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K-1 Fact Sheet

K-1 Fact Sheet: Fiancees

The "K-1" visa classification is for a foreign national coming to the U.S. to marry a U.S. citizen and reside here.


To obtain a K-1 visa for a foreign national fiancee, a U.S. citizen must file a petition, Form I-129F, Petition for Relative or Fiancee, with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) having jurisdiction over the place of the petitioner’s residence in the United States. Such petitions may not be adjudicated abroad. INS will forward the approved petition to the American consular office where the foreign national fiancee will apply for his or her visa. A petition is valid for a period of four months from the date of INS action, and may be revalidated by the consular officer. The marriage must take place within 90 days of admission into the U.S.

Applying For A Fiancee Visa

Upon receipt of an approved petition, the American consular officer will notify the beneficiary and give the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a "K" visa. As soon as the processing of a case is completed and the applicant has all necessary documents, a consular officer will interview the fiancee. If found eligible, a visa will be issued, valid for one entry during a period of six months. A non-refundable $20.00 application fee is collected at posts which issue machine-readable visas. Since a fiancee visa applicant is an intending immigrant, fiancees must meet most of the same documentary requirements of an immigrant visa applicant.

Required Documentation

  1. V alid passport

  2. Birth certificate

  3. Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse

  4. Police certificate from all places lived since age 16

  5. Medical examination

  6. Evidence of support

  7. Evidence of valid relationship with the petitioner

  8. Photographs

  9. The petitioner and beneficiary must be free to marry legally in the U.S. and must have previously met in

    person within the past two years unless the Attorney General waives that requirement.

Additional Information

Family Members

The unmarried, minor children of a K-1 beneficiary derive "K-2" nonimmigrant visa status from the parent so long as the children are named in the petition. A separate petition is not required if the children accompany or follow the foreign national fiancee within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa. Thereafter, a separate immigrant visa petition is required.

The foreign national fiancee is given temporary permission to work by the INS at the port of entry. 

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