or if you fail to complete the form correctly, don’t include the required documents or do not submit translations of documents. In many cases, seeking advice from an immigration law firm may help to avoid unnecessary delays to the process, as well as the cost of resubmitting or appealing.
What is the cost of K1 visa for my partner from the Philippines?
There are a number of costs associated with a K1 Philippines visa application. These include a visa application processing fee and medical examination fees. K1 visa applicants will be asked to pay:
- A K1 visa fiancé(e) petition (Form I-129F) visa application fee of $535
- A consulate visa fee for non-immigrant visa application processing of $265
Once married if you plan to live together in the US then your partner from the Philippines will need to apply for an adjustment of status for the marriage-based green card and there are further fees associated with.
Can my Filipina fiancé work with a K1 visa?
If your partner from the Philippines is planning to work during their 90 day stay in the US they must be approved for work authorization and file a Form I-765. If granted, the authorization will only cover the 90 days associated with their K1 visa application.
Once you are married, your spouse can then apply to switch from a K1 visa to a marriage green card and then reapply for work authorization that will allow them to work for up to 12 months – this can then be renewed.
Can a K1 visa be extended?
When approved, the K1 visa has a 90 day limit to allow you to get married in the US. However, if you decide not to get married then your partner must return to the Philippines before the end of the 90 days – if they overstay the visa restrictions it could mean they will be automatically refused from applying for future visas in the US.
If there is a valid reason for delaying your marriage, then you can apply for an adjustment of status. To do this, you will need to submit Form I-130 and an adjustment of status form. There is an additional visa fee and your partner may need to have another medical examination and visa interview before the extension is granted.
Can my new spouse apply for a Green Card?
Once married, you and your new spouse can apply for permanent residence in the US. To do this you will need to apply for adjustment of status from a K1 visa to a CR1 visa (often refered to as the Marriage Green Card).
Being a green card holder will allow your wife or husband to live freely in the US and work or study without restrictions. Your partner does not need to return back to the Philippines before applying for the CR1 visa.
You will have to submit a range of documents to apply for the marriage green card such as a valid marriage certificate, police certificates etc. The Conditional Residence visa is valid for two years and can then be converted to a IR1 visa which has a time limit of 10 years.
After 3 years of living continuously in the US under a marriage green card, your wife or husband will become eligible to apply for naturalization to gain United States citizenship.
All of our lawyers are fully accredited with the appropriate legal bodies and you may be confident that the information we provide is fully accurate.
No matter how complex your case is, we can provide a tailored plan to help you achieve your goals. We work tirelessly on your behalf, attempting all legal options to assist you in immigrating to the U.S. with your loved ones and do our best to ensure that your petition is approved.
We recognize that immigration and visa applications are major decisions in a person’s life and that they can impact many lives.
That is why we provide the highest care and attention to all of our clients and ensure that they are given all their legal options so that they may make an informed decision about their future and the future of their families.
Your dedicated immigration lawyer will work with you throughout the entire process, communicating with you regularly to answer your questions and advise on the next steps.
At the beginning of the process, you can expect us to give you clear and accurate information about how much the process will cost and an anticipated timeline.
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Call us on +1 844 290 6312 for a confidential discussion about how we can assist you with your immigration case. We look forward to assisting you over the phone or by online call.
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