September 28, 2022

Volume XII, Number 271


September 27, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

September 26, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

‘90-Day Fiancé’ – The K-1 Fiancé Visa in the United States

90 Day Fiancé,” one of the popular shows on the TLC network, shows the journey of romance through the culture clashes and mainly the tedious process through the American immigration system. Showcasing the love story between an American citizen and a foreign national, the show portrays their journey, highlighting thought-provoking elements of comedy, shocking revelations, and skepticism.

Season 8 of the show ended in April, and the next series premiers its sixth season of “90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?” This secondary show catches up on the lives of the most memorable couples from the past seasons.

What Is the K-1 Fiancé Visa?

A U.S. citizen can bring their fiancé to the U.S. if they intend to marry their fiancé within 90 days of admission to the U.S. on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. Once the foreign fiancé marries the U.S. citizen, they can apply for lawful permanent residency (the green card).

Both the U.S. citizen and the foreign fiancé must be legally free to marry, having terminated any previous marriages. The U.S. citizen and the fiancé must have met each other in person at least once in the two years before the fiancé visa application is filed (certain cultures may get waivers for this requirement if one can establish that this will violate long-established practices).

A fiancé visa is not available to individuals who are already married, plan on getting married outside the U.S., or if the fiancé is already residing in the U.S. in legal status.

U.S. Citizens and Their Fiancés’ Immigration Struggles

The K-1 Fiancé visa is not one that is commonly used fewer than 1% of K-1 visas were approved last year. It is much more common for a foreign national to enter the country with a visitor’s visa and then marry their loved one.

The complete K-1 visa approach to getting a legal permanent card is a five-step process:

  1. The U.S citizen petitions with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), presenting all the required documentation.

  2. Once the application is approved by the National Visa Center (NVC), the fiancé will apply for the K-1 visa, complete the required forms, and attend the visa interview. Once the consular officer approves the visa, the finance has six months to enter the U.S.

  3. The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officer will make a final determination at the port of entry. Having an approved visa does not guarantee entry to the U.S.

  4. The fiancé and the U.S. citizen must marry within 90 days of entering the U.S.

  5. The U.S. citizen spouse can file for Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status.

If the U.S. citizen’s fiancé is from a country that is under a travel ban, that adds a hurdle, making it impossible to bring them into the United States. If the fiancé is not a citizen of a country that allows citizens to travel to the U.S. for 90 days without visas, then the individual must go through a consular official to enter the U.S.

©2022 Norris McLaughlin P.A., All Rights ReservedNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 124

About this Author

Raymond Lahoud Immigration Attorney Norris McLaughlin

Raymond G. Lahoud, Chair of the firm’s Immigration Law Practice, focuses exclusively on the area of immigration law and deportation defense for individuals, families, small to large domestic and multinational businesses and corporations, employers, international employees, investors, students, professors, researchers, skilled professionals, athletes, and entertainers, in every type of immigration or deportation defense matter—whether domestic or foreign.  While Ray’s immigration practice is global in reach, with service to individuals and organizations across the United States and beyond,...