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If your future spouse is a foreign national and you intend to marry him or her in the United States, you need to file a K1 Visa application. Once this application is approved, your fiance(e) can enter and stay in the United States legally for 90 days within which you can get married.Do you want to learn more? Visit

Who Are Eligible for K-1 Visas?

The petitioner has to be a U.S. citizen who intends to marry the petitioned foreign national within 90 days of arrival in the United States. Both parties should also be legally free to marry and must have met each other in person at least once within two years of filing the K-1 petition. Exceptions to the last rule may be permitted if the meeting will violate long-standing customs in you or your fiance(e)’s culture or if the meeting will result in extreme hardship. These exceptions require a separate waiver.

Required Documents

First, you need proof that you, the petitioner, is a bona fide U.S. citizen. If you were born in the United States, a copy of your birth certificate – front and back- will suffice. Naturalized citizens need to present a copy of their Certificate of Naturalization. Meanwhile, if you were born outside the U.S. or became U.S. citizens through your parents you may present your Certificate of Citizenship or your Form FS-240.

You also need to submit evidence of your intention and eligibility to marry. Supporting evidence such as photos of your meeting as a couple within the prescribed time period, statements of your intention to marry each other, and any other declaration of mutual intent. Any party who’s had previous marriages also need to provide proof that any such marriages were legally terminated at the time of the application.

Causes of Application Denials

Each K-1 visa application passes through the same review process as standard immigrant visa applications. This crucial time is vulnerable to many mistakes on your part as a petitioner and your future spouse. Some of the more common causes of denial include missing, incomplete or fake documents, lack of evidence of sufficient personal communication and/or physical meetings, assumption of misrepresentation during the interview, previous immigration violations or issues, prior criminal record, insufficient income or savings by the petitioner and even considerable age differences and poor English skills on the part of the foreign fiance(e) can serve as basis for rejection.

Terms of a K-1 Visa

As mentioned above, a K-1 visa is only valid for 90 days, during which you and your future spouse need to get married. This time period cannot be extended and your fiance(e) has to leave the country if you do not marry within this prescribed time. The status also bars the foreign national from marrying anyone else other than the petitioner. Work permits may be granted by filing for a separate Application for Employment Authorization.