USA K-1 Fiancé Visa: A Guide to the Application

Preparing your application for the K-1 fiancé visa is without a doubt a daunting process. The opinion on what needs to be included varies depending on who you talk with, but there are a lot of simple things that are definitely required. It seems, however, that what is required is divided into two parts. First step: filing for the petition, We have already discussed everything that you will need to provide; you can find a break down of that here. The second step: applying for a visa. In this article we will try to outline the remaining documents that your foreign fiancé will need to provide.

Before we start, it is worth noting that this is only our interpretation of the provided documentation. It is always worth reading the supporting documents yourself to come to your own conclusions, and getting professional legal advice where possible. You can find the US Department of State’s guide to the application as well. If you have already decided that you are going to complete the application, we wish you the best of luck, and hope that this guide helps. Now for the long awaited information, here are the documents that you need to further submit to complete your K-1 fiancé visa application:

K-1 Visa Application Pre-requisites

Your Case Number Will Be Sent to Your Local US Consulate or Embassy

Your Case Number Will Be Sent to Your Local US Consulate or Embassy

Once USCIS approves your petition you should have received a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC). They will send your case number to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your foreign fiancé lives. Once you receive this letter, you must inform your foreign fiancé to take the below-listed actions to apply for a K-1 visa and prepare for their interview.

Required Documentation

Once These Steps Are Completed You Will Be Able to Arrange Your Interview

Once These Steps Are Completed You Will Be Able to Arrange Your Interview

Disclaimer: All documentation must be provided and filled out by the foreign fiancé beneficiary.

Completed DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application: Your foreign fiancé beneficiary must complete the DS-160 form and print the confirmation page. The confirmation page is required documentation to be brought during their interview.

Additional Embassy/Consulate Specific Instructions: There may be additional instructions for collecting documentation needed for your K-1 visa interview. Review US Embassy/Consulate-Specific Instructions, to learn what additional requirements there can be.

Current Passport: You’ll need a passport to travel to the United States. You must make sure your passport has an expiry date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the U.S. Exemptions can be country-specific agreements.

Dissolution Of Previous Marriages: Provide certified copies of any divorce or death decree’s that prove any previous marriages (for either you; the foreign fiancé and the US Citizen) have been dissolved.

Police Certificates: This official documentation should be provided to you by your present country of residence and all countries where you have lived for six months or more since the age of 16.

Medical Examination: The foreign fiancé will need to schedule and complete a full medical examination before attending their visa interview. Every applicant, regardless of his or her age, must undergo a medical examination which must be performed by an authorized panel physician. Medical examinations performed by non-authorized physicians will not be accepted. Your US Embassy or Consulate, where you will apply for your visa, will provide instructions regarding medical examinations. This includes any information on authorized panel physicians in your country.

Form I-134 Evidence of Financial Support: The I-134 form must be submitted to your consular officer by the US citizen. The foreign fiancé will be required to provide evidence to the consular officer that they will not become a public charge in the United States. You may present evidence that you are able to financially support yourself or that your US citizen fiancé is able to provide support for you both.

You Will Need to Submit Evidence of Financial Backing

You Will Need to Submit Evidence of Financial Backing

If your US Citizen fiancé is going to be supporting you, they must provide as much evidence of income and resources obtainable. They’ll need from the following sources:

Statement from an officer of the bank or other financial institutions:

  • Date the accounts were opened
  • Total amount of money deposited throughout the past year
  • Current balance

Statement(s) from your employer on business stationary:

  • Date and nature of employment
  • Salary Paid
  • Verification of position whether temporary or permanent

If US citizen is self employed:

  • A copy of most recent filed tax returns
  • Report of commercial rating concern

Two Photographs: The foreign fiancé beneficiary will need to provide passport photographs of themselves. These should clearly show your faces, and conform to USA passport photo regulations. The exact requirements state that these photographs should be:

  • In full colour
  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
  • Taken within 30 days of the filing date
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Lightly print names on reverse (in pencil or felt pen)

For exact guidelines on these photographs, you can find more information on the US Government website here. This page even provides photo examples of what is accepted and what is not. Despite all of the small details, passport photo regulations are relatively similar between countries, and you are able to have these taken either by a photographer, or automated booth for a very reasonable price.

Evidence of Relationship: Be selective of what you include, and focus on the items that you believe are most convincing in regards to your relationship. Below, we have listed some of the best forms of evidence that you can provide. Remember, not to use this as a checklist, but as a guide to help you decide on the evidence you have available to you, and that you believe is worth including:

Pictures Together are One of the Strongest Forms of Proof of Your Relationship

Pictures Together are One of the Strongest Forms of Proof of Your Relationship

  • Photographs of you & your partner together, including detailed descriptions
  • Photographs of you & your partner together with friends/ family, including descriptions
  • Flight tickets/ itineraries of applicant & sponsor travel
  • Receipts for engagement ring purchase
  • Hotel bookings/ other transport bookings
  • Selective excerpts of Skype logs
  • Selection of emails to/ from your partner
  • Screen captures of text messages or instant messages to/ from your partner.

