Fianceé  Visas (K-1 Petitions)

A U.S. citizen may petition to sponsor an alien, or foreign, fiancé whom they intend to marry to become a permanent resident or green card holder. This type of visa application is initiated by filing a Form I-129 (Petition for Alien Fiancé) and providing necessary supporting documentation and evidence required by CIS (click here for official form and instructions). There are numerous requirements for this type of visa, as discussed below.

While many fiancé visa applications are filed without the assistance of an attorney, fully and properly completing the application, navigating the application process, properly responding to information requests, and overcoming evidentiary hurdles that can arise in certain cases can be complex and require specialized legal knowledge. Often, hiring qualified legal counsel can be the difference between the grant of a visa and a denial as mistakes made in the initial filing or when responding to subsequent requests for information by CIS can be difficult to overcome.

Who is eligible for a fiancé visa?

U.S. citizens who intend to marry a foreign national in the United States may petition for a fiancé classification (K-1) for their fiancé. Both the petitioner and fiancé must be free to marry, meaning that both must be unmarried or that any previous marriages have ended through divorce, annulment or death. The petitioner must also have met his fiancé in person within the last two years before filing for the fiancé visa. This requirement can be waived only if meeting your fiancé in person would violate long-established customs, or if meeting your fiancé would create extreme hardship for you. You and your fiancé must marry within 90 days of your fiancé entering the United States. You may also apply to bring your fiancé’s unmarried children, under age 21, to the United States.

How do I bring my fiancé to the United States?

If your fiancé is not a citizen of the United States and you plan to get married in the United States, then you must file a petition with CIS on behalf of your fiancé. After the petition is approved, your fiancé must obtain a visa issued at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad.

The marriage must take place within 90 days of your fiancé entering the United States. If the marriage does not take place within 90 days or your fiancé marries someone other than you (the U.S. citizen filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé), your fiancé will be required to leave the United States. Until the marriage takes place, your fiancé is considered a nonimmigrant or foreign national seeking to temporarily enter the United States for a specific purpose. A fiancé may not obtain an extension of the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.
If your fiancé intends to live and work permanently in the United States, your fiancé should apply to become a permanent resident after your marriage. (If your fiancé does not intend to become a permanent resident after your marriage, your fiancé/new spouse must leave the country within the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.) Your fiancé will initially receive conditional permanent residence status for two years. Conditional permanent residency is granted when the marriage creating the relationship is less than two years old at the time of adjustment to permanent residence status.

Your fiancé may enter the United States only one time with a fiancé visa. If your fiancé leaves the country before you are married, your fiancé may not be allowed back into the United States without a new visa.

Can I appeal if the application is denied?

Yes. If your petition for a fiancée visa is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal. You should promptly consult with a qualified immigration attorney to help you understand and protect your rights in the event of a visa denial.

If you have questions about fiancée visas or need legal advice or help filing a fiancée visa application or appealing the denial of a fiancée visa application, contact the Atlanta, Georgia immigration attorneys at Brownstein & Nguyen LLC today for a free consultation. We have over 20 years of experience successfully representing clients in all aspects of immigration law. Click here to see what our clients say about our experience and dedication in handling their legal matters.