A 90 days fiance visa can bring you one step closer to happily ever after if your special someone is not a US citizen. Formally known as the K-1 Visa, this non-immigrant visa will allow your fiancé to enter the United States for 90 days. They can get married within these 90 days and apply for the long-term status of a green card.

  • In this article, “fiancé” will be used as a gender-neutral term for the partner applying for the K1 visa to stay in the US.

When Should You Consider Getting a 90 Days Fiance Visa?

The K-1 Visa will give you and your fiancé more time to understand what your life together here will be like. However, it is only sometimes the right option for those trying to join their international lives. Many couples skip this and go straight for a green card through marriage.

The 90 days fiance visa has a set of requirements that must be met by you and your fiance, despite it covering a shorter amount of time than a marriage green card. Even with this shorter time span, there are many benefits that come along with getting a K1 visa. One of those benefits includes giving the fiancé more time to adjust to life in the US.

It may be difficult to decide between getting a K-1 Visa or skipping straight to a marriage green card at first. However, the right choice for you depends on a few factors.

If either of your families says it is important for you to get married outside of the US, then consider submitting an I-130 petition and go the route of getting a CR1/IR1, also known as a marriage visa. If you want to get married here in the US, it may be better to apply for a K1 Visa.

Perhaps it has grown more difficult to get the K1 visa due to past fraudulent marriages between a US citizen and a foreign national. Despite the fact that this often means more paperwork and patience, it is still possible to get a 90 days fiance visa.

A little persistence will go a long way. The processing time for a K1 visa, according to United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) data, is estimated to be 5-18 months.

You can overcome the barriers between a K-1 Visa and a beautiful life with your future spouse with the help of an experienced immigration lawyer on your side.

Understand the Application Process for the K-1 Visa

Step 1: You Must Apply for Form I-129F

The first step in the application process is to file for Form I-129F. This is also known as the “Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)” with the USCIS.

You must keep a few things in mind on the road to applying for Form I-29F. For example, both partners must legally be unmarried. If either one has a former spouse, they must submit documents such as death certificates, annulments, or divorce documentation.

The future married couple must prove they met in person within two years of applying for the visa. Once is sufficient, but there are some exceptions to this rule. If either partner’s culture or religion deems it unacceptable to meet in person, then this requirement can be waived.

The couple also must have proof the relationship is valid. Some examples that prove they have built something real could include the lovely couple’s photos, messages or emails sent between them, or even letters from friends and family that show the relationship is solid.

The partner who is a US citizen must have sufficient funds for the marriage. The minimum income they must have is based on the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines.

The person from the US can collect their most recent tax return to show proof of their adjusted gross income. If their income does not equal at least the minimum level, they can try contacting a possible sponsor.

The final piece of evidence to try to obtain the form I-129F is that both partners must prove that they intend to marry each other within 90 days of the foreign partner arriving in the United States. They can use evidence such as wedding invitations or receipts of the booked venue.

One important note is that a green card holder, also known as a lawful permanent resident, may not sponsor their partner for the K1 visa.

Another thing to note is that even if the sponsored fiancé’s home country has restrictions on same-sex marriage, a couple can still apply for a 90 days fiance visa.

Step 2: Online DS-160 Form

Once the I-129F has been approved, the sponsored fiancé will get a notice from the US Embassy closest to them. It will outline all the required documents and the date and location of the interview.

The D-S160 is the actual application for the K-1 Visa, and it will require additional documents from both the sponsored fiancé and the U.S. citizen. The U.S. Department of State will take care of this form.

The US citizen will need form I-134, the affidavit of support. They will also need their most recent tax return and the proof of relationship used in the I-29F.

A separate set of documents will be required for the sponsored fiance. These include their birth certificate, two passport-style pictures, a valid passport, a sealed medical exam given by a State Department-approved physician, and a police clearance. The clearance must be received from all countries of residence for more than six months from when they were sixteen.

Once you have collected all these documents, you can apply for the DS-160 and wait for the interview.

Step 3: Get Ready for Your Interview!

If you have made it to the interview process, then you have managed to get through most of the hurdles already. Now, you just have to calm your nerves and come prepared for the interview.

It will generally occur four to six weeks after the initial notice from the embassy. It will take place at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in the sponsored fiancé’s home country.

Luckily, you won’t have to wait too long to hear the interviewing officer’s decision. If more information is required, they will request for it to be given to U.S. consulate.

Frequently Asked Questions About the 90 Days Fiance Visa

If you’re still wondering about anything else, we’ve got you covered. Here are some frequently asked questions about the K1 visa and the processes involved.

How long does the process of getting a K1 visa take?

Considering all the different steps in the process, it typically takes 5 to 16 months to get the visa. This can vary from case to case depending on the processing time,e, for your USCIS service center.

What happens after I get the K-1 visa?

Once the fiance from a country other than the US is issued the 90 days fiance visa, they can enter the United States. The couple will have ninety days to get married, or they will have to leave.

Can I extend the I-129F petition?

This form is valid for four months after the USCIS approval date. It is possible to extend with a consular officer.

Wedding Bells Will Be Ringing With the K-1 Visa in Hand

Congratulations! Once you have the 90 days fiance visa, you are almost ready to enjoy life together in marriage. The sponsored fiancé must travel to the United States within twelve months of the I29-F form’s approval date.

If the pair is not married within 90 days, then the sponsored fiancé will no longer have the K-1 Visa status. They will be required to leave the U.S. immediately if the couple decides against getting married.

After the wedding, it will be time for the newly married couple to apply for a marriage-based green card. The sponsored fiancé cannot adjust their K-1 Visa status to a green card with anyone who is not the original sponsor. It is only meant for the couple that applied together. If you have any further questions regarding the process, you can speak with a lawyer.