Frequently Asked Questions – K-1 Fiancé(e) Visas

If you have any questions regarding the fiancé(e) visa process, please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.  For questions related to other visa categories, please visit our immigrant visa FAQnonimmigrant visa FAQ, or other FAQs. If you still can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us.

You can start the application process for your fiancé(e) here.  K-1 fiancé(e) applicants should not schedule their appointment until after they have received the Instruction Package Letter (PKT3 – K) from the Consulate.

Please note that K-1 fiancé(e) visa applicants must select the “Immigrant Visa” option when scheduling an appointment online.

Fees are charged for the following services:

  1. Filing an Alien Fiancé(e) Petition, Form I-129F
  2. Visa application processing fee
  3. Medical examination fee

Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, fees for getting the documents required for the visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.), and expenses for travel to the Consulate for an interview.  For current fees for Department of State or government services, see Fees.

The length of time varies from case to case depending on the circumstances of each individual case.  The time it takes each USCIS office and each consular office to process a case varies.  Some cases are delayed because the applicants do not follow instructions carefully or they supply incomplete information. (It is important to give us correct postal addresses and telephone numbers.) Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant is interviewed by a consular officer.

All K visa applicants are required to complete the online paperless DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application).  K visa petitioners will continue to use the I-129F (PDF 484KB) petition form.

The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval from USCIS. The validity of the I-129F petition is routinely extended by consular officers to ensure that applicants have sufficient time to complete the processing of their case.

If the beneficiary and petitioner are legally married after filing the I-129F petition, the beneficiary is no longer eligible for the K-1 visa.  The K-1 Petition cannot be converted into a CR-1 or an IR-1 spousal petition.  The K-1 petition will be returned to USCIS.  To continue the immigration process, the petitioner will then need to file a spousal petition with USCIS on behalf of the beneficiary.

Since fiancé(e) visa applicants are nonimmigrant visa applicants, they should use Form I-134.  They will need to submit a Form I-864 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when they adjust status to conditional immigrant in the United States after they are married.

No.  The 125 percent minimum income requirement, the most recent year’s tax return and other requirements only apply when a Form I-864 is needed. Applicants using Form I-134 will need to show that their sponsor’s income is 100 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines as required under Section 212(a)(4) of the INA.

After your fiancé(e) is issued a K-1 visa and enters the U.S. through a U.S immigration port of entry, you and your fiancé(e) must get married within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s entry into the United States.

After a case is returned to USCIS, any further inquiries, including any possible further actions to be taken, should be made directly with the USCIS Service Center where the petition was filed.  Additional information can be viewed on USCIS’s website.

There are many reasons a consular officer may refuse a visa. For immigrant and fiancé(e) visas, the most common refusal is under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This refusal means that the consular officer did not have all of the information needed in order to process the visa application to conclusion, so the visa could not be issued at that time. When the required information is submitted in a timely manner, visa processing can continue to conclusion, and the applicant does not need to reapply for the visa.

There are also several categories of visa ineligibilities, which may result in a visa being refused or denied. Other activities, such as corruption (PDF 20KB), may also result in a visa denial.

K-1 visas are different than regular immigrant visas because the applicant must marry the petitioner within 90 days of arriving in the United States to receive immigration benefits.  Also, petitioners are only required to show their income is at least 100% of federal poverty guidelines using Form I-134.

If you are immigrating to the United States with a K-1 visa, it’s important you know you have certain protections.  The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA), the Violence Against Women Act, and the Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, established various protections for foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States applying for K nonimmigrant or marriage-based immigrant visas.  The USCIS website has more information on these protections.

You can travel; however, you may be subject to additional scrutiny. Traveling under another visa status or the visa waiver program is not advised for K-1 fiancé(e) visa applicants prior to the approval of their K visa as they have already indicated their intention is to marry in the U.S. For more information about the K fiancé(e) nonimmigrant visa, please click here.

The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA), of the Violence Against Women and the Department of Justice Reauthorization act of 2005, established various protections for foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States applying for K nonimmigrant or marriage-based immigrant visas.  For more information, please click here (PDF-54KB)  to access an informational brochure provided by USCIS.

If you still can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us.