If you are a U.S. citizen and want to marry a foreign national and bring them to live with you in the United States, it’s generally not a simple process. One of the most often utilized options in this regard is the K1 visa.

In many circumstances, this is the visa that makes the most sense to pursue. So what exactly is the K1 visa, and what can you expect from the K1 process? This article will give you insight into the requirements and process.

1. What is the K1 Visa?

The K1 visa allows your fiance to enter the United States under the condition that they will get married to you in 90 days or less. If they don’t get married to you within 90 days, they’ll need to leave the country.

On average, total processing time for the K1 visa is usually 7-12 months, although during the pandemic that time could increase by 50% or even double.   Once the visa is issued though, your fiance can travel to and enter the USA.

The total cost for this visa is around $1000.

2. K1 Visa Eligibility

To qualify for this visa, you’ll need to fulfill certain conditions. Firstly, you need to be eligible to marry. This means that neither you or your partner can be in an existing marriage.

You’ll also need to be able to prove the legitimacy of the relationship. For example, you might have to provide evidence of social media messages, photos of your time together, and you’ll need to take part in an interview where the legitimacy of your relationship will be assessed.

You’ll also need to be able to prove, with very few exceptions, that you’ve met in person in the last 2 years.

3. Income Requirements

You’ll also need to provide proof that you can financially support your partner when they arrive in the country. You’ll need to show that your most recent tax return is at least 125% of the federal poverty guidelines.

If you can’t meet these income requirements yourself, someone else who is a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder (lawful permanent resident) can apply to be your partner’s sponsor. If they do this, they pledge to be financially responsible for the entering immigrant.

4. Embassy Interview

Before being admitted to the USA, your fiance will need to attend an interview at their local US embassy. If your fiance has any criminal background or prior U.S. immigration violations, this will certainly come up at this point. This could be grounds for refusal.

If you’re in a situation where an intending immigrant’s criminal or problematic U.S. immigration history will be an issue at the visa interview, you should contact an immigration law firm in Chicago or wherever you live.

A lawyer can also help you prepare for the interview by giving your fiance a sense of the kinds of questions they can expect.

Legal Representation Can Help With the k1 Visa

The K1 visa can be a very complicated process, and any missteps could cause delays in your application. It makes a lot of sense to get legal advice if you have any doubts about the K1 application.

If you want to work with some of the best immigration lawyers in Chicago who can help guide you through this confusing process, check out our contact page today.