Sign up for our Email Newsletter


Immigration Library

We provide the comprehensive on-line immigration law library...

Read More

Our Services

We are dedicated to provide all aspects of US immigration services and counseling...

Read More

Free Seminars

We are committed to educating those interested in learning U.S immigration laws ...

Read More

K-1/K-2 Fiancé Visa Frequently Asked Questions

What is a K-1 fiancé visa?

The K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that recognizes the beneficiary’s intent to immigrate based on his/her planned marriage to a U.S. citizen and allows the beneficiary to enter the United States to complete the marriage.

What are the general requirements for applying for a K-1 visa?

  • To be qualified for a K-1, the following requirements must be met:
  • The alien fiancé/fiancée must be outside the U.S.;
  • The U.S. citizen must first file an I-129F petition with USCIS and have it approved before the alien fiancé/fiancée may apply for a K-1 visa.
  • Both the U.S. citizen and the fiancé/fiancée must remain unmarried until the arrival of the alien fiancé in the U.S.
  • The alien fiancé/fiancée and U.S. citizen must have met personally at least once in the two years before the I-129F petition was filed.

See the relevant sections above for more detailed information.

How long is the I-129F valid for?

The I-129F is valid for four months from the date the petition is approved by USCIS. Upon the alien fiancé’s/fiancée’s arrival in the United States, the alien and his/her U.S. citizen fiancé/fiancée have 90 days to marry and file an adjustment of status. Because the petition is valid for four months, this provides extra time to secure plane tickets and necessary travel documents.

What are the limitations of a K-1 visa?

The K-1 expires ninety days after the fiancé/fiancée enters the United States. Within that period, the fiancé/fiancée must marry the United States citizen petitioner, or face termination of status and potential removal from the United States.

If the fiancé/fiancée fails to marry the petitioner, he/she will not be allowed to adjust his/her status in the United States to any other immigrant or nonimmigrant status. This does not mean that he/she will be barred from acquiring lawful permanent resident status if he/she were in fact eligible to immigrate based on other grounds, such as qualifying employment or marriage to a different United States citizen. He/she can only obtain such residency by applying for an immigrant visa at an appropriate United States consulate abroad. He/she is also subject to the same grounds of inadmissibility caused by previous immigration law violations such as overstay status, etc.

What is the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA)?

Under the IMBRA Act, you must indicate on your I-129 petition whether you met your fiancé/fiancé through an “international marriage broker”—any entity that charges for matchmaking services. If you met through a cultural or non-profit entity, you do not need to indicate this.

What if I have applied for a K-1 visa in the past/ have received K-1 approval in the past?

If you have applied for two or more K-1 visas (does not matter when) or received K-1 approval within a period of two years prior to filing the current K-1, then you must file an additional waiver. This can be done when you submit your I-129F form by providing a written statement detailing your reasons for requesting a waiver.

What are the advantages/benefits of a K-1 Visa?

U.S immigration law is quite complex. For a fiancé/fiancée, this is the best way to enter the United States. The application process is fairly simple and the approval rate is high, granted you have a legitimate relationship with the U.S. citizen petitioner; you have good faith intent, and are not trying to commit visa fraud.

Is it possible to bring your fiancé/fiancée over on a tourist visa?

Theoretically, yes. However, this option has a lot of legal implications and difficult loopholes that you do not want to get involved with. The expressed intention of a tourist visa is strictly temporary for the purpose of visiting the United States. On the contrary, the expressed intention of a K-1 visa is for permanent immigration. Your best and only legitimate option of bringing a fiancé/fiancée over is through a K-1.

Can you work/study on a K-1 Visa?

Yes. You can work on a K-1 visa. In order to work in the United States, you must file an Application for Employment Authorization (I-765) with the USCIS office that serves your area.

Yes. You may study on a K-1 visa.

Can you work/study on a K-2 Visa?

Yes. You can work on a K-2 visa. In order to work in the United States, you must file an Application for Employment Authorization (I-765) with the USCIS office that serves your area.

Yes. You may study on a K-2 visa.

How long is the K-2 visa good for?

The K-2 visa is good for 90 days upon arrival in the United States. You should apply for an adjustment of status as soon as your K-1 parent marries the U.S. citizen petitioner.

Can I stay past 90 days on my K-2 visa?

No. You cannot stay past 90 days on your K-2 visa. If your K-1 parent does not marry the U.S. citizen petitioner, then you must leave the United States.

Does a K-2 visa holder have to have a passport?

It depends. Your consulate will let you know. If you are under the age of 16, sometimes your consulate will not require you to have a passport of your own.

I know my K-1 parent has to go through an interview, what about me?

The general answer for this is yes. However, the procedures vary from consulate to consulate. At some locations, children under the age of 14 are not required to go through an interview process. It really just depends. Your consulate will give you very specific instructions regarding this.

If I came to the United States on a K-1 visa and it does not work out between me (the alien fiancé/fiancée) and my U.S. citizen petitioner, can I file a K-1 visa through someone else?

If it does not work out between you and the U.S. citizen who petitioned for a K-1 on your behalf, then you can file a K-1 through another person. However, because you can only adjust status through the original person who filed for your petition, you are required to return to your home country and start the K-1 process all over again.

