Serving The Immigration Needs Of The San Diego Area Since 1984

From fiancé(e) to spouse: Making your dreams a reality with a K-1 visa in San Diego

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Family Immigration

Found love with someone special across the ocean? Congratulations! If you’re a U.S. citizen planning to marry your foreign fiancé(e), the K-1 visa might be your next step. This visa allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States with the sole purpose of getting married within 90 days.

Here’s a breakdown of the K-1 visa process to help you navigate your journey from fiancé(e) to spouse in San Diego.

Meeting the requirements

Before diving into the application process, it’s important to ensure you and your fiancé(e) meet the eligibility criteria. First, you both must be free to marry, meaning neither of you has any existing marriages. Second, you must have met in person within the past two years unless extenuating circumstances make that impossible. Most importantly, you both need to have a good faith intention to get married within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s arrival in the U.S.

The petition process: Getting started

As the U.S. citizen, you’ll initiate the process by filing a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Form I-129F) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form gathers information about your relationship, including proof of your meetings and your future plans together. USCIS will review your petition and send you a notification once they reach a decision.

The visa application: Your fiancé(e)’s turn

Once your petition is approved, the National Visa Center (NVC) will take over and send instructions to your fiancé(e) for applying for the K-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. This will involve filling out additional forms, attending an interview with a consular officer and undergoing a medical examination.

Planning your happily ever after

If the visa is granted, your fiancé(e) can finally enter the U.S. However, remember, the clock is ticking! You have 90 days to get married. After the wedding, you can file for your spouse’s permanent residency (green card). This is a separate process, but an immigration attorney can guide you through it.

The K-1 visa process can be complex, and immigration laws frequently change. Consulting with an experienced San Diego immigration attorney can ensure a smooth and successful journey. They can help you gather the necessary documentation, answer your questions and represent you throughout the process, giving you peace of mind as you focus on planning your future together.