Your Ultimate Guide to the K1 Visa

K1 visa
K1 visa

What is a K-1 Visa? Can I bring my fiancé e to the USA with this Visa?

A K-1 fiancé visa is a ‘non-immigrant visa’ that enables the foreign fiancé e of a citizen of the United States to come to the country so that they can get married.

The foreign fiancé e may submit an application for a marriage green card in the US after the couple gets married.

A ‘k-1 visa’ also known as the fiancé e visa, typically takes 12 to 15 months to obtain and costs $800. It costs $1,225 and takes an additional 4-6 months to change your status from a K-1 visa to a marriage green card.

Everything you and your fiancé need to know about the K-1 visa application process is covered in this guide.

Know more about USA Visa types.

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

You must first fulfill a number of requirements before your application for a K-1 Visa can be approved.

First, you and your fiancé e must have been sincere partners for at least two years. You’ll be required to show evidence of this, including photos, text messages, shared bank accounts, and so on.

Additionally, you and your fiancé e will need to submit a portfolio of supporting documents required as part of your application.

This will help the Consular Officer to confirm your identity and verify the validity of your fiancé e travel authorization to the US.

How much does a K-1 visa cost

K-1 Visa Cost
K-1 Visa Cost

The total cost of submitting a K-1 Visa application consists of various fees. Form I-129F currently has a $535 fee.

After this has been approved, the applicant must go through a medical examination. The price can vary greatly depending on the provider and location, but a typical medical exam may cost approximately $200.

Last but not least, the K-1 Visa costs $265. Generally, you can pay this when you go to your interview, but you should check this ahead of time as not all U.S. embassies accept payments internally.

In conclusion, it will cost you about $1000 after accounting for each stage of the fiancé e visa application.

Note: Fees for immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications are subject to change, please check for the fees when you apply for a foreign fiancée visa.

Can you bring children along?

You are free to bring your kids to the US on the basis of your K-1 non-immigrant visa. Furthermore, if you bring children with you, you won’t need to submit a separate I-129F Form as long as they depart within a year of the date your Visa was approved.

Following the approval of your Petition for Alien Fiancé, you can then submit an application for a K-2 Visa on behalf of any children you intend to bring to the United States.

Remember that when your sponsor in the United States submits the I-129F, any children must be listed.

Your unmarried children will require their own applications to adjust their status when they get married.

Who may apply for a K-1 visa?

All of the following conditions must be met to qualify for a K-1 fiancé visa:

  • U.S. citizenship is required for either you or your fiancé
  • You intend to legally marry your US citizen fiancé
  • You intend to marry within 90 days after you enter the country on your K-1 visa
  • You are both eligible to legally marry in the United States
  • If previously married, all of your previous marriages ended there through divorce, demise, or annulment
  • K-1 visas can be obtained by same-sex partners
  • In the two years prior to submitting your application, you and your fiancé have personally met at least once

Documents needed for K-1 visa application

There are several supporting documents and pieces of evidence you must submit with your Visa application.

It is extremely critical that visa applicants include all of the evidence and other documents that are required.

Visa applicants who include proper documentation help the consular officer decide positively on their application.

Without proper supporting documents, there may be delays or your application may be outright rejected by consular officers, and you may face extreme hardship in having to start the process all over again.

Make sure you bring the following paperwork with you to the k visa interview :

  • The original passport is valid for at least the duration of your intended stay in the USA
  • Completed Form DS-160, and prepared to bring it to your interview
  • Birth certificate
  • Divorce decree or death certificate/record of any previous spouse of you or your partner in the United States
  • Health examination
  • Police certificates from any nation you have resided in for more than six months
  • Form I-134, which serves as evidence that you have the necessary funds
  • Two passport-style photos (2*2 photographs)
  • Evidence of your relationship’s sincerity with your fiancé

How to apply for K-1 Visa?

You can apply for a K-1 fiancé visa by following this four-step process if you and your fiancé qualify for the visa.

Step 1: Submit form I-129F

The Form I-129F K-1 visa petition, also known as the “Petition for Alien Fiancé,” must be prepared and submitted by the American fiancé as the first step in the application process to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

This form is intended to serve as evidence of the legality of your relationship.

