Finding Your Soulmate Abroad: Your K-1 Visa Guide


Technology has made us more connected than ever and has brought about the age of the digital nomad. Many tech-savvy professionals have leveraged their remote positions to fulfill their dreams of traveling abroad. As a result, they now have access to international dating pools to find genuine connections. These digital nomads may eventually want to reestablish roots and settle down in the U.S., which leaves some U.S. citizens wondering how to bring their foreign-born loved one along for the ride. The K-1 visa is a great option for couples to tie the knot and secure a green card for foreign-born fiancés. 

Understanding the K-1 Visa

The K-1 visa, also known as the “Fiancé(e) Visa,” is a nonimmigrant visa designed for fiancés of U.S. citizens who want to enter the U.S. The visa allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. with the intention of getting married within 90 days. 

The process has been popularized in the media with reality shows like “90-Day Fiancé,” which often depicts a dysfunctional couple scrambling to plan an entire wedding within 90 days while navigating complicated family dynamics. However, fans have to remember that these shows do not represent real-world experiences for the majority of K-1 visa holders and their fiancés. The K-1 visa gives couples the opportunity to start their lives together, so it’s important to set realistic expectations early on.

The Application Process

To start the process, the U.S. citizen must file a Form 1-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It serves as a formal request to bring the fiancé(e) to the U.S. Once approved, it’s forwarded to the DOS National Visa Center (NVC), then to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the fiancé(e)’s home country. The fiancé(e) will attend an interview with officials where they will validate the eligibility criteria and review pertinent documents for continued processing.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a K-1 visa, the following requirements must be met:

  • The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Both parties must be legally free to marry, meaning any previous marriages must have been legally terminated.
  • The couple must have met in person within the past two years, with certain exceptions based on cultural or religious reasons.
  • The fiancé(e) must intend to marry the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of entry into the United States.
  • Both parties must have a genuine and bona fide intention to establish a life together as spouses.

Once the K-1 visa is approved, the fiancé(e) can travel to the United States. The visa is usually valid for six months, and within this period, the couple must get married. After the wedding, the foreign fiancé(e) can apply for a green card (permanent residency) through the adjustment of status process.

Streamlining the Process

As with many visa applications, the process could take months or even years to complete. The total length of time will depend on several factors, such as the number of visa applications filed that year, the complexity of the documentation required, whether the documents need translation, and the accuracy of the forms and documentation. Working with an immigration attorney is vital to the success of your visa application. 

At RelisLaw, we’re passionate about helping people achieve their American dream. Our experienced team of legal professionals is prepared to guide you through the complexities of the application process and ensure accurate and timely document completion. If you’re ready to build a life with your loved-one state-side, call our office today at 1-866-919-1109, for a free consultation.

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We help people from around the world to live and work freely in the U.S., to achieve their dreams, unite families, or escape persecution. No matter what immigration service you need, RelisLaw will provide caring and dependable counsel to you and aggressive advocacy to vigorously fight for you using every available legal avenue. As a global firm, we work with people in countries around the world. We meet clients across the U.S., as well as in New York, Toronto, and Montréal. We also meet with clients globally, located in any country, via Skype and other platforms.