US K1 Fiancée Visa Basic Requirements
The basic requirements for a US K1 visa for fiancées are as follows:
A K1 visa is a specialized visa available for fiancées of US citizens only. Petitioners of a K1 fiancée visa are required to prove that they hold US citizenship. If they are unable to provide documents proving that they are a citizen, then their petition will be declined. Green card holders cannot petition for a K1 visa.
Be eligible for marriage
K1 applicants and petitioners who were previously married must prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that any and all prior marriages have legally ended. Evidence of a divorce decree or death certificate will usually satisfy this K1 requirement.
Plan on marrying within 90 days
The K1 petitioner and applicant must affirm and prove to the USCIS and US embassy that their relationship is legitimate and that they intend to get married within 90 days of entering the US. If the applicant and petitioner conclude that they cannot reside together as a married couple, they will be required to leave the US within 90 days of entering. After 90 days pass, the K1 visa will expire.
Met in person within the last two years
The petitioner must have physically met his or her fiancée at least once in the last two years. Online interactions such as video calls do not satisfy this requirement.
K1 petitioners are financially responsible for their fiancée under the law. This means that they must meet the minimum income requirements laid out by the USCIS. The K1 petitioner can prove this in an Affidavit of Support.
What is the minimum income requirement?
Those applying for a K1 visa for their fiancée must show that their monthly income is equal to or higher than 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. Military personnel only need an income equal to or higher than 100% of the federal poverty level. However, petitioners residing in Hawaii and California have additional financial requirements.
What if I don’t meet the minimum income requirement?
For those who are unable to submit an Affidavit of Support showing an earned income that satisfies the USCIS’s minimum requirement, you can add the cash value of your assets, such as property,
stocks, bonds and other holdings. However, the consular officer must be convinced that the asset could be reasonably made available to support the sponsored fiancée and be converted to cash without undue harm to the petitioner or sponsor.
Can a relative assist with meeting the financial requirements?
The income of a family member who is willing to sign on as a sponsor for your fiancée may assist in certain circumstances. Any sponsors are legally responsible for financially supporting the K1 immigrant until he or she is credited with 40 quarters of work, becomes a US citizen, or leaves the US. Divorce does not end the sponsorship.
Is a petitioner with a criminal record allowed to sponsor a K1 visa?
There are two primary laws that could prohibit a petitioner with a criminal record from obtaining a K1 visa for his fiancée: The Adam Walsh Act and the Marriage Broker’s Act. Depending on the type of offense on the petitioner’s record, and the number of K1 visa applications already issued for that petitioner, there may be special conditions or even a prohibition on applying for a K1 visa for certain persons.
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