Immigration Law: What Is a Fiancé Visa?

A fiancé visa, also known as a K-1 visa, is a visa that lets the fiancé of a U.S. citizen enter the United States. Once the couple is married then the newly married spouse can apply for a green card based on their marriage. Though applying for and being approved for this type of visa has traditionally been fairly straightforward, in 2019 only about half of those who applied for a fiancé visa were successful. Because of this, it is important for you to understand all of the fiancé visa requirements and have a good immigration law attorney.

  • The fiancé visa petition must be filed by a U.S. citizen. Having a green card is not enough. To prove citizenship, you should provide a copy of your birth certificate, though a copy of your U.S. passport will usually suffice, and if you are a naturalized citizen then you can provide your Certificate of Naturalization
  • You must truly intend to marry each other. Both the U.S. citizen and their fiancé will be required to sign an affidavit under oath stating that you intend to marry each other within 90 days of the fiancé entering the U.S. You will also both be asked about your relationship including how you met and how your relationship evolved. This is to prove that you truly have a relationship with each other. You may be asked to provide documentation of correspondence, photos, social media history, etc.
  • You must be able to prove that you have had a face-to-face encounter with your fiancé within the last two years. Proof can consist of time and date stamped photos of the two of you together, signed affidavits from family and friends, receipts from restaurants, hotels, plane tickets, etc. The only exception to this rule is if there are medical or religious reasons why you could not be together.
  • The U.S. citizen must prove that they have income above the poverty line so that they can support their fiancé when they arrive in the U.S.
  • The foreign-born fiancé cannot have filed more than two fiancée visas in the past. They also can’t have had an approved fiancé petition in the previous two years.
  • Both of you must be free to get married at the time you file your petition. This means that if you have a pending divorce, you will be denied.
  • The U.S. citizen fiancé cannot have a criminal record that includes crimes such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, controlled substance violations or homicide.
  • You need to get married within 90 days of entering the United States on a fiancé visa.
  • The foreign fiancé has to meet certain requirements: they cannot be likely to go on welfare, have a communicable disease or a dangerous physical or mental disorder, and can’t have been convicted of serious crimes. They also must not have violated any U.S. immigration laws in the past.

For assistance with filing a petition for a fiancé visa, contact our immigration law attorneys today to set up a convenient time for a consultation.