The K-1 Visa is one of the many visa options offered by the United States for immigrants to enter the country. It is also known as a fiancée visa and allows a U.S. citizen to bring his or her future spouse to the United States.
However, there is a requirement that the marriage be performed within 90 days of arriving in the country. Therefore, once in the United States, the couple will be able to apply for their Green Card with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In other words, a U.S. citizen can sponsor his or her fiancé(e) to enter the United States. But he/she must make a commitment to marry within 90 days of the alien's entry into the country.
It is extremely important that the petitioner prove that he or she is unmarried. They must also prove that they met in person at least two years before filing the application.
If they do not marry within 90 days, they would be in violation of U.S. immigration laws. Here they would also risk deportation and being denied future immigration benefits.
They could even face a conviction for marriage fraud causing a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.00 USD.
So, how to apply for the K-1 Visa?
The first step is to file Form I-129F for USCIS to recognize the beneficiary as a fiancé and then the eligibility requirements will be verified.
USCIS forwards the approved petition to the DOS National Visa Center, which forwards it to the embassy where the foreign fiancé(e) will apply for the K-1 Visa.
In this regard, the U.S. embassy or consulate notifies when the interview for the fiancé(e) is scheduled. The fiancé(e) applies for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa and brings the required forms and documents to the visa interview.
The DOS consular officer then determines whether your fiancé qualifies for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa. That is, if the fiancé is admitted as a K-1 nonimmigrant, they have 90 days to get married.
After marriage, the Visa holder can apply for Lawful Permanent Resident status. This would be done through the filing of Form I-485 with USCIS.