How familiar are you with a fiance visa? Perhaps you’ve watched the show 90 Day Finance and think you’ve got the basics down. But there’s probably more to the process than you realize.
A fiance visa, formally called a K-1 visa, allows an engaged partner of a United States citizen to legally enter the U.S. The only stipulation is that the couple needs to get married within 90 days of arrival.
Once married, you can apply for a green card for permanent residency.Of course, we realize that for women the correct term is fiancee and for men it’s fiance. But to keep things simple, we’ll use finance for either the male or female partner.
Let’s take a look and find out if you and your partner are eligible.
Is a K-1 Visa the Right Move For You and Your Partner?
First, have you considered skipping the K-1 process altogether? In certain cases, it could make a lot more sense to jump over the K-1 visa process for finances and head straight to the alter. Then you’ll be able to immediately apply for a spousal visa, which is easier to attain.
Of course, this decision hinges on many different factors. For example, where are you and your fiance currently living? How long are you able to wait before being together? Are you ready to tie the knot now or do you still need a little more time to learn each other?
If you and your partner are already married but you’re not sure about your green card qualifications, you can easily check your personal eligibility through a service such as Boundless.com. You won’t even need to provide any financial or personal information.
When you’re ready to apply, they can easily guild you through the requirements and milestones of getting a marriage green card. If you still believe that the K-1 visa is the right option for you, let’s take a look at the eligibility requirements.
A K-1 visa allows a citizen of the United States to “sponsor” their fiance to legally come to the U.S. Both partners need to have the complete intent of getting married within 90 days after arrival from abroad.
The specific requirements are as follows.
- The partner that’s sponsoring must be a natural citizen of the U.S. Green card holders, even if they are permanent residents, will not be eligible to sponsor their partner in the K-1 process.
- Both partners need to be eligible to marry. Simply stated, neither one can be currently married to someone else. If there are prior annulments, divorces, death certificates or any other reason a marriage was dissolved, they’ll need to be provided.
- Same-sex partners are eligible for K-1 visas. This is true even if the partner’s home country doesn’t allow same-sex marriage.
- You must prove that the relationship is legitimate. Ways to do this include flight itineraries, couples photos, hotel reservations of trips you’ve taken together, written statements from friends, family and colleagues that know of the engagement, and emails and letters shared between partners.
- You must show proof that you’ve met face-to-face at least once within the prior two years of filling out the K-1 form. Exceptions can be made in cases of hardship, or in situations where meeting in person could violate religious, cultural or social norms.
- Both partners are required to give signed statements that indicate an intent to marry within the required 90 days of arrival. If you’ve already made wedding plans, all the better. Submit evidence of deposits for venues, wedding invitations and so forth.
- The citizen living in the United States will need to meet income requirements. The adjusted gross income of the person’s most recent tax return will have to be at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If the sponsor cannot meet that qualification, they’ll need a joint sponsor to file an affidavit of support.
Start the K-1 Process Today
If the K-1 process is for you and you meet these requirements, don’t let anything hold you back from your eternal happiness. Get the process started now.