Friday, August 26, 2011

Meeting the K1 Fiance Visa Requirements

Every US immigrant who wants a visa has to meet the specific visa requirements set by the US authorities.  In the case of my wife and I, it was the K1 Fiance Visa requirements that were the relevant ones.  We had to be sure that we met those requirements before we began the process that would eventually allow us to get married and live in the USA together.

Although getting a K1 Fiance visa is more expensive and takes longer than just getting a temporary visa for work or study, you can work and live in the USA more or less indefinitely once you have used your K1 Fiance Visa to enter the USA, got married and have gone through the I-485 green card application procedure.

There were four main K1 Fiance Visa requirements that my wife and I had to meet:

  • Firstly, we had to show that we were legally eligible to wed under the laws of the US and my home country, the UK.  This was pretty straightforward for us as neither my fiancee nor I had been married before, so there were no messy ongoing divorces that could potentially get in our way, or anything like that.  (We were both well over the minimum age for marriage as well, I might add!)
  • Secondly, we had to agree to get married within 90 days of me arriving in the US.  This also was no problem for us.  We were already engaged by that point and had decided upon a very small wedding ceremony, as the thought of trying to organize a big wedding would have been too daunting, distracting and, frankly, expensive for us.  We therefore opted for a simple civil ceremony attended by just a handful of friends.  Done this way, getting married in the US is pretty inexpensive and straightforward, I found, although the rules, costs and legalities do vary from state to state.  We were married in Florida and found the process quick and easy and not at all a strain on our wallets.
  • The third of the K1 Fiance Visa requirements that I was required to meet was that I would use the K1 Fiance Visa to enter the USA with the sole intention of marrying my fiancee.  I am not a visa lawyer or a US immigration attorney, but I would guess that this clause is meant to help stop people misusing the K1 Fiance Visa.
  • The fourth and final of the K1 Fiance Visa requirements was that my wife and I had met up during the two years before we filed for the K1 fiance visa.  We fulfilled this requirement and could prove that we had met up more than once over the time period mentioned with flight tickets, photographs, etc.  (I believe that this condition can be waived under certain circumstances, such as if your country or religion has customs that forbid a couple meeting up before marriage, or when the requirement might cause extreme hardship for the US citizen - but you would really have to check this up with the USCIS.)


  1. Finally heard from the USCIS ad apparently at only 3½ months I am told this is pretty quick. Have now completed all the other forms the DS230, DS156, DS156K and DS157 for myself and each of the children. I've sent off for the police certificate. My fiancé has sent me copies of his last tax return and pat slips and letters to confirm his employment etc and we are now just waiting for the Embassy number to be sent to me, so I can actually submit the forms and arrange to get the medicals done ( again for myself and both of my boys even though they are only 12 and 13). We are hoping that if all goes well we could actually be there in our new home by Thanksgiving.
    Can't stand all the waiting though - such a nightmare. Still in 12 months time we will be laughing at the time apart - I guess it is slightly different for us because my fiancé was actually over here working, and we had been living together before he took the job back in the US, so it was a real wrench, particularly for the kids even though they are from my previous marriage.

  2. Good luck, Lou, I hope you make it for Thanksgiving! In some ways the waiting is the worst bit and the bureaucracy just seems to go on and on.

  3. you’re post are so helpful Paul, i’m also on the way of waiting for my Appointment letter from the embassy, i’ve been already completed all the documents needed to submit....i’m just a bit worry about the interview hehehehehe but i believe with the help of God i can make this through., thanks again Paul, i’m so happy reading all your experience how you got your K1 visa and happily married. God Bless!!!!

  4. Hi, I just found your blog today and it's great, so informative thanks! Anyway I very recently met a lovely American guy on-line and we've already arranged to meet in person in Florida where he lives as we're both very serious about wanting to settle down and we've spoken on the phone a few times and been emailing and so far so good!! My question is whether you have to be in a relationship together for a minimum of 2 years before you can apply for a K-1 visa or whether at any time during the first 2 years you can do this as it's a little confusing? So say for instance I'm meeting my new man in May this year and then he wants to come over to the UK in July if after then we wanted to start the K-1 visa process would it be rejected as too early on in the relationship if we applied after only 6 months together?