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Fiancé Visa Overview:
Entering the United States on a K-1 visa (otherwise known as a fiancé visa) needs to culminate in either your marriage to your fiancé or your departure from the country within 90 days. The sole purpose of a K-1 visa is to allow you the opportunity to get married and is not a long term immigration plan. It is, however, the first step to your immigration to the United States.
As with all other visas, and particularly the fiancé visa, it is extremely important that you keep your marriage plans in mind and file early for the visa. Errors in the application process could easily lead to your visa being denied and, to the horror of many families, a delayed wedding.
If you happen to have children they can apply for a K-2 visa. The application process for a K-2 visa is not very different from the application for a K-1 visa. However, there are some different requirements for children applying for a K-2 visa:
- They must apply and pay related fees separately,
- A child-as defined in United States immigration law-must be under 21 and unmarried. If they are a step-child then your relationship to them had to have started before they turned 18.
- If they wish to follow you to the United States more than a year after you receive your K-1 visa they must apply for a different immigrant visa.
Fiance Visa Process and Documentation:
There are quite a few documents that you will need to complete before your interview at the foreign consulate and it is of utmost importance that you fill them in correctly. A delayed visa could easily ruin your marriage plans.
- Your fiancé-whoever resides in the United States as a United States Citizen-will have to submit a Petition for Alien Fiancé form (I-129F). This has to be done before any of the other steps in the visa application are to be completed.
- You will have to fill out the DS-156 application form in duplicate,
- Just one copy per applicant of the DS-156K form,
- And the first part of the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration form which is also known as the DS-230.
- Note: if you are applying at either the Montreal, Canada or Juarez, Mexico consulate offices your application requirements will be different and you will have to contact them for the appropriate information.
- Of course you will need your passport and it will need to have an expiration date six months past the last day you are allowed in the country on your visa.
- You will also have to prove that you are allowed to get legally married. These requirements can depend upon what state you are getting married in, but generally death certificates or divorce records from previous marriages will do to illustrate that you can get married to your fiancé.
- A police certificate from every country that you resided in for six months or more after the age of 16. These certificates are available from applicable police departments in the countries you lived in.
- You will have to be examined by a medical professional who has been approved by the United States Department of Homeland Security medical panel. Getting certain inoculations is optional for getting a K-1 or K-2 visa, but you will have to obtain these vaccines in order to become a citizen, so it might be a good idea to just get them out of the way.
- An I-134 form may be required by the consular officer in order to prove that you have adequate financial support.
- Duplicate two inch by two inch photographs will be necessary. A local photographer should be familiar with the requirements for visa photos.
- Some sort of evidence that you actually know your fiancé. The United States government understands that there are some cultural or financial hindrances regarding this requirement--such as taboos regarding the bride and groom seeing each other before the wedding--and allows for these people to sign a waiver to that effect. Other than those exceptions it is necessary for you to provide a photograph or some sort of document that shows that you have a relationship with your betrothed.
- Immediately after your marriage-which must occur within 90 days of arriving in the United States on this visa-you must start the process for obtaining a green card to live in the United States legally.
Fees Associated with K Visas:
- The I-129F form which your citizen fiancé must fill out costs $340 to submit.
- The DS-156 form for non-immigrant application processing which costs $240 per applicant.
- The bills associated with your medical examination and inoculations.
- Assorted costs of providing photocopies or obtaining documents necessary for the interview.
- And after your marriage you will need to file form I-485 to register for permanent residence and get your green card. This form costs $985 to submit with an additional $85 fee for biometrics. Children under the age of 14 and filing with a parent are to pay $635.
Life in the United States:
After you've gotten your K-1 fiancé visa you will be allowed to a United States port of entry where the Department of Homeland Security will decide if you are fit to enter the country. Upon admission you will be able to marry and then begin your new life with your spouse in the United States!