If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to bring your foreign fiancé(e) to the United States in order to get married, you will need to file a Form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fiancé(e). This is the first step to obtaining a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for your fiancé(e). The K-1 nonimmigrant visa is also known as a fiancé(e) visa.
In order to obtain a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, you and your fiancé(e) must intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the U.S as a K-1 nonimmigrant. Your marriage must be valid, meaning both you and your fiancé(e) have a bona fide intent to establish a life together and the marriage is not for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit.
If your fiancé(e) marries you within 90 days of being admitted to the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, he or she may apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States (a Green Card).
If you have already married, plan to marry outside the United States, or your fiancé(e) is already residing legally in the United States, your spouse or fiancé(e) is not eligible for a fiancé(e) visa. Go to the Bringing Spouses to Live in the United States as Permanent Residents page for more information about how to help your foreign spouse apply for a Green Card.
Eligibility for Fiancé(e) Visas
You may be eligible to bring your fiancé(e) to the United States on a fiancé(e) visa if you meet the following requirements:
- You are a U.S. citizen;
- You and your fiancé(e) intend to marry one another within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s admission to the United States on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa;
- You and your fiancé(e) are both legally free to marry (this means you both are legally able to marry in the United States and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment); and
- You and your fiancé(e) met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. You may request a waiver of this in-person meeting requirement if you can show that meeting in person would:
- Violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice; or
- Result in extreme hardship to you, the U.S. citizen petitioner.
Process for Bringing your Fiancé(e) to the United States
The process for bringing your fiancé(e) to the United States involves USCIS, the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). At each stage in the process, background and security checks may be conducted on both you and your fiancé(e). This may include checks in various databases for national security, criminal history, and other information about you and your fiancé(e). These checks are conducted using fingerprints, names, or other biographic or biometric information.
Step 1: Petition for Fiancé(e) – USCIS
- You file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) according to the form instructions. This form asks USCIS to recognize the relationship between you and your fiancé(e).
- We review your Form I-129F and the documents you submitted. We may mail you a request for evidence if we need additional documentation or information.
- If you establish your eligibility, we approve your Form I-129F and recognize the claimed fiancé(e) relationship. Otherwise, we deny your Form I-129F and notify you of the reasons for denial.
- We send the approved Form I-129F to the DOS National Visa Center (NVC).
For additional information about filing the petition, see the Form I-129F and form instructions.
Step 2: Visa Application – DOS
- The NVC forwards the approved Form I-129F to the U.S. Embassy or consulate where your fiancé(e) will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. This is generally the U.S. Embassy or consulate where your fiancé(e) lives.
- The U.S. Embassy or consulate notifies you when the visa interview for your fiancé(e) is scheduled.
- Your fiancé(e) applies for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa and brings the required forms and documents to the visa interview.
- The DOS consular officer determines whether your fiancé(e) qualifies for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
- If the consular officer grants the K-1 nonimmigrant visa, it is valid for up to 6 months for a single entry.
- If the consular officer does not find the relationship to be bona fide, DOS will not issue a K-1 nonimmigrant visa and instead will return the Form I-129F to USCIS. Generally, if DOS returns a Form I-129F to us after it has expired, we will allow it to remain expired. However, you may choose to file a new Form I‑129F.
For additional information about applying for a visa, see the DOS Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiancé(e) page.
Step 3: Inspection at a Port of Entry – CBP
If DOS issues a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, your fiancé(e) travels to the United States and seeks admission at a port of entry while the K-1 nonimmigrant visa is valid. As with any visa, a K-1 nonimmigrant visa does not guarantee admission to the United States. A CBP officer at the port of entry will make the ultimate decision about whether to admit your fiancé(e).
Step 4: Marriage
If your fiancé(e) is admitted as a K-1 nonimmigrant, you and your fiancé(e) have 90 days to marry each other.
Step 5: Adjustment of Status – USCIS
- If you marry within 90 days, your fiancé(e)—now your spouse—may apply for a Green Card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
- We review Form I-485 and the documents your spouse submitted. We may mail a request for evidence to your spouse if we need additional documentation or information.
- You and your spouse will usually be required to appear for an interview.
- If you were married for less than two years at the time the Form I-485 is approved, USCIS will grant your spouse conditional permanent resident status and issue a Green Card valid for 2 years. Your spouse will need to remove the conditions on his or her residence by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence in the 90 days before his or her Green Card expires.
