K1 (Fiancé) Visa FAQ
Questions? We are here to help.
How long do I have until my K-1 visa expires when I arrive in the United States?
90 days from the date of entry.
What happens if I overstay my K-1 visa?
Immigrants who overstay their K-1 visa are not helping their situation. If they want to postpone their marriage after the 90 day mark, they can do so but need to have another petition filed on their behalf and thus have to pay additional fees. For those who overstay with no intent on actually getting married risk being put into removal proceedings, or inadmissibility for future USCIS applications.
Can I receive a work permit while on a K-1 visa?
Yes, applicants can file Form I-765 for employment authorization, i.e. in order to receive a work permit. However, it might be inefficient to apply for a EAD because it will take months to receive, and applicants should get started on their green card application in the meantime.
Is the K-1 visa a single entry visa?
Yes, one time. However, a K-1 visa can technically apply for advanced parole if they are in an unusual circumstance prompting them to leave the country.
How long does it take to receive a marriage certificate?
This is a very critical aspect of the fiancé visa. Because it is only a 90 day visa, holders are encouraged to get married quickly when they arrive in the U.S., as getting the actual marriage certificate needed for an I-485 application can take up to 2 months in some cases. In order to expedite this process, hand deliver your marriage paperwork to a county clerk office to save 2-3 weeks of processing.
Do I have to pay another I-130 fee if I choose to get married after 90 days?
Yes. Your K-1 visa has now expired and the spousal relationship needs to be verified again. The form I-130, with fee, needs to be re-submitted to the USCIS.
K-4 visas are issued to whom?
Children of the fiancé or foreign spouse. They need to have an I-130 filed on their behalf (from the U.S. citizen). Children need to be under the age of 21 and unmarried to receive a K-4 status. They also need a birth certificate to prove familial relationship to parent, pass a medical exam, and complete consular processing and an interview if necessary.
Can my K-4 status children go to school when they arrive in the United States?
Yes, immigration law permits visa holders to attend school.
What is the processing time for a fiancé visa?
It takes 6-9 months for the USCIS to process the I-129F—Petition for Alien Fiancé. After this, it takes an additional 4 to 6 weeks to transfer the case over to the State Department and nearest embassy for an interview. It could take longer if there is an RFE filed at that point (additional 60 days).
What happens if I overstay my K-1 visa by 6 months and then try to apply for a green card?
If you leave the U.S. after 6 months on an expired visa and then try to take the consular processing route, you will receive a 3 year ban from entering the United States.
What happens if I remain in the U.S. for over a year on an expired K-1 visa?
You could receive a 10 year ban from re-entering the United States if you are caught.
Can I remain in the United States while my I-485 application is pending?
Yes. The DHS allows I-485 applicants who are then married to their U.S. citizen to remain in the U.S. and wait for a decision on their green card case.
What happens if I get divorced while my I-485 application is still pending with the USCIS?
A divorce would signal to the USCIS that the marriage is no longer valid, and applicants would 30 days to leave the U.S.
What happens if my I-485 application is rejected?
Applicants will no longer have a valid status in the United States and will have 30 days to leave the U.S. They will be able to re-apply via consular processing.
What is my final interview in the K visa process?
Like other visa grantees traveling to the United States, the last “interview” is held briefly with a CBP—Customs and Border Control agent. It will be up to there final discretion to grant visa holders entrance to the United States.
Is it likely to get searched passing Customs as a K-1 visa holder?
This depends on the border agent you meet with. Some agents might be more lenient, others might be more skeptical as to what you plan on doing during your 90 day period. Some CBP officers might request you empty your purse/luggage so as to reveal that you aren’t carrying supplies, of medication for example, that can last for more than 90 days.
Can I get my driver's license when I arrive in the U.S. under a K-1 fiancé visa?
Unfortunately, it might not be possible. The DMV requires in most states a residence requirement (lease or rental agreement in your name)( for applying and obtaining a drivers license. It will take some time for K-1 visa holders to gather these documents and show proof of residency.
Can you marry on a tourist visa instead?
Yes. B-2 visas are for tourism to the United States. They are valid for 180 days. However, you must return to your home country after the visa expires, as it is not dual intent. Thus, it might be beneficial to seek a K-1 instead.
Can I apply for a green card while on a tourist visa in the U.S.?
No. The B-1, for business, or B-2, for tourism visas are not dual intent visas, and they are only valid for 180 days.
What documents might I need to present to a CBP officer who is skeptical of my arrival in the U.S. on a tourist visa for marriage purposes?
A copy of your lease back home, a pay stub from your employer and date your expected back to work in your country.