People come to the United States for a variety of different reasons. Some hope for a better future for themselves and their families. Some come to the U.S. to build their careers. For those hoping to build their family by marrying a U.S. Citizen, a K-1 visa will allow them to come to the United States to marry a U.S. citizen.

When does a U.S. citizen’s fiancé qualify for a K-1 visa?

While the intent to marry a United States citizen is the first step toward obtaining a K-1 visa, couples must meet certain criteria for this visa to be approved. First, couples must intend to marry so that they can build a life together and maintain their relationship. They cannot apply for a K-1 visa for other reasons like securing residency.

In addition, both the U.S. citizen and their fiancé must be legally able to marry when they petition for the K-1 visa. They cannot be currently married, and if either person has previously divorced then they must have documentation that the divorce was finalized.

Couples usually must have met in person in order to apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. However, if cultural customs or hardship prevented you from meeting in person prior to the wedding, but it is possible to request a waiver for this requirement.

What happens if a fiancé has children from a prior relationship?
In some cases, a foreign national may have children from a prior relationship. These children can also come to the United States through a K-2 visa. Applicants should include their children on the initial application.

What happens after the wedding day?

Couples applying for a K-1 visa must plan to marry within 90 days of their fiancé’s arrival in the United States, and their visa is temporary. After that marriage, they can apply for a green card and work authorization to begin their life in America.

If you and your fiancé want to apply for a visa, you may find the application process daunting. An experienced immigration attorney can help you navigate the requirements for a visa application and help you be together on your wedding day.