For additional information about applying for a Green Card, see the Form I-485 and instructions and the Green Card for Fiancé(e) of U.S. Citizen page.
For additional information about removing the conditions on your spouse’s conditional permanent residence, see the Form I-751 page and the Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage page.
Each case is different and the length of the process varies. USCIS processes fiancé(e) petitions in the order we receive them. For more information about current processing times for the Form I-129F, see the Check Processing Timespage.
Children of Fiancé(e)s
If your fiancé(e) has a child who is under 21 and unmarried, the child may be eligible to come to the United States on a K-2 nonimmigrant visa. You must include the names of your fiancé(e)’s children on the Form I-129F if you wish to bring them to the United States. The children must continue to be unmarried and under 21 in order to be admitted to the United States as K-2 nonimmigrants. They may travel with your fiancé(e) or later, but they cannot travel to the U.S. before your fiancé(e).
If you and your fiancé(e) married within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s admission into the U.S., your fiancé(e)’s children who were admitted as K-2 nonimmigrants may also apply for a Green Card by filing Form I-485 with USCIS. However, K-2 nonimmigrant children must remain unmarried in order to be eligible for a Green Card. K-2 nonimmigrant children should apply for a Green Card at the same time or after your fiancé(e).
Permission to Work
After being admitted to the U.S. on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for evidence of work authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. In this case, your fiancé(e)’s work authorization is valid for only 90 days after his or her entry into the U.S.
Your fiancé(e) may also apply for work authorization at the same time he or she applies for a Green Card. In this case, your fiancé(e) can file Form I-765 together with the Form I-485. In this case, your fiancé(e)’s work authorization is valid for one year and may be extended in one-year increments.
Failure to Marry Within 90 Days
K-1 and K-2 nonimmigrant status automatically expires after 90 days and cannot be extended. Generally, your fiancé(e) and his or her children must leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If they do not depart, they will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal (deportation) and could affect their future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.
However, if you marry your fiancé(e) after the 90 day period, you may file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Go to the Bringing Spouses to Live in the United States as Permanent Residents page for more information about how to help your foreign spouse get a Green Card. Generally, your fiancé(e) may not apply for a Green Card on any other basis besides marriage to you.
- How Do I Help My Fiance(é) Become a Permanent Resident? (PDF, 679.12 KB)
- I-129F,Petition for Alien Fiance(e)
- I-765,Application for Employment Authorization
- Family Based Forms
Other USCIS Links
- Green Card (Permanent Residence)
- Working in the US
- Check Processing Times
How long does it take for a U.S. citizen to bring his fiancé? ›
The median timeline (as of January 31, 2023) is 13-18 months, according to our internal analysis. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) releases processing times each quarter for all forms, including Form I-129F. Currently, the agency's reported wait time for Form I-129F is 14.What evidence do I need for fiancé visa? ›
You should submit proof of a valid fiancé/fiancée relationship with the petitioner. It is often helpful to bring documents such as letters, photographs, or other evidence of your engagement. If you are applying for a K3 visa, please bring your original marriage certificate or a copy certified by the issuing authority.What are the questions asked in fiancé visa? ›
- What are your name and birthday?
- Where were you born?
- What is your nationality?
- Have you ever visited the United States before? ...
- Were you ever involved in marriage before?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you may bring your fiancé(e) to the United States to marry and live here, with a nonimmigrant visa for a fiancé(e) (K-1). An I-129F fiancé(e) petition is required.How much money do I need to sponsor my fiancé to USA? ›
The minimum fiancé(e) income requirement is $22,887 in 2022, which is for a household of 2. However, there is a lot more to know about the income requirement.What causes a fiancé visa to be denied? ›
Applications for K-1 visas may be denied or rejected for a variety of reasons, including a suspect relationship, ineligibility to marry, a lack of money, or no plans to get married within 90 days. Naturally, fraudulent applications also lead to a fiancé(e) visa denial or refusal.Why would a fiancé visa be denied? ›
Having a criminal record or certain medical conditions. Misrepresenting facts, documents, or other application-related data. Also, not proving intent to marry can result in visa rejection. Your fiancé(e) visa may be denied at the interview because of an unconvinced consular officer.How do I prove my relationship is real for a fiancé visa? ›
Usually, you must show that you have lived with your partner for at least two years, this does not have to be a continuous period and can have taken place in different areas or countries. You can prove your cohabitation by supplying tenancy agreements or joint documents such as utility bills.How often do fiancé visas get denied? ›
Department of State refusal statistics for the K-1 visa reveal that there are about 40,000 denials each fiscal year. This is a 40% visa rejection rate of the total number of K-1 visa applications. While many visa denials eventually overcome the initial denial, others do not.Does fiancé visa need show money? ›
You need proof of income to sponsor your foreign national fiancé(e) for a fiancé visa. Without this, the USCIS will not process the application because it means your fiancé will become a public charge.
