Fiance Visa: Unlocking the Secret to Life in America

Aug 26, 2008 • By • 504 Views

If you are the foreign fiance or fiancee of a United States citizen and you plan to join your husband/wife-to-be in America once you are married, you need to apply for the K1 Visa or the Fiance/Fiancee Visa. An American citizen who wishes to marry a foreigner needs to apply for the Fiance Visa.

As a definition, a fiance or fiancee is a woman or man, respectively, who is contracted to be married to another person. In simple terms, he or she has agreed to get into a married state with a woman or man. Under the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services rules, the marriage between the American citizen and a foreigner should be legal based on the laws of the state in America where the marriage will be held.

Another rule stipulated by the USCIS is that the engaged couple should have met personally two years before the marriage is about to take place. Although this foregoing rule has some exception like if the meeting of the engaged couple face-to-face prior to the wedding is not allowed by culture or tradition by either party. There are some cultural groups that have unusual wedding or marriage practices and one of them could be that both man and woman are forbidden to see each other personally before they are married.

In marriages to be held in the United States, the American citizen can apply for the K1 fiance visa (nonimmigrant). With a K1 visa, the visa aspirant is allowed entry into the United States to get married to his/her U.S. citizen fiance/fiancee. There are several steps in acquiring this type of visa. Firstly, the American citizen man or woman needs to file a visa petition on behalf of his or her fiance or fiancee. The visa petition may be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Second, the engaged couple have to wait for the approval from USCIS and the eventual transfer to NVC once the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) endorses the fiance visa petition, the case will be transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC). The National Visa Center (NVC) will take care of supplementary processing on the visa case and upon completion, will transmit it to the consulate in your fiance's home country.


In the end, an interview with the consulate will be scheduled for the alien fiance together with any of his/her children, provided they are below 21 years of age.

In case the foreign fiance has children below 21 years old and unmarried, they are eligible to apply for the K2 fiance visa nonimmigrant status if their names have been disclosed in the K1 fiance visa petition. If these children arrive with or follow the visa applicant up to one year (1) from the issuance of the K1 visa, there is no need to file a separate fiance visa petition.

Once the foreign fiance or fiancee (fiance visa holder) arrives in the United States, he/she is given up to 90 days to get married. It will be much better to get married right away upon arrival into the United States since applying for a marriage license or certificate may take some time and the license is needed by the fiance in applying for an Adjustment of Status.

If circumstances beyond control should prevent the marriage within 90 days, the couple must get married right away and the foreign spouse should file some additional forms explaining the delay in the marriage. The foreign spouse (formerly the fiance) can file for Adjustment of Status immediately following the marriage/wedding.

About the Author

Deniz Kumral

Deniz Kumral is an immigration expert who specializes in writing articles. For further information or assistance in obtaining your B1/B2...