If you are not a U.S. citizen and would like to marry an American Citizen, your fiancé (an American Citizen) must file an application for the K-1 Visa at the American Consulate on your behalf. A number of other documents must be filed along with the Application form including a valid passport, copies of birth certificate, divorce decrees, if any, police verification certificates, reports of medical examinations, photographs as well as evidence that the fiancé will support you, etc. On approval of the visa, you must get married to your fiancé within 90 days. For more information on getting a fiancé visa, visit the official U.S. Consulate website.
Here are some of the services where you’ll be charged a fee:
- Filing an Alien Fiancé Petition, Form I-129F
- Nonimmigrant Visa application processing fee. (non-refundable): $131.00
- Medical examination
- Fingerprinting fees, if it is required. $85.00
- Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, getting the documents required for the visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.). Costs vary from country to country and case to case.
- Filing Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status
It doesn’t matter what country in which your fiancee lives in, the K-1 FIANCEE VISA is the only proper visa and method for them to use to enter the U.S. for the purpose of marriage. If he/she enters the U.S. on another type of visa or visa waiver you can still get legally married but they will then need to depart the U.S., obtain a K-3 spousal visa at the U.S. Consulate in her country of residence and then re-enter the U.S. on the K-3 visa in order to remain in the U.S. permanently as your spouse. Our suggestion to you is to not try to do this without the help of an attorney that specializes in Fiancee Visas. We highly recommend the services of HOLMES & LOLLY at www.fianceevisas.com. They have processed over a thousand applications a year since 1991.
Be ready for a long detail oriented process if you are determined to get married to a non-US citizen. The approximate processing time for a K-1 Fiance Visa is about 3-6 months from the initial filing to fiance’s arrival. After you file your petition, you have to wait for the USCIS to approve it and send it to the State Department, who performs a background check and then forwards it to the U.S. Embassy. When the embassy receives the file from the state department they then send a packet to the applicant instructing them to what documents they’ll need prior to the visa interview. Once you collect all of the needed documents, you’ll need to schedule an interview with the embassy in the Immigration section of the embassy. After a consular officer has reviewed the case, your Fiance will be interviewed.
Your Fiance will be required to sign a statement regarding his or her legal capacity to marry and intention to marry. Provided everything is in order at the time of the interview, your Fiance will receive a visa the same day. All supporting documentation including the K petition, birth certificate, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and medical exam will be placed in an envelope and given to the applicant for presentation to USCIS at the port of entry. Good luck getting through the process. It is a huge time and emotional investment but will be well worth it once you can get your fiancee over and living with you.
If you have been through this process and have other advice, post it below.