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Everything you need to know about the K visas offered by the U.S

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Engaged partners of American citizens and their families are granted K visas.

The engaged partner of a US citizen is permitted entry into the country on a K-1 visa, which is also known as a fiancé visa. A K-1 visa is only granted if the holder and their partner wed within 90 days of entering the United States.

The holder can then apply for a “green card”—a permanent residence—based on marriage.

To be eligible,
  • The fiancé(e) who is sponsoring must be a US citizen. A partner with a green card cannot apply for a K-1 visa through a sponsor.
  • There must be only one partner per group. Any prior divorce decrees, annulments, or death certificates of a former spouse must be presented as evidence by the couple.
  • The couple must demonstrate their love for one another.
  • Within the first two years of applying for the visa, they must demonstrate that they met in person at least once
  • Within 90 days of the arrival of the foreign fiancé in the United States, they are required to submit a signed declaration of their intention to wed.
  • For a K-1 visa, the sponsor must have an adjusted gross income that is at least equal to 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines on their most recent tax return.

No matter what the laws are in the country where the sponsored fiancé lives, same-sex partners are eligible to apply for a K-1 visa.

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How to apply

1. Filing the Petition

  • The sponsor must submit the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) Form I-129F to the USCIS office that serves their local area. You cannot submit Form I-129F abroad at a USCIS or Embassy office.
  • The petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) after being approved by USCIS. The petition will be sent to the US Embassy or Consulate where the sponsor resides after the NVC issues a case number.

2. Applying for a Visa

  • The foreign-citizen partner will be scheduled for a visa interview once the case number is issued.
  • For K-2 visas, eligible children of K-1 visa applicants may apply. For each K visa applicant, a separate application and payment of the visa application fee are required.

Documents required

To attend the visa interview, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) and any children who are eligible to apply for K-2 visas must bring the following forms and documents:

  • Completed the online application for a nonimmigrant visa, Form DS-160.
  • A passport with a validity date of at least six months beyond your intended stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions) is required for travel to the country.
  • Certificate of birth.
  • For both you and the U.S. citizen sponsor, copies of the divorce or death certificate for any previous spouses.
  • Police records from the nation in which you currently reside as well as all nations in which you have resided for at least six months since the age of 16 (Police records are also required for accompanying children who are 16 or older).
  • Examined medically (vaccinations are not required; see below)
  • The Affidavit of Support Form, Form I-134, may be requested as evidence of financial support
  • Two photographs that are 2 x 2.
  • A relationship with the fiancé (e) who is a US citizen
  • Payment of fees

How much will it cost you

A K-1 visa costs about $1,000 in total.

Fees are charged for the following services:

  • Using Form I-129F to File a Petition for an Alien Fiancé
  • Form DS-160, processing fee for nonimmigrant visa applications (required for each K visa applicant)
  • Each K visa applicant must pass a medical exam; costs differ depending on the post)
  • Translation and photocopying fees, as well as costs for obtaining the necessary visa application documents (such as passports, police records, birth certificates, etc.), and the cost of getting there for an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Costs vary from case to case and country to country.
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, Form I-485

What is a K-2 visa?

A US citizen’s engaged partner can bring their child or children to the country on a K-2 visa.

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