Commonly known as fiancé visa, K-1 is issued to the fiancé of US citizen. The visa allows the holder to enter the country and stay for 90 days. During this time, the holder of the visa and the US citizen can get married and file application to become legal resident of the United States.
Both the US citizen and his/her fiancé must be unmarried. Previous marriages must have ended in a divorce, annulment or death. Citizens of US must have met with their fiancé in person at least once in the previous two years before applying for visa.
To apply for a K-1 fiancé visa, applicants must pay a fee of $240. Other costs in the process include translation and photocopying charges, medical examination and travel expenses for traveling to the Consulate. The whole process lasts around 10-15 days from the time individuals file the application. The average waiting time for an interview at the Consulate is 10 days. Note that some cases are delayed due to incomplete information. The length of time varies on several conditions.
In the visa application, applicants must provide several documents, translated in English. Those are: payment and proof payment, cover letter (explaining why you apply), I-129F form, declaration how the US citizen and his/her fiancé met, original statements from both about their intention to marry within 90 days, proof they have met in the past 2 years, G-325A, one passport type photo of the US citizen, G-325A filled by the foreign fiancé, one passport type photo of the foreigner, copy of birth certificate for the US citizen, copy of final divorce for both if they have been previously married, proof of legal name change (if using a different name from the one displayed at official documents.
The photo for the visa is one of the tricky parts. There are specific requirements for photographs. The photo must minimum 600×600 pixels, and maximum 1200×1200, in JPEG format, and image size less than 240 kilobytes. The photo must be clean, with neutral background. The person on the photo must be facing the camera, and should have no accessories on the face. Those who wear glasses, can wear them on the photo as well.
In order to obtain a K-1 fiance visa, the following steps are required:
- Step 1: the US citizen files a petition form I-129F at the USCIS office in their area.
- Step 2: Applying for visa. The US citizen will receive a letter when the case for his/her fiancé is sent to the US Embassy or Consulate. He/She should then inform his/her fiancé to go to the Consulate and apply for visa. The fiancé needs to submit the following documents with her application: completed form DS160, valid passport, divorce or death certificate of previous spouses, police certificate, medical examination, evidence of financial support, two photographs, evidence of relationship, and receipt of fee.
- Step 3: Once they file the application, fiancés wait for response. If their visa is approved, they receive their passport and a sealed package from the Consular officer. It is important that fiancés do not open the sealed packet. A DHS immigration official will open it once they enter the US. Once issued, K-1 visa is valid for a period of 6 months.
What is Next?
Once they receive the visa, fiancés can apply for a single admission at a US port of entry. The moment they enter the United States, they have 90 days to marry, or they will be deported to their homeland. Until the marriage is official, the visa holder is considered non-immigrant.
For more information, please visit Nonimmigrant Visa for Fiancé(e) (K-1) of US Department of State
Embassy of the United States of America
Address: 1201 Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Maynila, 1000 Manila, Philippines
Phone:+63 2 301 2000
Hours: 7:30 am – 4:30 pm