If you are a U.S. citizen who is planning to marry a person who does not have citizenship, you can seek a fiancé(e) visa. Also known as a K-1 visa, this type of spousal citizenship is available for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

If approved, your fiancé(e) can legally enter the United States and apply for a Green Card to become a permanent resident. However, you must get married within 90 days of his or her arrival.

Who is eligible for a K-1 visa?

To qualify for this program, the following must be true of both individuals:

  • Legally able to marry in the United States
  • Divorced or have an annulment in the case of a previous marriage
  • Have met one another at least once during the two years immediately before filing the petition, unless this would have caused undue hardship or violated religious or cultural customs

How do we apply?

Start by completing and submitting Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). The applicants must also include the following:

  • Proof of one partner’s U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport
  • Proof of dissolution of a previous marriage if applicable, such as a death, divorce or annulment certificate
  • A passport-style photo of each person
  • Evidence of a name change, if applicable

Current rules allow you to submit Form I-129F by postal mail and include the filing fee in the form of a cashier’s check, personal check or money order.

What happens next?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reviews the completed application. If it meets initial requirements, a USCIS representative forwards it to the U.S. Embassy where your fiancé(e) lives. He or she will be scheduled for a visa interview with a consular officer. If this person grants the K-1 visa, it is valid for six months.

The immigration process can be lengthy. Carefully completing the application will shorten the waiting time because the agency will have your required documentation and will not need to request additional items.