Payment of Fees: Fees are charged for the following services

  • Form DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application processing fee
  • Medical examination (Costs vary from country to country and case to case)
  • Any translations/ photocopying charges
  • Fees for collecting the documents required for the visa application
    • Passports
    • Police certificates
    • Birth certificates,
  • Travel expenses to the US Embassy or Consulate for an interview
  • Form I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status.

After you receive your K-1 Fiancé Visa

As Tempting As it May Be, You Must Not Open the Sealed Envelope

As Tempting As it May Be, You Must Not Open the Sealed Envelope

If you are approved for you K-1 fiancé visa, the consular officer will hand you your passport that now contains your K-1 visa. They’ll also give you a sealed packet. Do not open the sealed packet! This packet contains civil documents and other important paperwork prepared by the Consulate or US Embassy. Only an immigration officer can open this packet once you have arrived into the United States.

If you have any questions on the K-1 Fiancé Visa process, let us know in the comments below! We certainly aren’t experts, but are always willing to help people in a similar position, or a least point you in the right direction for further help.

-Chelsea

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Chelsea Martin

Chelsea Martin is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI). She has been training dogs professionally since 2007. She met Chris on a trip to England in 2013, Married him on New Year's Eve - celebrating 2016 as husband and wife!

  • Madeline Haas

    Hi, I’m an American citizen who has a British partner. We’ve been together for 4 years now and really want to close the distance as soon as possible. He has a job in the UK that involves computers and I’m currently a sophomore chemical engineering student. One option is that after I graduate in 2 years, he’ll sponsor me since he already has a job, but that worries me because I’m not sure if it would be easy for me to find a job once I get over there. Another option is for me to get a job here (in the US) after I graduate and hopefully sponsor him. However, I’ve heard around that you have to have a job for a certain period of time before you can sponsor a fiance. Do you know anything about this?

    Also, I’m glad I came across this page. It’s always comforting to hear about other people’s experiences when the situation starts to feel overwhelming. I think I’ll bookmark it for when I’m feeling sad. :’)

    • Chris Martin

      Hi Madeline,

      We’re glad that you liked the blog post. In regards to your question about the length of time the US sponsor must work, there is no set legal guideline. The only stipulation is that you must prove that you earn 100% of the yearly US poverty guideline. However, many legal sites recommend that you prove you earn at least 125% of the amount. The poverty guidelines can be found here.

      However, there is nowhere (so far as we can tell) that suggests you must wait a certain length of time before submitting your financial evidence. Therefore, you may have been working only 2 months and received two paychecks – but so long as these paychecks suggest you would earn over the poverty limit in 12 months, you should be able to apply.

      While there is no set time preference, we ourselves would most likely wait until we have 6 months worth of paychecks just to be safe. However, the situation is different for every couple, and you should use your best judgement to decide when is best to apply.

      • Madeline Haas

        I definitely see what you mean. Even though there’s no set guideline, I’m sure it would look a lot better on the application. Thank you so much for your advice!

  • barney strong

    Hi , Many thanks for all the helpful information. I’m a UK and my girlfriend is in the US. We’re desperately looking getting engaged so one of can move over with the other. I’m ideally looking at going there to start with. On my understating , the fiance visa can take almost a year.. is that correct? Whilst thats going on, can i still travel out there to see her on a normal ESTA as long as I have return flight home? Also .. i know i have to apply for a work permit to work whilst im out there on my fiance visa. Does that process take long. I can just see it taking months to process while im out there and by the time i get to work , the 3 months will be up.

    I’d appreciate any further help on what to do.

    Many Thanks

    Barney

    • Chris Martin

      Hi Barney,

      We’re glad you have found our blog helpful. Yes the K1 visa can take up to a year to process, and while that is going on you will still be able to visit on a normal ESTA – so long as you have proof of your return flights home. The advice on applying for a work permit while on the visa is to generally avoid it. While you can apply for a permit, it will often take more than 90 days to be approved. Once your K1 visa expires and you apply for a naturalisation visa, you will have to re-apply for your work permit (even if you had it approved on the K1 visa). So while it is possible, it is best to avoid.

      Hope that helps,
      Chris

  • Ally

    hi, it seems a few of the pages have disappeared off this site, like the ultimate guide and the checklist? am i correct or just being blind?

    • Hi Ally,

      Unfortunately you are correct. The OISC has threatened to prosecute us for providing immigration advice as we are not solicitors (despite our legal disclaimers & that we try to only speak from personal experience). As such we have had to remove all visa guidance, articles and videos from our site & YouTube page. We are also unable to answer any questions about the visa process or else risk criminal prosecution.

      You can read our full statement here: http://bit.ly/2bml3qI.

      Apologies again.
      Chris

  • Ally

    hi, it seems a few of the pages have disappeared off this site, like the ultimate guide and the checklist? am i correct or just being blind?