The fiancee visa (K1 visa) is an American visa available to a foreign national who wishes to marry a US citizen. The KI visa offers several benefits to the prospective fiancée including:
o Can get K2 visas issued for his/her children
o Can apply for a work permit
o Smaller waiting period than other marriage based, immigration visa petitions.
Before the fiancée (beneficiary) can apply for a K1 visa to the USA, the US citizen (petitioner) to whom he/she is engaged must place a petition (USCIS Form I-129F) on his/her behalf, with the USCIS (United State Citizenship and Immigration Service). The petitioner must possess proof of US citizenship and submit it to the USCIS when asked to. The approved petition is forwarded to the American Consular Office, where the foreign fiancée would get the necessary instructions and forms to apply for a K1 visa.
A K1 visa necessitates that the applicant and the petitioner should be legally free to marry, both under the laws of the US as well as under the laws of the foreign country. They should have met each other in person within the two years preceding the filing of the alien fiancée petition. However, this condition may be waived in certain special circumstances. Once the fiancée has entered the US, he/she must marry the prospective spouse within 90 days.
At the time of applying for a fiancée visa, the fiancée should submit documents such as a valid passport, birth certificate, proof of legitimacy of relationship with petitioner, proof that petitioner will support the fiancée, and medical certificate. A fiancée found eligible will be issued a visa that is valid for a single entry during a six month period.
K1 visas will not be issued to fiancées who
o Are not eligible to be US citizens
o Have committed grave criminal acts
o Are drug addicts
o Have a communicable disease
o Have some serious mental or physical disorder
o Have used illegal means to immigrate to the US
Once married, the beneficiary has to put in an application to the USCIS to establish a record of entry for conditional permanent residence status, and this status can be removed after two years with a further application to the USCIS.