Securing a K-1 fiancé visa involves navigating a series of eligibility requirements that facilitate the union of engaged couples in the United States. Understanding these prerequisites is necessary for those seeking to bring their international fiancé to the U.S. for the purpose of marriage.
There are specific criteria applicants must meet to navigate the K-1 visa process.
U.S. citizenship and the intent to marry
The foundation of K-1 fiancé visa eligibility rests on the status of the petitioner, who must be a U.S. citizen. Green card holders are not eligible to file for a K-1 visa. Moreover, both parties must show a sincere intent to marry each other within 90 days of the foreign fiancé’s arrival in the United States. This stipulation emphasizes the commitment to a genuine union and aligns with the visa’s primary purpose.
Proof of relationship and in-person meeting requirement
Establishing the legitimacy of the relationship is an important part of the K-1 visa process. Couples must provide evidence, including photographs, letters or other documentation, to substantiate the authenticity and ongoing nature of their relationship. Also significant is the mandate that the engaged couple must have met in person at least once within the two years preceding the filing of the visa petition. This requirement aims to prevent fraudulent applications.
Financial responsibility and background checks
To ensure that the foreign fiancé does not become a burden on public resources, the U.S. petitioner must exhibit the ability to financially support his or her future spouse. Meeting specific income requirements and providing evidence of financial stability are key components of this criterion. Additionally, both parties must undergo comprehensive criminal background checks to uphold the safety and security of the U.S. community.
Per the Center for Immigration Studies, those who apply for fiancé visas have their applications approved about 80% of the time. Understanding the eligibility requirements for obtaining a K-1 visa is important for applicants, as it forms the foundation of a successful and lawful journey towards uniting with their international fiancés in the United States.