What is the K1 Visa?
The K1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that aims to permit the fiancée who was born outside of the US to enter the United States to marry their partner who is a US citizen. As a US citizen, you can bring your spouse from Canada to the US to get married and live with permanent resident status.
When obtaining a K1 Visa, it is necessary that you and your fiancée are married within 90 days of them arriving in the US from Canada. From that point, your now-husband, bride or civil partner can adjust their status to become a permanent and lawful resident in the United States.
If you need assistance with the K1 Visa, feel free to call us on +1 844 290 6312, or you can request a call back through our live chat feature.
How does the K1 Visa work?
The K1 Visa was designed purely for US citizens who wish to marry someone from a foreign country, meaning that a green card holder is not eligible to obtain this visa type. It is also designed for couples who are engaged to be married, and who are wishing to have their nuptials within the United States.
If you want to get married outside of the United States, or are already married, you will not be eligible for a K1 Visa. A similar visa that may be more applicable in this situation would be the K3 Spousal Visa. If your spouse has dependent children that you wish to bring to the US, the K4 Visa would be the best option.
The K1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa and is only offered on a temporary basis, therefore will only be useful as a short-term option. However, it is one of the easiest and fastest visa routes to permanent residence and citizenship.
On the path to obtaining the visa, both yourself and your partner will have to partake in the application process for the K1 Visa. If you are successful in your application, your foreign fiancée will receive their visa, which will allow them to travel from Canada to the US.
If you do not get married to your partner within 90 days of their arrival, it will be necessary for your partner to return to Canada, and the visa will become null and void, as it is not an option to extend the K1 visa.
How do I apply for a K1 Visa?
The application process for a K1 Visa can be extensive, and includes two stages, which are as follows:
Firstly, the US citizen will start the process by filing a K1 Visa petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In order to do that, you will need to submit Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancée, to the USCIS office closest to your home in the US. The main purpose behind this is to ensure that a genuine relationship exists between you and your partner and that you have every intention of getting married within the 90-day timeframe of your application date.
You will be asked to provide a substantial amount of documentation, which will be used to help prove your genuine relationship. If the I-129F is approved, USCIS will forward your case to the National Visa Center (NVC).
The second phase of the application will then be undertaken by the NVC. Once they receive your case, the NVC will inform your fiancée to file an official visa application.
They will need to schedule an appointment with a consular officer in a US Embassy or Consulate in Canada. If the application is approved after the visa interview, your fiancée will be allowed to enter the US, as long as it is within the visa timeframe. You will then need to get married within 90 days of arrival.
What does the process from Fiancée Visa to Green Card look like?
Once you have been legally married, your spouse will need to move away from the K1 Visa, and over to a green card holder. The process from beginning to end will be as follows:
Step one: The Petition for Fiancée (USCIS)
- The US citizen of the couple will file Form I-129F, following the instructions on the form carefully
- The USCIS will review the petition and the documents that were submitted alongside it. They may contact you and ask for additional evidence that will need to be submitted in a given timeframe
- If you can prove your genuine relationship, and the USCIS are satisfied with your application, they will approve your Form I-129F, and send this to the NVC
Step two: The Visa Application (NVC)
- The NVC will forward your approved petition to the US Embassy or Consulate in Canada, who will then contact your fiancée and invite them to an interview
- Your fiancée will submit an application for a K1 Visa and bring the required documents and forms to the visa interview. The official form for this application is Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- The consular office will determine if your fiancée qualifies for the K1 Visa. If approved, the K1 Visa will be valid for up to 6 months for a single entry to the US
Step three: The Inspection at the Border (CBP)
- When entering the US on the K1 Visa, your fiancée will need to seek admission at the port of entry. Like most visas, simply holding a K1 Visa does not mean the automatic entrance to the US, and they may not have guaranteed entry. A Customs and Border Protection officer will decide whether or not to admit your fiancée
Step four: Your Marriage
- If the Customs and Border Protection officer grants your fiancée permission to enter the US, you will need to marry within 90 days from that date
Step five: The Adjustment of Status for a Green Card (USCIS)
- Once you have been married within the permitted 90 days, your fiancée can then apply to become a permanent resident under the marriage-based green card category. They will need to file a Form I-485,
- Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
- The USCIS will then review this submitted form, and may contact you to ask for additional evidence
- It is possible you and your spouse will be called for another interview
- Once approved, the USCIS will issue your spouse a conditional permanent resident status, with a green card that is valid for two years
Your spouse will need to apply to remove the conditions attached to the green card at least 90 days before the expiration of the two-year validity date.