A U.S. citizen is required to submit Form I-129F.

An individual with a green card is ineligible to apply for a K-1 visa for their fiancé.

What paperwork is required by USCIS to process K-1 fiancé visas?

As a visa applicant, you must submit the following supporting documents with your Form I-129F petition when you file it with USCIS:

  • Justification for your fiancé’s citizenship in the United States
  • A copy of their birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or passport would be included in this
  • Your passport copy
  • Evidence of your “bona fide” relationship (legitimate)
  • Photographs of you and your fiancé together
  • Flight history and/or hotel bookings for trips you took together or to see each other
  • Messages you’ve exchanged via letters, emails, or texts over the years
  • Written confirmations from relatives, friends, or coworkers who are aware of your engagement
  • If either of you were previously married, you must provide evidence that both parties were dissolved. Included in this are divorce decrees, death certificates, annulment decrees, etc
  • Proof of at least one in-person meeting between the two of you within the last two years. Itineraries for flights, hotel bills, pictures, letters, texts, and emails
  • Sworn declarations that detail your relationship and state that you intend to wed within 90 days of your arrival in the US, signed by both partners. It is best to hand in the original, duly-signed statements while also saving copies for your records
  • A copy of any Form I-94 arrival-departure record you may have obtained while traveling to the US
  • Each partner must provide one passport-style photo
  • Form I-129F requires a $535 filing fee.
  • The I-129F fee can be paid with a check, money order, or credit card.
  • No fee payment to USCIS can be in cash

USCIS will send you a receipt notice in about 30 days after you mail your Form I-129F and supporting documents to the correct postal addresses.

An I-129F petition is typically processed by USCIS in 6 to 9 months. It will take to process your petition will vary depending on which USCIS service center you send your forms to due to differences in processing times at each facility.

You should keep an eye out for any Requests for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS while you wait.

The mailing address(es) you listed on your Form I-129F will receive an approval notice once USCIS has approved it.

Step two: Submit Form DS-160

Your case will be transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) of the Department of State once USCIS has approved your Form I-129F petition.

About 30 days after US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves your Form I-129F, the NVC will notify you via the US embassy in your home country of the date and location of your mandatory visa interview.

The State Department’s online DS-160 form (the “Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application”) must be filled out once you receive the notice from the NVC.

You must print the confirmation page after submitting this form. This is crucial since you must send the confirmation page to the embassy and bring it with you to the visa interview.

Supporting documents

Documents from both you and your American fiancé will be requested by the U.S. embassy handling your case. Please note that each embassy has a unique procedure for providing these documents, so be sure to adhere to their notice’s guidelines.

Documentation from the American fiancé

  • A Support Affidavit (Form I-134): The U.S. citizen swears in the Affidavit of Support, which is a legally binding document, that they will use their resources to prevent their foreign fiancé from ever again needing government assistance.
  • Most recent Taxes filed: The most recent return is all that is required, but it is a good idea to include returns going back up to three years.
  • Your relationship with your fiancé from abroad must be proven. You must submit a copy of the I-129F package that was approved and initially submitted to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to do this.

Documentation from foreign citizen fiancé

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Your birth certificate
  • A copy of your current passport
  • Clearances from the police in every country you have resided in since you were 16 years old
  • A sealed medical examination form. This form should be from a licensed physician during an immigration medical examination.

Step 3: Attend your K visa interview and pay the visa fee

The US embassy or consulate listed on the National Visa Center notice is where you’ll have your visa interview. 4-6 weeks after you receive the notice, this will most likely take place at the embassy or consulate in the home nation of the foreign citizen fiancé.

An interview for a visa only needs to be attended by the foreign citizen fiancé. Typically, the interview goes smoothly and without much difficulty.

The cost of a K-1 fiancé visa is $265. Usually, this fee is paid at the visa interview. However, the requirements vary from embassy to embassy. Keep in mind to adhere to the directions in the notice you receive from the embassy or consulate handling your case.

The consular officer who interviews you for a visa typically makes a decision on the same day. After the interview, you may be asked to provide more information or supporting documentation if necessary.

Step 4: Immigrate to the USA and get married

You will obtain a sealed visa packet after your K-1 visa application has been granted. You will be asked for it by the agent from US Customs and Border Protection who inspects you at the border. Also, if the packet is already open, they might not let you into the country.

