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K1 Fiance Visa: What Is It For & How To Get It?

You are an American, and for some reason, you don’t want to marry a local American girl, right? In this case, you desire to create a family with a woman from another country. To do so, you will need a K1 visa. Learn more about it in this article.

What is a K-1 visa?

fiance visa
K1 fiance visa example. Source by cbp.gov

A K1 visa is a special visa that allows a foreign lady to legally marry an American man in the United States. This visa is also called a fiancé or fiancée visa. Once the couple marries, the foreign citizen can become a permanent citizen of the United States. A K-1 visa is vital to immigration benefits. 

What are the income requirements for a K-1 fiancé visa?

In 2022, the minimum fiancé(e) income requirement was $22,887. Besides your personal income, the income of the household members related to you is also counted as part of your household income. The income can include the total stable yearly salary that you were paid by an employer, retirement benefits, alimony, child support payments, and dividends. Other sources of income are also possible, but they need special documentation. 

K-1 visa processing time 2024 

On average, the K1 visa timeline averages 15.5 months. It refers to the moment when you apply for I-129F. Moreover, it does not include the time the government approves your application and sets the interview date. This differs from the country you are applying from. Still, you can call the USCIS Contact Center and therefore speed up the processing of obtaining a K-1 visa.

Processing time after Covid-19 and huge backlogs has extended from 6 to over 10 months. Therefore, the receivers can obtain a K1 visa after a longer period. 

Cost of a K-1 visa 

The cost of a visa K1 depends on various factors. Here are the essential ones: 

  1. The government’s obligatory fee for Form I-129F is $535. An applicant can pay for the Form for K1 visa with a cashier’s check, money order, or personal check. You can also pay by credit card using Form G-1450. In case of paying by check, make sure the check is payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  2. After the approval of Form I-129F, the engaged partner of the U.S. citizen is obligated to go through a medical examination. The price for the exam is different depending on the provider, but $200 is a typical cost. 
  3. You should pay the fee for the K-1 visa application, which costs $265. It is possible to pay for this fee at the interview. However, it’s essential to review certain instructions concerning the place and time of payment.
  4. There are other costs that you should consider: postage, passport photos, passport, children, and translation services.

How to apply for a K-1 fiancé visa?

To apply for a K-1 visa, you need to file Form I-129F visa petition. You need to use this form since its purpose is to prove that your relationship with the American citizen is legitimate. Form I-129F should be filled out by a U.S. citizen.

Form I-129F

Form I-129F is proof that your relationships are valid. This is the list of required documents that should be included with Form I-129F.

  • A passport, birth certificate, or certificate of naturalization that is proof that the sponsoring fiancé is a U.S. citizen.
  • A copy of the foreign fiancé’s passport.
  • The evidence of the relationship is real. You should demonstrate photos of spending time together, trips to each other’s countries, written approval from family and friends that confirm the relationship, or texting between partners. 
  • The couple is obliged to meet in person at least once within two years before submitting the form. This evidence can be flight bookings, pictures, hotel itineraries, emails, etc. 
  • Each partner must endorse a statement that describes the nature of their relationship and indicate the intention to get married within 90 days after the foreign partner arrives in the U.S.
  • The sponsored fiancé also needs to provide a copy of all previously issued Form I-94 records.
  • A passport photo of the U.S. citizen fiancé and a passport photo of the foreign partner.

Form DS-160 and interview

The sponsored fiancé must complete the State Department’s online DS-160 form

The State Department will require certain documents from you:

  • Birth certificate
  • Two passport-style photos
  • Police records from the recent country and other countries the fiancé has lived since the age of 16
  • Valid passport
  • A special medical examination form


  • The recent tax returns
  • Affidavit of support (Form I-134)
  • Proof of relationship (copy of the approved I-129F package)


The visa interview can take place at the nearest U.S. embassy or in the sponsored fiancé’s home country. It starts about 4–6 weeks after the embassy’s initial notice.

The interviewing officer will tell you the results on the same day of the interview or after a few days. They will request additional evidence if desired. 


When all the requirements for a K1 visa USA are approved, the sponsored fiancé has six months to travel to the United States. When the fiancé arrives in the U.S., the couple must get married within the first 90 days. In case they don’t, the sponsored partner will lose a K-1 status. 

If, for some reason, the couple decides not to get married, the sponsored partner should leave the United States. 

If the couple got married within 90 days, the final step would be to apply for a marriage-based green card. It will also be sponsored by the person who originally sponsored a K-1 visa.


You’ve done a lot of things to find a foreign bride and conquer her heart. Now there’s only one obstacle left to overcome: marrying your bride in your country. The process of getting a bride or groom visa in the USA isn’t that hard, check out the official USCIS website for detailed information and form applications. Your happiness is just around the corner, so keep your spirit up!


What is the average processing time for a K-1 visa?

The average processing time for a K-1 visa is 15.5 months. It starts when the government approves the application and invites the sponsored partner and American citizen for the interview. The process also depends on the country where the finance is coming from.

What is the eligibility category for a K-1 visa?

If the foreign partner wants to apply for the K-1 visa, they must live outside the United States, be legally free, and unmarried. Additionally, the foreigner must meet an American partner in person for the last 2 two years at least once. The fiancé is also required not to be convicted of serious crimes.

What documents to take to the K1 visa interview?

The documents required for the K-1 visa interview are Completed Form DS-160, an international passport to travel to the United States, birth certificate, divorce or death certificate(s) for both you and the U.S. citizen sponsor, police certificates, medical examination, two (2) 2×2 photographs, evidence of financial support (Form I-134), proofs of relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e), payment of fees.

Dan Plesch
Dan Plesch is a UK-born legal expert and author with a rich background in law, particularly focusing on immigration issues. Having embarked on his legal journey at King's College London, he has authored several influential books on jurisprudence and practiced law across continents. With a significant shift in focus in 2020, Dan now specializes in assisting Latinx individuals with US immigration law, particularly in obtaining fiancé and fiancée visas. His vast expertise now benefits readers of LatinaDate.org, where he offers invaluable advice on navigating international relationships and immigration laws, making legal knowledge accessible to a diverse audience.
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Last updated March, 2024

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