If the condition removal is approved by the USCIS, they will issue your spouse a permanent resident status with a green card that is now valid for 10 years. This can be renewed as many times as you like.
If your spouse wishes to become a United States citizen, they can apply for citizenship after three years of being a permanent resident.
For more information on how we can help you or get started right away, you can call us at +1 844 290 6312 today.
What is the eligibility criteria for a K1 Visa?
There are several requirements to obtain a K1 Visa, and they are as follows:
- The main requirement to obtain a K1 Visa, is that one of the members of the couple must be a US citizen.
- You will need to present proof of US citizenship, such as a passport, birth certificate, or certificate of citizenship
- You must both meet the definition of a ‘fiancée’ under US immigration law. This implies that both of you must have been legally free to marry at the time of the K1 Visa petition being filed, and must have remained so thereafter.
- If either of you had been married previously, the previous marriage needs to have been legally terminated (through death, divorce, or annulment), before they submit a K1 Visa application.
- This means that neither of the members of the couple was already married at the time of the petition. The marriage must also be legally possible in accordance with US laws
- Generally, you must have been able to meet up in person, within the last two years. However, if there are certain circumstances that have prevented this, such as cultural factors or extreme hardships, the USCIS may grant an exception, depending on your circumstances
- You must meet the K1 Visa income requirements:
- The US citizen of the couple will be required to prove that they have an adequate income to meet the financial needs of themselves and their fiancée.
- You will have to submit Form I-134, Affidavit of Support. This process is similar to Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, which needs to be submitted as part of the family-based green card application. However, while the I-864 requires a minimum of 125% of federal poverty minimum income, the I-134 only requires 100%. This is to ensure that you both can live above the poverty line on your current income.
What are the costs of the K1 Visa?
The general costs of the K1 Visa are as follows:
- Form I-129F application fee: $535
- Consulate Processing Fee: $265
- Form I-485: $1,140
- Biometrics fee: $85
There may be additional costs for medical examinations and vaccinations, so you will need to be prepared to pay for these as well.
We can help you with your K1 visa application process. Get in touch with us on +1 844 290 6312 for more information on how we can help you, advice, or immediate assistance.
Hiring the services of specialised immigration lawyers when it comes to moving to the US from Canada can save you a lot of time and money. At Total Law, we ensure that your K1 visa application is of high quality to maximise your chances of success of moving to the US to marry your partner.
We will work with you during every stage of the process, assisting you with preparing a top-notch application, gathering supporting evidence and documents, and liaising with the USCIS on your behalf.
Get in touch with the team at Total Law, so you know that you are guaranteed the right path, and stand for a much higher success rate for your immigration application. You can contact us seven days a week, either on the phone or by using the online chat function to speak with one of our client care agents.
For more information on how we can help you or get started right away, you can call us at +1 844 290 6312 today.
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If your fiancée has dependent children that are unmarried and under the age of 21, they will be eligible to enter the US on the K2 Visa. It is vital that their names are included on the original Form I-129F application, and cannot be added as an afterthought.
The dependents will be able to apply for a green card after you have married. However, it is important to remember that the children will need to remain unmarried to be eligible for a green card application.
The US government allows K1 visa holders to stay in the US for up to 90 days. Once you get married, you can start the permanent residence application. If you were unable to get married within the 90-day timeframe, you would have to go back to Canada and apply for another visa.