A Guide on Working with a Skilled K-1 Visa Lawyer

The Law Office of Diana Levy provides knowledgeable and experienced representation on immigration-related matters. We assist clients with visa requirements.

What is a K-1 Visa?

The K-1 visa or the fiancé visa is a class of marriage-based immigrant visa designed for the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen who was born and lived outside of the United States. With a K-1 visa, the foreign fiancé(e) can come into the United States to marry their U. S. citizen fiancé(e).

For a K-1 visa, the U. S. citizen fiancé(e) needs to file a petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129. Once approved, the foreign fiancé(e) can come to the United States and is allowed 90 days for the marriage.

After marriage, the foreign citizen fiancé(e) can apply for status adjustment with the USCIS to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). Once the USCIS approves the LPR request, the K-1 visa holder will receive a green card. As green card holders, they can sponsor their family members to come to the United States.

K-1 Visa Requirements

The process for a K-1 visa applicant starts when the U. S. citizen fiancé(e) files Form I-129 with the USCIS.

You need to meet the following requirements to be able to file a Form-129 petition:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • You must have met or visited your fiancé(e) in the last two years and have proof of the meeting
  • You and your fiancé(e) must be free and clear to legally marry each other at the time of petition submission, and after that
  • You and your fiancé(e) must be either unmarried or have any previous marriages ended on divorce or death and must have proof of the divorce or death
  • You and your fiancé(e) must be willing and ready to marry within ninety days of the arrival of your nonimmigrant fiancé(e) in the United States
  • Submit an Affidavit of Support to declare that you can financially sponsor your fiancé(e). You can look for a co-sponsor if you do not meet income requirements.

The K-1 visa process requires you to attend an interview.

Requirements of a K-1 visa interview

You need to prepare the following documents for your K-1 visa application interview:

  • Complete a Nonimmigrant Visa Application online
  • The foreign fiancé(e) must have a valid passport with an extended validity of the past six months after the stay in the United States. Exceptions may apply depending on specific countries
  • Birth certificate of the foreign fiancé(e)
  • Divorce or death certificate to prove the end of any previous marriages
  • Police certificate from the country of residence of the foreign fiancé(e)
  • Form I-134 as proof of sustainable financial support of the foreign fiancé(e)
  • Two passport-style photos as per the photograph requirements of the State Department
  • A valid proof that there isn’t any fraudulent relationship between the U.S citizen fiancé(e) and the foreign fiancé(e)
  • Evidence documents of approved medical examination from a trusted medical health center.


The K1 Fiance Visa Process

The first step in the fiancé visa process involves filing a Petition for Alien Fiancé (Form I-129) by the petitioner (United States citizen). This petition has to be filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and sent to the appropriate USCIS Service Center based on the geographic residency of the petitioner.

Note that if approved, the petition is only valid for four months. However, a U.S. consular officer can extend the petition to process the fiance visa application.

Once the U.S. Consulate or Embassy is notified that USCIS has approved the application for the fiance visa, it will notify the foreign-citizen fiancé and send along a specific set of instructions on how to proceed with the process: schedule a K1 visa interview and a medical examination.

Fees for K1 Visa Application

The application processing fee for the K-1 visa is comprised of $535 for the Form I-129 filing fee and $265 for the K-1 visa. There will be other costs for medical examination and organizing all necessary paperwork.

The Affidavit of Support requires the U.S. fiancé(e) to show that they have assets or income which meets the poverty guidelines, which stands at $18.150 in 2022 for a household of two people. That figure is higher if the foreign fiancé(e) brings their children across as part of the K-1 visa process.

Once the application has been approved, there will be travel costs for the foreign fiancé(e) to come to the United States, a $1,140 filing fee for an Adjustment of Status application, and an $85 biometrics fee for fingerprinting.

For more information on fees and other information on the K-1 visa, contact a reputable K-1 visa lawyer.

How Long Does a K-1 Visa Application Take?

The application process for a K-1 visa usually takes 4 to 5 months. Exceptions apply to cases with special requirements.

If you work with an immigration lawyer, your lawyer’s assistance could expedite the application process.

A K-1 visa lawyer can prevent delays in your application by guiding you in preparing all necessary documents and minimizing errors in the application.

Can K1 Visa Be Denied?

Yes, K1 fiancé visa applications can be denied by the USCIS. There may be different reasons behind the denial, including medical concerns, lack of documentation, and a criminal record. Although certain crimes can be the reason for denial, not all crimes will. The USCIS won’t automatically deny an application if the foreign-citizen fiancé committed a minor crime in the past that they have been fined for or served jail time.

Do I Need a Lawyer for K-1 Visa?

Though immigration law doesn’t require you to hire a lawyer for a K-1 visa application submission, it is highly recommended to have a lawyer help you as it can speed up the process by minimizing delays and errors in the application.

A K-1 visa attorney is knowledgeable in the K-1 visa process, requirements, fees, and how the National Visa Center works. With their help, you can understand the entire process better and prepare all the necessary documents within the deadline.

Moreover, an immigration lawyer with experience handling several immigration applications would have the solutions to potential problems you may encounter during the application process, saving you time, money, and stress.

Once your K-1 visa is approved, your lawyer can also help you navigate dealings with the USCIS, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office.

How much Does a K-1 Visa Lawyer Cost?

The cost of working with an immigration attorney on a K-1 visa application depends on various factors, such as;

  • Experience level of the attorney

  • Location served by the attorney

  • Availability

  • Details of your case

It is a good idea to seek referrals from friends and family or use an online rating system to choose a lawyer with whom you can have a positive attorney-client relationship.

Immigration Lawyer for K-1 Visa

The Law Office of Diane Levy, P.A. has dedicated immigration attorneys who can assist you and your fiancé(e) with the K-1 visa process.

We can guide you through the application process and the Adjustment of Status application necessary for the foreign fiancé(e) to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. Call us today to discuss your case confidentially!