The K-1 Visa makes it possible to travel to the US to marry US citizen. Same-sex fiancé(e)s also qualify.
A K-1 Immigration Procedure has three phases:
1. The I-129F Petition for an Alien Fiancé(e)
- Your US fiancé(e) must file this petition with USCIS. Only a US citizen can file an I-129F Petition. Once the petition is approved you can apply for your K-1 Visa.
2. The K-1 Visa Application
- You must submit a Visa Application (Form DS-160) in your home country. When your application is accepted you must undergo a Medical Examination and appear for a Visa Interview.The K-1 visa is valid for six months after it is issued. It is valid for one US entry only. Your marriage must take place within 90 days of arrival.One of the requirements for the K-1 visa is proof of your intention to marry. Think pictures of the dress you want to buy, the cake you intend to order, wedding invitations, other preparations.
An unmarried child/children under 21 years of age immigrating with you will be issued K-2 visas.
3. Adjustment of Status (AOS) Application
- Once married you can file for Adjustment of Status (AOS).
Your marriage makes you an Immediate Relative (IR) of your spouse. He can sponsor you for immigration but must have the financial means to support you.When AOS is approved you are issued a Conditional Green Card. It becomes a Permanent Card after two years. Your spouse and you must together file a petition to have the conditional status removed.After three continuous years in the US you can apply for US citizenship.
- An unmarried child/children immigrating with you will be able to Adjust Status too.
If it is younger that 18 when you marry it counts as the stepchild of your US spouse. It is then eligible too for immigration as an IR.If the child is 18 year or older it cannot count as a stepchild of your US spouse anymore. He/she can Adjust Status based on your application, but the Green card must be issued before he or she turns 21.
For real marriage only
- If you do not marry within the 90-day period the K-1 visa becomes invalid. It cannot be extended. You must leave the US.
The visa is not meant for long try-outs to see if you were meant for each other. It is also not for a common law marriage or a relationship with partner contract.
- A K -1 Visa is a Non-Immigrant Visa. It is “dual intent” which means you are allowed to have the intent to immigrate (apply for a Green Card).
Nota Bene: You are not eligible for a K-1 Visa anymore if you married already, either in the US or in your home country.