Who Can Apply For A K-1 Visa?

By Published On: February 6, 2023Categories: Vlog, Green Card, Immigration

The world is where love transcends borders, connection defies distance, and a single K-1 Visa unites lovers. Imagine the sheer excitement as a foreign-citizen fiancé lands on American soil and embarks on a 90-day countdown toward a union of eternal happiness. 

Immigration lawyers, such as those at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, offer valuable guidance and assistance. Engaging with one is advantageous as they can navigate the intricate procedures, ensure accurate documentation, and prevent costly errors. Carefully collecting evidence of the relationship and fulfilling all requirements is crucial to avoid complications and potential Visa expiration. 

This article delves into the intricacies of applying for a K-1 Visa, including the vital requirement of meeting in person within the past two years. Learn how this Visa can prove that love knows no boundaries. 

A K-1 Visa Attorney Can Ease The Tedious Immigration Process And Give You And Your Future Family Peace Of Mind

What Is A K-1 Visa?

A K-1 Visa allows a foreign-citizen fiancé to travel to the United States and marry a U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. It enables couples to reunite in the United States and marry to obtain a Visa. 

The foreign fiancé, in other words, the immigrant, must be outside of the United States, and the couple must have met in person within the last two years. However, there may be some exceptions. Also, the couple must be married within 90 days after the beneficiary enters the country.

Why Should You Hire A Lawyer When Processing A K-1 Visa?

Many people sometimes do not hire a lawyer, especially for Fiancé Visas, because it is too expensive. They thought the process was too complicated and they could do it alone. Regarding the cost, legal services are an investment. It is something you have to put money and effort into to do it properly. 

When dealing with the complexities of immigration law, hiring an immigration lawyer becomes a practical necessity. These professionals have the necessary education and training to handle the intricacies of securing a K-1 Visa. 

While it involves a financial investment, their guidance guarantees accurate paperwork preparation, reducing the risk of expensive errors. Relying on their experience increases your chances of success and grants you peace of mind. Always remember that opting for a cheaper alternative can often lead to higher expenses in the long term.

In addition, navigating the K-1 Visa process without an immigration lawyer can pose challenges when providing evidence of a two-year relationship. Many people fail to realize the significance of preserving communication records that validate their relationship, leading to complications and delays. Lacking awareness of the requirements and failing to meet them can result in obstacles during the information request and processing stages.

What Are The Criteria When Applying For A K-1 Visa?

To proceed with the K-1 Visa process, the fiancé residing in the United States must be a U.S. citizen rather than a resident. This criterion is of utmost importance and must satisfy the eligibility requirements. Furthermore, it is a prerequisite for the couple to have already met each other in person.

Once the foreign fiancé enters the United States using a K-1 Visa, they are obligated to marry within 90 days. Failing to do so may result in complications and potential issues. Subsequently, the couple can adjust their status and continue the immigration process.

While it is common for couples to initiate their connection through online platforms like Zoom or the Internet, meeting the requirements for the K-1 Visa necessitates meaningful interactions. It includes exchanging photos and maintaining regular communication. Although daily contact is not obligatory, they still must have consistent and frequent communication. These prerequisites lay the groundwork for the K-1 Visa application process.

Understanding and fulfilling these fundamental requirements is vital for couples contemplating the K-1 Visa. Complying with the criteria of U.S. citizenship, personal meetings, and establishing a substantial relationship is crucial in pursuing a successful K-1 Visa application.

Do They Have To Meet In Person Before Applying?

In times of advanced technology, many romantic relationships spark through dating apps. This approach allows couples to communicate with each other via video call. But would that be enough if they only see each other online? 

One of the basic requirements in applying for a Fiancé Visa is that the couple must have met in person at least once within two years. In this way, you can have a solid foundation that the relationship is real.   However, there are some exceptions. For example, couples may meet through intermediaries such as their parents or if religious practices prohibit individual meetings. 

You gather more information about the biographical information of the fiance and prepare the application. With that Visa application, you send it to the immigration department. It typically takes a few months. 

When it is processed, you usually receive a receipt indicating approval. Then, you schedule an appointment with the consulate. Afterward, they will interview and ask questions about who your fiancé is. A lawyer can prepare you to answer those questions. 