After receiving approval for your K-1 visa, you have six months to enter the country. You must then marry your US citizen fiancé within 90 days of your entry into the country. If you don’t, your K-1 status will be lost. You must return home as soon as you can if you decide against getting married.

Other than a marriage green card for your foreign spouse, you cannot change your status from a K-1 visa. Aside from the US citizen fiancé with whom you filed Form I-129F, you are not permitted to marry anyone else while on a K-1 visa.

The foreign spouse can apply for a marriage green card by submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status, along with the necessary supporting forms and documents, after you get married to become a green card holder or Legal permanent resident.

How long does it take to obtain a K-1 fiancé(e) visa?

The processing time for a K1 visa is typically between 5-7 months after you have submitted your K visa petition via the form I-129F file. The petition is then sent to the home country’s embassy of K visa applicants for further processing if it is accepted.

Depending on the quality of the supporting evidence you provided in your application, this process can take some time. The applicant will receive a formal invitation to an interview if fully approved.

The visa applicant may be asked by the immigration official to provide additional documentation regarding their relationship and their motivations for getting married.

Processing times for K-1 visas

In addition, there is a further 4-6-week wait for the USCIS to send an interview request to your local embassy or consulate. The USCIS estimates that it will currently take 8-10 months to process a Form I-129F.

The total wait time for K1 visa processing from submitting your I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) to getting a decision on your application is roughly one year. After the interview stage, you should receive a decision on your application within four weeks.

What Activities Are Allowed for K-1 Visa Holders While They Are Present in the USA?

  1. Staying and relocating to the US with your fiancé(e) while the K-1 visa is still in effect
  • You will have 90 days to get married following your entry into the country and successful fiancé visa application.
  • You are free to reside in the country with your fiancé, who is a citizen of the country, during this time.
  • While living there, you are free to move and travel throughout the US with your partner, as well as make the decision to get married anywhere in the country.
  1. Requesting a work authorization document
  • You must marry and should be living in the US before applying
  • This calls for you to submit an application for Form I-765
  • The processing time for Form I-765 is typically 2 months
  • During the processing of the work authorization document, you are not permitted to work
  • You can start working only after your application has been thoroughly reviewed and approved
  1. Requesting lawful permanent resident status
  • While on the K-1 visa and residing in the US, you are free to apply to obtain a full green card but you are not required to leave the country.
  • You can’t do that until you’re married, and you’ll need to demonstrate your eligibility using a different set of requirements.
  • You will likely find it much simpler to obtain full immigration status because the Department of Homeland Security gives preference to foreign spouses of U.S. citizens when they apply for green cards.
  1. Bringing dependents into the United States
  • Any dependents hoping to travel to the U.S. with the K 1 visa holder must be mentioned and listed on the initial petition.
  • The U.S. citizen who filed the initial petition does not have to file a separate form I-129F petition for each dependent.
  • The applicants must be unmarried minors under 21 and the children of a K 1 applicant who has been granted approval.
  • These dependents fall under the K visa category as K2 visa holders.
  • A medical exam and an embassy interview with a consular officer is also required.

What Am I Ineligible to Do With a K-1 Fiancé Visa?

The K1 visa does not grant full immigrant status and is only intended for you to travel to the USA to get married to your fiancé within 90 days of entering the United States.

Due to the specific nature of the visa, a K1 visa holder is only permitted to do certain things while their visa is still in effect.

  1. More than one trip to the US
  • It is a single entry visa, it is best to avoid leaving the country on a K 1 fiancé(e) visa as they are only good for a single entry within six months of issue.
  • The visa allows for a 90-day window for marriage after arrival.
  • You will need to petition a consular officer in order to obtain a new K-1 visa issuance if your current visa has already been used to enter the United States.
  1. Having a valid employment authorization document and working in the US before getting married
  • You are free to submit form I-765 to request an EAD. However, the process typically takes two months, and you are unable to work legally while you wait for the approval.
  • Your work permit can only be in effect for the first 90 days after entering the country if you have a K-1 visa.
  • It’s important to keep in mind that you won’t be able to obtain the EAD until you are married, which means that even though you can legally work for the full 90 days after arriving in the country on a K-1 visa.
  1. Getting married to a different person than the one who requested your visit to America.
  • The foreign fiancé(e) visiting the U.S. will be prohibited from marrying anyone else while they are engaged using a K-1 visa.
  • If they split up or decide not to wed for any reason, they will be required to depart the country within the 90-day period of the K-1 visa’s validity.
  • Then, if they get engaged to someone new and want to return to the US for a wedding, they must reapply for a K-1 visa.