Can you travel abroad outside of the United States with a K-1 Visa?

No. The K-1 is not a multi-entry visa. This means that you are allowed to enter the United States only once. Should you leave the United States on your K-1, you cannot re-enter the country on that same visa. If a circumstance dictates that you must leave the United States, you should submit an Application for Travel (Form I-131) to ensure your return.

How long does the entire process take?

Generally speaking, I-129F approval is very fast, given you followed directions and submitted all appropriate documentation. Current processing time takes around 5-6 months.

After an I-129F is approved, it takes about a month to send the appropriate documentation to the U.S. consulate/embassy handling your alien fiancé’s/fiancée’s visa.

In certain instances, some applications require further “administrative processing”. This takes place after the visa interview. USCIS maintains that most administrative processing is handled in 60 days. Bear in mind, this does not include the time it takes to send back the alien fiancé’s/fiancée’s passport after administrative processing.

Once your visa is approved, you still need to travel to the United States and change your status. All of these steps take time.

Which Affidavit of Support should I use for my K-1 fiancé, an I-864 or an I-134?

For the initial affidavit of support, use the I-134. Form I-864 does not need to be submitted unless the alien fiancé/fiancée marries the U.S. citizen petitioner and adjusts status under a conditional basis (see removal of conditions).

Are there income requirements for filing an I-134?

Yes. The U.S. citizen petitioner must be 100 percent above the federal poverty line.

What is a removal of conditions?

Once you marry the U.S. citizen petitioner, you become a legal permanent resident. However, your status is conditional for the first two years. After two years have passed, then you may file for a removal of conditions.

Can my K-2 child apply for a removal of conditions as well?

Yes. Your child can also apply for a removal of conditions as well. If your child received legal permanent within 90 days of you, then you may file a joint I-751.

If your child received permanent resident status 90 days after you, then he/she can file his/her own I-751.

Under a K-1/K-2 visa, can I become a United States citizen?

Yes. Once you have successfully adjusted your status, you must wait five years to apply for U.S. citizenship or three years if you have already been married to the U.S. petitioner for two years.

I am in the United States on a K-2. However, I am over the age of 17 and a “step-parent/child” relationship was never established. Can I still adjust status?

Yes. You can, but you must do so before you turn 21. In the event that you turn 21, you will not be covered under the Child Status Protection Act and will no longer be able to adjust your status.

Please tell me more about the Child Status Protection Act.

There is often confusion regarding who is covered under the CSPA. Those under K-2 status should keep in mind that the CSPA is only applicable under certain circumstances.

If a child is between the ages of 18-20, a legal “step-parent/child” relationship cannot be established. Children in this age bracket can still adjust status once in the United States. However, they will not be protected under CSPA once they turn 21; this means that if status has not been adjusted by the age of 21, the K-2 visa will expire and the child will be required to return to his/her home country.

If a child is under the age of 18, a U.S. petitioner can create a legal “step-parent/child” relationship with the K-2 holder, granted the U.S. petitioner and the K-1 parent marry before the child turns 18. By establishing a “step-parent/child” relationship, the K-2 holder can utilize the measures under CSPA in the event that he/she “ages out”. This essentially means that if a child turns 21 before attaining permanent residency, he/she can still file an adjustment of status, despite being 21.

My K-1 visa application was denied. Can I appeal this decision?

If you are denied, your denial notice will give you detailed instructions on submitting an appeal. In general, you have 33 days from the point you receive your denial notice to appeal the decision. In order to appeal, you must file an I-290B with USCIS. You must submit this to the office that you sent your original petition to. This office will process your appeal and then send it to the Administrative Appeals Unit located in Washington, DC. DO NOT send your appeal directly to AAU, as this will delay the appeals process.

My alien fiancé/fiancée came over here on a K-1. We have since married. However, he/she had to leave the country for a personal emergency. What can we do?

The best suggestion we can offer is to file a K-3 and I-130 so that your spouse may reenter the United States.

Can I bring over a fiancé/fiancée of the same sex?

Under the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, a U.S. petitioner cannot bring over a fiancé/fiancée of the same sex, even if same-sex marriage is legal in the state the U.S. petitioner resides.

My fiancé/fiancée who is sponsoring me was 100% above the poverty line. However, he/she was recently laid off. What do we do?

In this case, the U.S. petitioner needs to submit information regarding his/her assets (i.e. additional property, other financial information that will convince USCIS that the U.S. petitioner will be able to support his/her fiancé/fiancée.

Who is handling my case if I retain Zhang and Associates, P.C.?

Our attorneys handle their clients’ cases individually by preparing petition letters, contacting clients, and following up pending cases. That is why we have more attorneys than clerks. Our clerks’ main objective is to help attorneys prepare clients’ packages, and each client’s package will be reviewed by one of our most experienced attorneys for final checking before sending out the package to USCIS.

For more information on K visa, please click on the following links:


Zhang & Associates, P.C. | Copyright © 2009. All Rights Reserved.
Tel: 1.800.230.7040 ■ E-mail: ■ Privacy Policy