Is fiancé visa easy? ›
K1 Fiance Visas are generally preferred (over the Marriage Visa and K3 Marriage Visa) as the visa of choice for engaged international couples as they are considered the easiest, quickest, and least expensive route.Do visa officers ask for bank statement? ›
Yes, most embassies verify the bank statements visa applicants submit alongside their visa applications. According to our research with banks, this is how they normally phrase their emails. "Kindly confirm for us the transactions of the attached copy of scanned bank statement from Mr. /Mrs.Is there interview for fiancé visa? ›
All immigrant visa applicants, including children, are required to visit the Embassy in person for a formal visa interview. You can expect to be at the Embassy for approximately 1.5 hours. Make sure you have completed Step 2.Is there an interview for fiancé visa USA? ›
Only the foreign-born fiancé attends the interview. The visa interview can feel nerve-wracking for K-1 applicants, but Boundless can help. We stay with you even after you've completed your application, helping you track your visa progress and prepare for your visa interview with confidence. Get started today!Which is faster fiancé or spouse visa USA? ›
Application Process and Timeline for Fiancé(e) and Spousal Visa. If your main goal is to get to the U.S. as quickly as possible, then the K-1 fiancé(e) visa is likely the fastest option. But if your goal is to get an actual green card as soon as possible, then a marriage-based visa will be quicker.How long is fiancé petition processing? ›
I-129F Processing Time: Approximately 12 Months
USCIS uses I-129F to establish the relationship between the U.S. citizen and the foreign fiancé(e). Within two to three weeks of submitting the form, the USCIS will send the petitioner (U.S. citizen) notice of receipt to confirm that it has received the petition.
The K-1 Visa application must be submitted by a US citizen sponsor, not the foreign fiancé. As well as being a US citizen you must be able to prove your intention to marry within 90 days, both be free to marry in the US, have met your fiancé at least once in the past 2 years and meet the income requirements.How much money do I need to show for spouse visa? ›
Income requirement for Spouse visa. The minimum income requirement for a spouse visa (income threshold for spouse visa) is £18,600, plus any additional amount if you have children (as explained above). For the last financial year: An annual self-assessment tax return sent to HMRC.What is the approval rate for fiancé visa? ›
But considering the USDHS statistics table, experience, and other sources, the spouses' approval rating goes as far as 99%. On the other side, the K-1 visa statistics show a bit less of approval percentage: around 80% of applicants.What is the minimum income required to sponsor spouse? ›
The household income has to be equal to or higher than 125% of the U.S. poverty level for your household size. The most common minimum annual income for a marriage green card is $21,775, assuming that the sponsor is not on active military duty and is sponsoring only one relative.
Can you apply for fiancé visa without meeting? ›
You Must Meet Two-Year Meeting Requirement Prior to Filing Fiancé(e) Visa Application. During the two years before you file the Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), you must meet your fiancé(e) in person.Should I hire a lawyer for K-1 visa? ›
While USCIS does not require you to have an attorney in order to process your fiancé visa, having an experienced immigration attorney can help immensely.What are K-1 visa red flags? ›
Common "Red Flags" in K1 Cases
Significant age difference. Relationships which are less than 1 year old. Undisclosed pregnancies. Discrepencies between the information provide in the forms and that obtained during the interview.
- shared ownership of residential property.
- joint leases or rental agreements.
- bills for shared utility accounts, such as: gas. electricity. ...
- important documents for both of you showing the same address, such as: driver's licenses. ...
- identification documents.
marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate. tenancy agreement, utility bills or council tax bills stating that you live at the same address or pay bills together.Does fiancé visa need affidavit of support? ›
Documents Required for Affidavit of Support (I-134)
As part of the visa application process, the U.S. citizen sponsor will need to submit an Affidavit of Support stating they will be able to financially support their fiancé during their stay.
