Steps to Take Before Applying for a K1 Visa

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Steps to Take Before Applying for a K1 Visa

Getting a visa to come to the United States is no walk in the park. Besides meeting stringent requirements for the various nonimmigrant (temporary) and immigrant (permanent) visas available, one must navigate the complex immigration system to get approved for any of the visas. One of the nonimmigrant visas available for those who qualify is the K1 or “fiancé” visa. 

At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, we have experienced immigration lawyers who assist clients in the Chicago area to apply for and obtain both a K1 visa and a green card when they come to the U.S.

A K1 visa allows a fiancé of a U.S. citizen to come to the U.S. and apply for an immigrant visa (green card). However, both the fiancé and U.S. citizen must satisfy various requirements and take the steps necessary to complete the process of obtaining the K1 visa and the green card after they arrive in the U.S.

Below are the steps one must take before applying for a K1 visa:

Determine K1 Visa Eligibility. To be eligible for a K1 visa, the following requirements must be satisfied:

  • The foreigner must be engaged to a U.S. citizen filing the petition.
  • Both the foreigner and U.S. citizen must be free to legally marry. This means if either or both the foreign fiancé and U.S. citizen were previously married, the marriage must be terminated, and you must have proof of the termination (divorce decree) before submitting your application.
  • Both the U.S. citizen and foreign fiancé must have met each other in person within the last two years.
  • Both the foreign fiancé and U.S. citizen must have intent to get married within 90 days of the foreign fiancé entering the U.S.

Filing the Petition. If the above requirements are met, the U.S. citizen will file a Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and pay the applicable fee.

Foreign Fiancé Files Form DS-160. Once the U.S. citizen fiancé’s petition (Form I-129F) is approved by USCIS, the foreign fiancé will file Form DS-160 online. The form is electronically transmitted to the Department of State.

Police Clearance and Medical Examination. The foreign fiancé will next undergo a medical examination by a doctor approved by the U.S. Embassy where the foreign fiancé lives. The foreign fiancé must also obtain a police clearance from every country they have lived in for the previous six years.

K1 Interview. The foreign fiancé will next be given an appointment for an interview with a visa officer at the U.S. consulate, as indicated on Form I-129F.

Admission to the U.S. If the interview is successful and the K1 visa is approved, the foreign fiancé will have the K1 visa stamped in their passport. The foreign fiancé will then use the K1 visa to enter the U.S. 

Marriage. The foreign fiancé and U.S. citizen petitioner must get married within 90 days of the foreign fiancé being admitted into the U.S.

Adjustment of Status. The foreign fiancé will start the adjustment process for the green card after getting married.

Meet with an Illinois Immigration Lawyer About Your Options

Kriezelman Burton & Associates helps clients with a wide range of immigration matters. If you need help with applying for a K1 visa, contact our office today to schedule an appointment to learn more about how we can help you.