When a U.S. citizen is engaged to a foreign national residing outside the United States, the K-1 visa allows the fiancé(e) to enter the United States as a nonimmigrant. Once admitted as a K-1, the marriage must take place within 90 days and then the foreign national can apply for adjustment of status. The process starts with filing a K-1 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In petitioning for a K-1, you must prove:
- the petitioner is a U.S. citizen;
- the petitioner intends to marry within 90 days of the fiancé(e) entering the United States;
- both the petitioner and the fiancé(e) are free to marry (all prior marriages are legally dissolved); and
- the couple must have met in person at least once within two years of filing or come within one of two narrow exceptions.