Being separated from your loved one is a tough experience, especially if they live on another side of the world. If you’re planning to take your relationship to the next level, you may already be planning to migrate to be with your beloved. While the prospect of permanently settling down and building a life with your lover sounds exciting, you’d first have to deal with the immigration laws and requirements to ensure a smooth transfer.
For this, you will need the aid of immigration lawyers that will help you every step of the way. They will provide valuable advice and guide you through the rather complex immigration rules in the United States. Furthermore, they will also let you know which visas you’re suitable to apply for. K1 Family visas, in particular, are necessary for you to gain entry to the United States to marry your fiance. Applying for this visa also opens up the possibility of permanent residence, should you have plans of settling permanently in the US after marriage.
That said, here are the requirements and qualifications you need to keep in mind when applying for a K1 family visa.
What is the K1 Visa?
Also referred to as the fiance visa, the K1 visa is a special kind of non-immigrant visa that permits the fiance of a US resident or citizen to enter the country to marry or adjust their status to obtain their green card.
To get a K1 visa, you must be the fiancee or fiance of a US resident. Moreover, the fiance must also marry their US-based spouse within 90 days upon arrival in the country – the period of time by which the visa will be valid for.
Those who are planning to settle permanently in the US after marriage should then apply for an adjustment of their status to a permanent residence or LPR. Since the K1 visa permits the US citizen’s fiance(e) to immigrate to the country, it’s imperative that those planning to obtain the K1 visa should first meet some of its requirements and qualifications.
Who is qualified for a K1 visa?
A K1 Visa enables a US citizen to sponsor their foreign fiance so that they can enter the US, get married, and eventually settle permanently together in the country.
But to obtain a K1 visa, your and your US-based sponsor must first meet the qualifications. To know whether you are qualified for this visa, here are the eligibility requirements you need to meet.
- The sponsor should be a US citizen. Lawful permanent residents or green card holders are not qualified to act as petitioners for the visa application.
- Both the sponsor and applicant must first be unmarried and are legally eligible for marriage. For this, you will need to prove that any prior marriages have already ended with either annulment, death certificates, or divorce.
- Both parties must be in a legitimate relationship. To prove this, you will need to submit evidence.
- Must be able to prove that you have already met your partner at least once in the past two years before applying for a K1 visa. Evidence for these may include dated photos or flight bookings.
- The sponsor must be able to meet the established financial requirement. To prove that they earn enough to support their stay in the country, their most recent tax return’s gross income should at least be 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Those who are unable to meet this requirement with their sole income can still seek help from a joint financial sponsorship with a supporting affidavit of support.
- Must be willing to give a signed statement stating that you intend to marry your partner within 90 days. If the wedding is already booked or underway, it’s best to submit evidence of this through venue booking confirmation or invitations, among many others.
Requirements of the K1 visa
Upon submitting your application, you will also need to include a number of supporting evidence and documents. It’s essential that you include what is being asked for upon submitting your application and ensure that none of them goes missing. Otherwise, your application will be subjected to delays and may even be rejected.
To avoid this, make sure that you bring the following document requirements when attending the visa interview:
- 2×2 photographs
- Form DS-160. This form must already be completed, printed off, and ready to bring to your visa interview.
- Valid passport. Your passport must have a validity period that lasts no sooner than the end of your intended period of stay in the US.
- Birth certificate
- Medical examination
- Death or divorce certificates of any previous partner or spouse in the US
- Police certificates from any country you have resided in for six months or beyond.
- Form I-134 as proof of meeting the financial requirement
- Proof that your relationship is genuine