How does one apply for a K-1 visa?
A Filipino fiancé (e) needs an approved I-129F petition to apply for a K-1 visa. Only a U.S. citizen may file a fiancé(e) petition. This is done at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office that has jurisdiction over the place where the U.S. citizen resides.
What are the documents a K-1 applicant must submit?
A fiancé(e) is an intending immigrant and therefore must present documents similar to those required for an immigrant visa applicant. These include: a valid Philippine passport; a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) and printed on NSO security paper; legal documents proving the termination of a previous marriage (if applicable); NBI clearance; police certificates from all foreign countries where the applicant lived for at least six months starting at 16; evidence of the relationship with the petitioner; evidence of financial support; a medical examination completed by St. Luke’s Medical Center Extension Clinic and visa photographs.
Can an applicant request an earlier visa appointment?
Requests for earlier appointments may be sent toIVMNLAppointments@state.gov. Please note, however, that early appointment requests will be approved on a case to case basis (i.e., aging out cases, or in cases involving personal or medical emergencies),and only if visa interview slots are available.
How much time is given to complete the K-1 visa application?
A K-1 petition is valid for four months from its approval. But the petition may be revalidated by a consular officer provided that both parties are still legally free to marry. We recommend that K Visa applicants gather all the documents for the visa interview appointment soon.
Does the “K-1” visa grant an immigrant status and entitle the Filipino fiancé(e) to a green card?
No, it does not. The K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which allows the holder to stay in the United States temporarily. After the marriage takes place, the Filipino spouse must contact USCIS to obtain conditional permanent residence status. The Filipino spouse may apply for removal of the conditional status and become a lawful permanent resident after two years of marriage to the U.S. citizen spouse.
What should the Filipino fiancé(e) do upon entry into the United States?
The Filipino fiancé(e) has 90 days from admission into the United States to marry his/her petitioner. The K-1 visa does not allow the bearer to marry anyone other than the petitioner. After the marriage, the couple must contact USCIS to register for conditional permanent resident status for the Filipino spouse. Contact USCIS in the United States for further information regarding the K-1 visa bearer’s status while in the United States. For further information, please click here.
Can the K-1 visa be used to travel in and out of the United States?
No. The K-1 visa is a single-entry visa, so the K-1 bearer who leaves the United States without changing marital and immigration status cannot re-enter the country on the same visa. A new petition and visa would be required.
What are the main reasons a K-1 visa is denied?
K-1 applications have the same review standards as immigrant visa applications. The main reasons for visa refusal are: lacking documentation; need to review or verify evidence of the relationship; lack of a petitionable relationship; misrepresentation of the facts; medical concerns; criminal grounds and potential public charge.
A common basis for refusal is a prior marriage for the beneficiary or the petitioner that has not been legally terminated. There is no divorce in the Philippines. A consular officer will only accept a death certificate or a court ruling of annulment or of presumptive death as evidence that a Filipino marriage has been terminated. A U.S. citizen may terminate a Filipino marriage through a U.S. divorce.
Can family members of the Filipino fiancé(e) be included in the petition?
Only the unmarried, minor children (below 21 years old) of the Filipino fiancé(e) can be included in the K-1 petition. They are eligible to apply for a K-2 visa. If they cannot depart with their Filipino parent, children named in the petition have one year (from the time the K-1 visa is issued) to be issued K-2 visas. They must apply for visas in a timely manner to allow visa issuance within the required time. Otherwise, the children can no longer derive any immigration benefit from their parent’s K-1 visa and new immigrant visa petitions must be filed on their behalf.
Can a fiancé(e) work in the U.S. with a K-1 visa?
Yes. When the fiancé(e) enters the United States he/she will be eligible to apply for a work permit with the USCIS.
What fees obtains a K visa?
There is a US$240 non-refundable application/processing fee for each K visa applicant. This fee is payable in U.S. dollars or its current peso equivalent. There are three ways to pay the K visa application fee: cash payment at any Bank of the Philippine Island (BPI) branch; online payment bill option provided by BPI to their clients; or online payment through Bancnet. For more details regarding K visa payment options, please visit http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph and click Bank and Payment Options.
The required medical examination costs are posted on the Saint Luke’s Medical Center Extension Clinic Website.
What if the fiancé(e) must delay their arrival in the U.S.?
The K-1 visa is valid for a maximum of six months. If the visa bearer cannot leave for the United States immediately and the visa expires, a new one may be issued upon written request to the Embassy and the payment of another application fee of $240.