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K1 Visa

If you are a US citizen and you wish to bring your fiance or fiancee to the US to marry and live in the US permanently, then the K1 visa is the way to go.

Key Points:

Are you eligible to file the I129F petition for your fiance(e)?


1. You MUST be a US Citizen. If you are a Permanent Resident you are NOT eligible.

2. You MUST both be free to marry at the time the petition is filed. Any divorces must be FINAL.

3. You MUST have met your fiance(e) in person within the past two year period prior to the filing date on the petition. If you haven't met in person, you can file a waiver of this requirement, but approvals are difficult to attain.

Overview of the K1 Visa Process

Filing the Petition, through to Adjustment of Status to that of a Permanent Resident

If your fiance(e) is not a citizen of the United States AND IS OUTSIDE THE US, and you plan to marry in the US, s/he must have a visa to come to the US and adjust status from that of a non-immigrant to an immigrant.

Step One toward applying for the K1 visa is to have the US citizen fiancé(e) file the I129F Petition for a Fiance(e).

After the petition is approved, your fiancé(e) must obtain the K1 visa issued at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad.

The I129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval. A consular officer can extend the validity of the petition (revalidate the petition) if it expires before you finish processing the K1 visa.

The marriage must take place within 90 days of your fiance(e) entering the United States on the K1 visa in order to adjust status from the K1 visa.

If the marriage does not take place or your fiance(e) marries someone other than you (the U.S. citizen filing USCIS Form I129F - Petition for Alien Fiancé), your fiancé(e) will be required to leave the United States.

The K1 fiance(e) can only adjust status through marriage to the original USC petitioner.

If the marriage does not take place within the 90 day admission K1 visa admission period, they may not apply to adjust status without an additional petition I-130. Additionally, the K1 fiance(e) will be accumulating time out of status after the original 90 day admission until their AOS application is accepted. Additional research is recommended if you are in this situation.

Until the marriage takes place, your fiance(e) is considered a non-immigrant. A non-immigrant is a foreign national seeking to temporarily enter the United States for a specific purpose.

After marriage, the K1 must apply to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident to change from anonimmigrant to an immigrant. When the Adjustment of Status is approved, the immigrant becomes a Permanent Resident and receives a 'Green Card'.

A fiance(e) may not obtain an extension of the 90-day original non-immigrant admission of the K1 visa.

In the top menu bar of the immigration forums you will find a K1 Visa Guide and Flowchart, as well as other Guides for various processes. Throughout the immigration forums you will also find numerous links and resources, including a DHS, USCIS, DOS menu on the left side of the immigration forum, to help you research your case and find the answers you are looking for.

To understand your options further, see Visa Options - Immigrant, K1, K3, & Family Preference which you will find in the 'Where Do I Begin' section of the immigration forums.

Take your time in researching and completing the petition and visa application packages. It will be time worth spent.


A K1 visa (Fiance(e) visa) is to be used by a person(s) that is available for marriage to the USC petitioner, and that is not already legally married.

The use of a K1 visa by an individual who has already married the petitioner is misuse of the visa; could be determined as misrepresentation; could have dire consequences upon the alien at the POE, or at other points in the immigration process.

Engaging in a wedding ceremony or service, even if not legally binding, can have severe consequences at the POE/Point of Entry when first arriving with a K1 visa. Remember, it is the alien's responsibility to overcome a perception. If the K1 visa holder says or does something to suggest s/he is already married, s/he may be refused entry.

Exercise caution when engaging in strictly ceremonial services prior to arrival in the USA that these cultural practices do not suggest a legal marriage.

How long will it take?

Pros and Cons of the K1 Visa



Guide to Filing the I129F for a fiance(e) K1 visa
K1 Flowchart
Guide to Adjustment of Status

The U.S. immigration system is one of the most complex with rules and laws that may be interpreted differently by the various government bodies. These rules and laws can also undergo dramatic changes caused by changing regulations.

Information published on is not intended to be used in a legal capacity. takes no responsibility for any information used by members or guests in the process of their case. Information contained on is based on members' personal experience, opinion and is offered solely in a suggestive manner. Information from official government agents or websites, including those from the USCIS, DOS, SSA etc should be verified from another source. Government employees are not held responsible for giving incorrect information. Government websites are not always up to the minute. Forms become outdated quickly. Each individual immigration case is unique; and while legal advice is not always required to complete a case, in your case it may be necessary. Conduct research, evaluate your comfort level, and consider a consultation with an immigration attorney for a professional evaluation of your case - A good investment in your future.