The Basics of Obtaining a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa
In this day and age, we can find love rather easily with the assistance of the internet. You meet someone, you fall for them, and you decide that you wish to spend the rest of your life with that person… Sound familiar? In this global world meeting your soulmate is easy, even if they live half a world away. However, spending the rest of your life with that person isn’t as easy as television makes it out to be. Sure, 90 Day Fiancé does lay out the basics of obtaining a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa. The whole premise of entering the United States with intent to marry and actual marriage occurring within the first 90 days is key, but there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes that the show does not show.
Starting the Process
To begin the process of bringing the love of your life to America, the United States citizen must file a fiancé(e) petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. In that petition, the United States citizen must prove (1) that there is a bonafide intent to marry within 90 days of the fiancé(e)’s entry, (2) that both parties are legally able to marry in the United States, (3) that both parties have previously met in person within 2 years of filing the petition, and (4) absolute disclosure of the petitioning United States citizen’s criminal record, if consisting of domestic violence and sexual related crimes. Meeting in person often times requires the United States citizen to travel to their love’s home country in order to meet as it is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, for the non-citizen to come to America in order to meet due to strict visa vetting processes by the Department of State.
Once your petition is on file, it takes between six months and one year before the petition is approved. Even though your petition is approved, it is only valid for four months. However, even though you have a valid petition, your love cannot enter the United States just yet as he or she has not actually been given a visa at this point. He or she must submit forms and fees to the Department of State, obtain a police certificate / police clearance, be in possession of a valid unexpired passport, set up delivery / pick up method of his or her visa package, and submit to a medical examination to prove that he or she is medically admissible to the United States. In order to obtain and complete all these required steps, you can expect that your fiancé(e) will have to spend roughly $1,500.00 United States Currency. You, as the petitioner, will also have to establish your ability to financially support your fiancé(e) through a short form affidavit of support and provide financial documents to show that they will not fall below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Timelines for K-1 Visas
If it takes longer than 4 months for all of those items to be obtained / provided, there is a chance that the petition may lapse in time. If this is the case, you as the petition are required to have your petition revalidated or else your fiancé(e) cannot come to the United States. All in all, you can expect another six month to pass before your fiancé(e) is scheduled for his or her interview… And yes, he or she will be interviewed by a government official before it can be determined whether entry to the United States is permitted. At the interview, your fiancé(e) must provide all of their original identity documents, sealed medical examination, police clearance, and passport. They will be question regarding their ability to enter the United States and whether there is a true intention to wed. Only after they are thoroughly interviewed will they be permitted to enter the United States, and it still will take roughly one week before they have their passport and visa in hand. The visa will be valid for only six months and they must enter the United States during that six-month window.
Of course, 90 Day Fiancé doesn’t show the viewers all of the work that goes on behind the scenes. Only biopics of the couple meeting and planning their dream wedding within the 90-day window. In reality, you can expect at least two years’ worth of preparation just to get to the point where your true love can physically book their airfare to come to the United States. For more information on the nitty gritty behind obtaining a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa, please schedule an in person assessment of your case today.