To obtain a K-1 visa for your fiancé(e), you must show that:
- You are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. However, there are two exceptions for which a waiver may be obtained: (1) If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice, or (2) If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
Once issued, the K-1 visa allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application. If your fiancé(e) has a child (under 21 and unmarried), a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to him or her.
After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work. Any work authorization based on a nonimmigrant fiancé (e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry. However, your fiancé (e) would also be eligible to apply for an extended work authorization at the same time as he or she files for permanent residence.
Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended. Your fiancé(e) should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If your fiancé(e) does not depart, he or she will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal (deportation) and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.
Please note that If you plan to marry a foreign national outside the United States or your fiancé(e) is already residing legally in the United States, you do not need to file for a fiancé(e) visa.