Health Insurance for your Fiancé

Till such time that you get married and your fiancé can be added to your health insurance, you need to look for an alternative for health coverage. This can be in the form of travel insurance.

You can purchase travel insurance for your fiancé. There are many different types of travel insurance policies available, and the coverage and pricing can vary widely depending on the provider and the specific policy you choose.

Also Read: Top 10 Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance

When purchasing travel insurance for your fiancé, You should consider the following factors.


Look for the desired coverage, this may include coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellation, lost or stolen luggage, and more. Read the policy document before you buy travel insurance to know about the inclusions and exclusions in the plan.


Check the duration of the policy as some policies only cover a specific number of days. Ensure you buy coverage from the start of the travel so that the flight to the USA is also covered.


Check the policy exclusions to ensure that there are no restrictions or conditions that would prevent your fiancé from receiving coverage.


Compare pricing across different travel insurance providers and policy options to ensure that you are getting a good value for the coverage you need

AAA Member? Explore options here: Travel Insurance for AAA Members

Costco Member? Explore options here: Travel Insurance options for Costco Members

If the parents of your fiancé are traveling to the USA to attend the wedding then this may be of help: Health Insurance for Parents Visiting USA

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of income is needed to qualify for a K-1 fiancé visa?

The prospective spouse’s federal poverty level must be at or higher than 100%. The foreign fiancé is not subject to any specific income restrictions.

With a K-1 fiancé visa, am I allowed to work?

Yes. Once you have arrived in the country with a K-1 visa, you can apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) right away by submitting Form I-765, Application for EAD.

The USCIS will take about 1-2 months to process this application, and the work permit will only be good for the first 90 days following your arrival in the country.

Applying for a Marriage Green Card is the best way to obtain a longer-term work permit. You can submit Form I-485 and Form I-765 together to accomplish that.

Can I enter the country of the United States with my kids on a K-1 visa?

Yes. If your children are under 21 years old and unmarried, you are permitted to bring them with you to the United States.

The children will get K-2 visas when you get your K-1 visa if you list them on Form I-129F and they are eligible. To enter the country with you as a K-2 nonimmigrant, your children must still be unmarried and under the age of 21.

Children may come to the United States after you or along with you, but not before you. As soon as you use your K-1 visa to marry your U.S. citizen fiancé, they can apply for Green Cards alongside you.

If USCIS rejects my application for a K-1 visa, what should I do?

You might be able to appeal USCIS’ denial of your K-1 visa application. Working with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer to submit this appeal is a good idea.

How much does a K-1 visa cost?

A K-1 visa is required to obtain green cards from a foreign country and to obtain an e-migration visa from the U.S. This excludes normal costs for the required medical exam that may differ based on the provider.

How long does it take to get a K-1 visa?

K-1 visa applications typically take 7 months or more on average. It does not include the period between submitting an application and your interview date, which varies based on your country of origin.


In conclusion, the K-1 visa provides an opportunity for foreign national fiancé(e) of U.S. citizens to enter the united states for the purpose of getting married.

This non-immigrant visa requires the petitioner to meet specific eligibility criteria, including having met the fiancé(e) in person within the past two years and both parties being legally free to marry.

The K-1 visa process involves submitting a petition to USCIS, completing a medical examination, and attending an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign national’s home country.

Upon approval, the foreign national fiancé(e) can enter the united states for a period of 90 days, during which time the couple must get married.

The K-1 visa provides a pathway for foreign nationals to ultimately obtain a green card in the United States.

Applying for a K1 visa could be a confusing and hectic process. Take help from professional immigration lawyers, this ensures your application is prepared properly. Immigration lawyers deal with such applications on a daily basis and can guide you best.

Happy moving to the USA on your fiancé(e) visa and a new life!