If you live in another country, and you wish to enter the U.S. to marry a U.S. citizen, you will need a K-1 visa. This is also known as a fiancé visa. Read on to learn more about obtaining a K-1 visa and the process ahead.

What is a K-1 visa?

A K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa, is used when one person in a couple is not a U.S. citizen. This person cannot enter the country simply because he or she is engaged, but instead must go through a process in order to get married and live in the United States.

What are the requirements to apply for a K-1 visa?

In order to file for a K-1 visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The couple must have met at least two years prior to filing for the visa. This will require proof. Proof can include photographs of the couple together, phone records, copies of correspondence, etc.
  • The couple must provide income evidence. The petitioner’s income must meet or exceed 100% of the US poverty guidelines. This is examined to ensure that the petitioner can support both parties.

Once the petition is approved, the fiancé must go through a background check, medical examination, and interview.

What does the process entail?

Once the petition is approved, the fiancé must go through a background check, medical examination, and interview.

Background checks

To obtain a visa, a background check will be used to determine whether the applicant has a criminal record. It is important to know that a crime on one’s record may not prevent or delay the visa process, especially if it was a minor crime committed many years ago.

Interview process

An interview will be conducted to determine the legitimacy of the relationship, and whether the fiancé can be allowed into the country. The interview will be used to determine the fiancé’s knowledge of his or her partner and vice versa. This may include answering questions regarding a partner’s family, previous relationships, employment, etc. The interview will also be used to determine the fiancé’s interest in marriage and the severity of the relationship. The interview will help evaluate the fiance’s moral character.


Once the fiancé is granted a K-1 visa, the couple will need to get married within 90 days of entering the country. If this is not accomplished, the fiancé must leave the country within 30 days. After the marriage, the new spouse may adjust his or her immigration status in order to become a permanent resident.

Contact Our New York City Immigration Lawyers

For an initial consultation with a skilled New York immigration lawyer, contact the Law Office of Cheryl R. David.