A K1 visa is a temporary family visa that allows fiancés of US citizens to come to the US to get married. Once the K1 visa has been issued and the couple have married, the foreign spouse (or K1 visa holder) is entitled to apply for a Green Card as an Immediate Relative and remain in the US while the application is processed. A K1 visa is only available to fiancés of US citizens who live outside the US.
K1 Visa Requirements
To qualify for a K1 visa, the applicant must be living outside of the US and intend to marry a US citizen within 90 days of entering the US. The US citizen and foreign fiancé must be free to marry and have met in person at least once within the previous two years, unless meeting would violate cultural practices or result in significant hardship.
K1 visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.
K1 Visa Entitlements
A K1 visa entitles the holder to travel to the US to marry their US fiancé. A K1 visa is only valid for 90 days and extensions cannot be granted. The K1 visa holder is required to marry their US fiancé within this 90 day period or leave the United States. Once married, the K1 visa holder is entitled to apply for a Green Card and remain in the US while the application is processed. Foreign fiancés may undertake employment in the US with an approved employment authorization.
Unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for the applicable derivative visa (K2 visa) to accompany their parent to the US for the wedding and are entitled to apply for a Green Card to become a permanent resident after the marriage.