Complete Guide On The Fiancé Visa (or K-1 Visa)

The official term for a fiancé visa is K-1 visa and is a visa type that is issued to the fiancée or fiancé of a U.S. citizen in order to enter the United States. In order to get a K-1 (or fiancé visa), one has to marry one another within a time frame of 90 days. The visa has certain rules and policies, which needs to be understood before applying for one. The entire details of this visa are explained in detail below.

What Is A Fiancé Visa (K-1 Visa)?

A K-1 or fiancé(e) visa is issued to the fiancée or fiancé of an American citizen to permit him or her to enter the United States. The visa is granted with the most primary requirement that the couple marries each other within 90 days of entering or departing the U.S.

As soon as the couple is married, the person can modify his or her status and become a legal permanent resident of America. In short, he or she is granted a Green Card. Even though a K-1 visa is officially classified under the non-immigrant visa category, it still has vital immigration benefits. Therefore, the United States Consulates and Embassies processes them worldwide.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Fiancé Visa?

Usually, the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) centres take approximately 5 to 6 months to process and approve a K-1 or fiancé visa application. Once the petition is approved, the authorities transfer it to the respective consulate through the National Visa Centre, which again takes about 30 to 45 days.

However, the time frame is not exact. Sometimes, the process can delay and even take additional months. But the process is quick once the consulate has the file in hand. So, the fiancé visa processing time varies from one petition to the other and depends on various factors as well.

How Much Does A Fiancé Visa Cost?

Applying for a K-1 or fiancé visa and obtaining it includes a systematic and multi-step process, which can span months. In every stage, one has to file the paperwork, which has separate filing fee for every form that is attached.

A K-1/fiancé visa is highly useful for citizens trying to get his/her non-citizen partner to the United States. The ultimate objective is to obtain a status of permanent resident and a green card. The expenses and costs associated with it will include:

  • Legal fee
  • Filing fee
  • Fee for other supporting documentation

This section breaks down the different costs related to a K-1 visa. The total cost varies based on one’s situation and details but will most likely fall between the range $4,000 and $6,000.

Note: The government fee and other charges are subject to change regularly.

Fee Type Cost
USCIS filing fee $535
Embassy fee $265
Medical exam fee $60 to $300
Travel expenses Varies
Lawyer fee $800 to $1,600 or more (varies depending on the agency)

K-1 Fiancé Visa Fee And Cost

  • Form I-129F - $340, petition for an alien fiancé
  • U.S. State Department Fiancé visa fee - $535
  • Attorney fee - $800 - $1,600 (varies)
  • Document preparation, translation, and medical exam - $100 to $400
  • Total cost - $1,505 - $2,605

Green Card Fee And Cost

  • Form I-485, Petition for Permanent Residency (or Green Card) application
  • Attorney fee - $1,500 to $2,500 (varies)
  • Translation, document preparation, etc. - $100 to $400
  • Total cost - $2,670 - $3,970
  • Grand Total - $4,175 - $6,575

Petition For Fiancé Visa

The fiancé visa form I-129F has to be filled by the fiancé of the U.S. citizen with his/her correct details. This form has to be submitted initially to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Also, filing the petition brings it to the government’s notice that the couple is starting the process. At present, the USCIS charges $535 for the filing fee but this is subject to change.

As soon as the petition is approved, a visa is issued with which the non-citizen fiancé is permitted to enter into the U.S. An additional embassy fee of $265 has to be paid before the K-1 visa is issued.

Adjustment Of The Status Application

As soon as the fiancé (non-citizen) arrives the U.S. with a K-1 visa, Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status Application) has to be submitted so that the immigration status is changed to a permanent U.S. resident. An additional fee of $1,070 has to be paid for this form.

Cost Of Supporting Paperwork

At the time of applying and processing for a fiancé visa, an applicant has to submit various documents and provide information to the government, which will have an extra cost associated with copying, translating, and securing these documents.

Proof Of Marrying Ability

At the time of submitting the fiancé’s petition, the U.S. government will ensure that the couple is legally eligible to marry in America. It shouldn’t be an issue if both the persons are not already married. But if anyone was married earlier, the government verifies his/her certificates to check if the marriage has genuinely ended. The proof can either be a death certificate, a divorce declaration, and an annulment declaration.

U.S. Citizenship Proof

The government will also want a proof to check if the applicant’s fiancé is truly a U.S. citizen. This has to be submitted at the time of filing the visa petition and the proof could be a copy of passport, birth certificate, or any other document that proves of his/her citizenship in the U.S. Again, there might be additional costs at the time of submitting these documents.

Photos

When the applicant files for a K-1 visa, he/she should include passport-sized colour photos of both the applicant and his/her fiancé. The photo cannot be more than 30 days old.

Documents Of Any Criminal Record

If the fiancé of U.S. citizen has been condemned of any violent crime earlier, he/she should submit the necessary documents like court records or police documents, which serve as a proof of outcome of the cases. Getting these records include a cost, and might require an attorney’s assistance.

Medical Exam

Once the petition is approved, the U.S. consulate schedules an interview with the fiancé (non-citizen). Prior to the interview, the fiancé has to get his/her medical exam to prove that he/she doesn’t have any illness that could make him/her unqualified for entry into America.

Though the exam fee varies, it is vital to ensure that the applicant gets it done by a doctor that the U.S. consulate has certified. Usually, the base fee is about $150 but there might be additional charges for tests and x-rays.

Other Legal Charges

While hiring a lawyer isn’t a requirement during the application process, a legal assistance can be highly useful in navigating the whole complicated procedure. In addition, any errors in the paperwork and petition can cause the visa to be either delayed or denied.

Therefore, the legal charges for a K-1 visa vary from one attorney to the other. While some attorneys offer the concept of a flat fee, others might opt for different payment arrangements. Therefore, it is vital to discuss with the lawyer before stepping ahead.

Fiancé Visa Interview Questions

The list of questions given below is just a sample collection of what has been asked in the last years. But make a note that an applicant might not be asked the same questions. The intention of this section is to only help one to prepare for the interview and give a basic outline of what questions one can expect.

  • How and when did you meet your fiancé?
  • How long have you two been in a relationship?
  • When and how did your fiancé propose to you?
  • When did you meet your fiancé in person?
  • When and where was the last meet with your fiancé?
  • What is the one thing that you love the most about your fiancé?
  • Have you been to the United States before?
  • When is your fiancé’s birthday?
  • In which year was your fiancé born?
  • What profession is your fiancé in?
  • Where does your fiancé reside and work?
  • What does your fiancé do for a living?
  • Does your fiancé have any sisters or brothers?
  • Did your parents approve your engagement with your fiancé?
  • When was your fiancé divorced?
  • What are your plans for the wedding?
  • Did you throw an engagement party?

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