The immigration laws
provide a nonimmigrant visa classification ("K-1") for persons
coming to the United States to marry American citizens and reside here.
A person who is already married to a U.S. citizen may apply for permanent
residence through marriage , but may not apply for a fiance(e)
To establish K-1 visa
classification for an alien fiance(e), an American citizen must file a petition,
Form I-129F, Petition for Relative or Fiance(e), with the Regional Service
Center of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) having jurisdiction
over the place of the petitioner's residence in the United States. Such
petitions may not be adjudicated abroad. The approved petition will be forwarded
by INS to the American consular office where the alien fiance(e) will apply
for his or her visa. A petition is valid for a period of four months from
the date of INS action, and may be revalidated by the consular officer.
who have a communicable disease, or have a dangerous physical or
mental disorder; are drug addicts; have committed serious criminal
acts, including crimes involving moral turpitude, drug trafficking,
and prostitution; are likely to become a public charge; have used
fraud or other illegal means to enter the United States; or are
ineligible for citizenship, must be refused a visa. The two-year
foreign residency requirement for former exchange visitors is also
applicable. If found to be ineligible, the consular officer will
advise the applicant if the law provides for a waiver.
APPLYING FOR A FIANCE VISA
of an approved petition, the American consular officer will notify
the beneficiary and give him or her the necessary forms and instructions
to apply for a "K" visa. Since a fiance(e) visa applicant
is an intending immigrant, he or she must meet most of the same
documentary requirements of an immigrant visa applicant.
U.S. PORT OF ENTRY
At the port
of entry, the alien fiance(e) will receive a stamp in his or her
passport giving temporary permission to work pending marriage to
the U.S. citizen. The marriage must take place within 90 days of
admission into the United States. Following the marriage, the alien
spouse must apply to the INS to establish a record of entry for
conditional permanent residence status. After two years, the alien
may apply to the INS for removal of the conditional status.
minor children of a K-1 beneficiary derive "K-2" nonimmigrant
visa status from the parent so long as the children are named
in the petition. A separate petition is not required if the
children accompany or follow the alien fiance(e) within one
year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa. Thereafter,
a separate immigrant visa petition is required.
fiance(e) is given temporary permission to work by the INS
at the port of entry.