What If A Couple Gets Married Abroad Before The K-1 Visa Is Processed?

In moments of longing and impatience, some couples may marry abroad before the foreign fiancé enters the United States. At times, they do so when the K-1 Visa is processed. If that happens, they have to abandon the K-1 Visa. They must file a family petition instead. 

Deciding to marry before completing the necessary legal steps can have significant consequences. It may impact Visa processing, requiring additional documentation and explanations for immigration authorities. This choice introduces complexities extending the timeline and should be carefully considered and understood.

While it may seem like an immediate solution to be together, seeking professional guidance and understanding the implications is essential. Consulting with an immigration lawyer will help navigate the complexities. They ensure the couple’s dreams of living together in the United States while complying with the appropriate legal procedures.

The U.S. citizen can petition for their spouse, who was originally the fiance, as an immediate relative. They can go through the process of bringing them to the United States through the Consular Process. However, they still must explain how they met, how they got married, and their plans. Once approved in the Consular Process, they can come to the United States and proceed to become residents.

What Are The Conditions Of The K-1 Visa?

The Visa will expire if they exceed 90 days and choose not to proceed with the marriage. However, if the fiancé decides to remain in the United States, it would violate U.S. immigration laws. If they move with the wedding, they can request Work Permits and fulfill all the requirements. They have the same rights as any other immigrant who can enter the country. 

Knowing the conditions when applying for a K-1 Visa may sound simple if there are no complications. But what if the foreign fiancé has faced a deportation order? What happens to the application?

What If The Foreign Fiance Has A Previous Deportation Order?

A foreign fiancé with a previous deportation order while applying for a K-1 Visa can spoil the Visa application process. The existence of a deportation order raises concerns and may result in heightened scrutiny from immigration authorities. It makes it more difficult to obtain approval for the K-1 Visa. 

The deportation order shows the non-compliance with immigration laws, potentially leading to a denial of the Visa application. Seeking guidance from an immigration lawyer becomes crucial in these situations. They can assess the circumstances, explore possible strategies, and determine the best course of action to enhance the chances of a successful K-1 Visa application.

What Happens If They Decide Not To Get Married?

Know What The K-1 Visa Is About And How You Can Get It With An Immigration Attorney

Many possibilities may arise during the process. For instance, what if a couple chooses not to marry after obtaining the K-1 Visa? If this happens, what will lay bare the legal and emotional complexities arising from unfulfilled matrimonial bonds?

Opting out of marriage after obtaining the K-1 Visa entails significant consequences and complications. Failure to fulfill this requirement leads to Visa expiration and may expose the foreign fiancé to potential legal repercussions, including deportation.

Moreover, not proceeding with marriage can affect future immigration processes. Immigration authorities may perceive non-compliance with the terms of the K-1 Visa, leading to increased scrutiny of subsequent Visa applications. 

After exploring the different situations occurring during a K-1 Visa application, it is also crucial to consider the potential changes in immigration fees. Understanding how immigration fees can impact the overall process is essential for couples navigating the intricacies of the immigration system.

What Are The Changes In The Immigration Fees?

The fees and costs associated with submitting applications are subject to change based on the specific forms and applications involved. You must determine the Visa category to submit to ascertain the applicable fees. Depending on the nature of your application, it is necessary to research and identify the specific requirements and associated costs.

It is vital to know that if the prices are rising, you should contact Lincoln-Goldfinch Law immigration lawyers. Work with them to find out which one to submit correctly.


Embarking on the K-1 Visa journey is an intricate path where love encounters complexities, requirements, and possible hurdles. Couples must comprehend and fulfill the Visa conditions. They must seek guidance from immigration lawyers and compile the necessary evidence to validate their relationship. 

Whether maneuvering through the application or addressing obstacles like previous deportation orders, each step demands adherence to the legal process. Additionally, staying informed about potential changes in immigration fees is crucial for proper financial planning and compliance. Couples can pursue the promise of a shared future in the United States, equipped with knowledge, preparation, and legal support. 

If you have additional questions about the K-1 Visa, immigration policies, or your specific case, you may contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a brief 10-minute evaluation of your case over the phone, we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you don’t miss our weekly broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as green cards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job.

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