Financial documents – The officers specifically check for financial documents during the visa interview to ensure that you have the necessary funds to pay for tuition fees, accommodation, living expenses, etc., in a foreign land.What is the fastest way to get a fiancé visa? ›
The fastest way to apply for a fiancé visa if your fiancé is overseas and you want to marry in the United States. This is called the K-1 visa and lets your fiancé enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place in the United States.What is proof of sufficient funds for visa? ›
The United States government requires all international applicants to provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses before the forms needed for obtaining a visa can be issued. This proof can come in the form of personal or family bank letters, bank statements, stock statements, company sponsorships, etc.What is acceptable proof of funds? ›
A bank statement, security statement, or custody statement usually qualify as proof of funds. Proof of funds is typically required for a large transaction, such as the purchase of a house.
How do you greet a visa officer? ›
When your turn for the interview comes, enter the room with a smile, greet the officer with a warm hello or hi. S/he may ask you 'how are you doing'. Reply politely and thank them for asking. If your visa is granted, thank them politely and leave.How long is the fiancé visa interview? ›
In fact, your interview may only last 15 to 30 minutes. It's not an interrogation. It's a chance for the consular officer to personally interact with you to confirm the validity of the K-1 visa application and collect any necessary information to complete the application.How hard is visa interview? ›
Clearing a visa interview is not difficult; however, if you didn't perform well, then you might have to face rejection, even if you have an excellent academic record. Here are some of the valuable points that you should keep in mind while attending your visa interview.Is USA giving visa without interview? ›
Please note applicants must only schedule their in-person or interview waiver appointment within the 365-day period. There is no requirement the interview or VAC appointment must occur during the 365-day period.Can my fiancé visit me in the US while waiting for a fiancé visa? ›
Can my fiancé visit me in the US while waiting for a K-1 fiancé visa? Yes – your fiancé may visit the US, so long as they have a valid B-1/B-2 visa or ESTA. However, your fiancé should expect more scrutiny at the border.How long does a petition for fiancé take? ›
After filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, it may take approximately 10 to 16 months to obtain a K-1 visa. It may be shorter for some and longer for others. As explained, the K-1 processing time can vary based on the agencies that adjudicate the many steps.Can my fiancé come to the U.S. while waiting for K-1 visa? ›
Can my fiancé visit me in the US while waiting for a K-1 fiancé visa? Yes – your fiancé may visit the US, so long as they have a valid B-1/B-2 visa or ESTA. However, your fiancé should expect more scrutiny at the border.Which is faster fiancé visa or marriage visa? ›
Application Process and Timeline for Fiancé(e) and Spousal Visa. If your main goal is to get to the U.S. as quickly as possible, then the K-1 fiancé(e) visa is likely the fastest option. But if your goal is to get an actual green card as soon as possible, then a marriage-based visa will be quicker.How can I get my fiancé U.S. citizenship? ›
- Read the Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) Instructions;
- Complete and sign your Form I-129F;
- Pay the filing fee, if applicable; and.
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
How long does a fiance visa take? In 2023 it is expected that K-1 visa processing will take approximately 12 to 18 months (including time USCIS takes to process Form I-129F).
How long does it take to get a fiancé visa interview? ›
The notification is usually sent within 30 days of the application's approval, while the interview will generally take place four to six weeks after the embassy or consulate's initial notice.What percentage of K1 visas are approved? ›
But considering the USDHS statistics table, experience, and other sources, the spouses' approval rating goes as far as 99%. On the other side, the K-1 visa statistics show a bit less of approval percentage: around 80% of applicants.Why do K1 visas get denied? ›
You may have your visa denied if either of you does not meet the requirements to be legally married in the US. This is common when one or both of you is still in another marriage. If you were in a previous marriage, ensure that you end it before the K-1 visa application.Do you need a lawyer to file a fiancé visa? ›
While USCIS does not require you to have an attorney in order to process your fiancé visa, having an experienced immigration attorney can help immensely.Which visa is the hardest to get? ›
Which is the hardest VISA to get?
- North Korea.
- Saudi Arabia.
The K-1 fiancé visa allows a U.S. citizen to sponsor their foreign partner to legally enter the United States. Each partner must prove they plan to marry within 90 days after the foreign fiancé arrives in the U.S. To check whether or not you're eligible, Boundless created a downloadable K-1 visa eligibility checklist.How does a fiancé visa work? ›
The fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a United States (U.S.) citizen. The K-1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival.