Beginning a new chapter of your life with your fiancé in the U.S. is a time filled with hope and dreams for the future. Securing a fiancé visa is an important step in this journey, allowing you to reunite with your loved one in California.
At Avazian & Avazian, our Los Angeles fiancé visa attorneys can provide the guidance and support you need during this process. We handle the legalities of applying for the fiancé visa so you can concentrate on the excitement of starting your life together.
What are the K1 and K3 Visas?
For those in a relationship with a U.S. citizen and planning to live together in the United States, the American government offers two paths for immigration: the K1 or K3 fiancé visa. The visa you apply for depends on your martial status:
- K1 Visa. The Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiancé is for foreign nationals engaged to U.S. citizens who are not yet married. It allows entry into the U.S. and sets the stage for obtaining permanent residency (Green Card).
- K3 Visa. The Nonimmigrant Visa for a Spouse is designed for foreign nationals who are already married to a U.S. citizen but reside in their home country. You’ll apply for this visa if you marry in the U.S. and return to your home country or if your U.S. citizen partner marries you in your country before returning to the States.
Requirements for Obtaining a K1 Fiancé Visa
K1 fiancé visa requirements apply to both you, as the foreign applicant, and your U.S. citizen partner, who will sponsor your entry into the United States. These include the following:
Requirements for the Foreign Applicant
To apply for a K1 visa, you must:
- Live outside of the United States
- Not be married to your U.S. citizen partner
- Be legally free and able to marry (not currently married)
- Have met your U.S. citizen partner within two years of applying
- Not be convicted of a serious crime
- Possess all documents your local U.S. consulate or embassy may request, such as a passport, birth certificate, and police certificate.
Requirements for the U.S. Sponsor
Your American fiancé must meet specific requirements to sponsor your entry into the United States. These include:
- Proof of U.S. citizenship with a valid document, such as an unexpired passport, a birth certificate, a certificate of naturalization, or a certificate of citizenship.
- Be legally free and able to marry
- Intend to marry you within 90 days of entering the United States
Steps to Obtain a Fiancé Visa
Obtaining your fiancé visa is generally a straightforward process, but it does require several detailed steps and documents. You can work with our fiancé visa law firm in Los Angeles, California, to simplify the process. We’ll help you with the following steps for your fiancé visa application:
- Your partner files a petition. To initiate the process, your partner must complete and file USCIS Form I-129F. We can help your fiancé fill out the form accurately, provide evidence of your intent to marry, and ensure you comply with all applicable requirements.
- USCIS processing. The USCIS will review your fiancé’s petition. Once approved, they will forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC). If USCIS requires additional documents, they may send a Request For Evidence (RFE). Our team can follow up and address the request quickly to avoid delays.
- NVC processing. When the NVC receives your fiancé’s approved petition, they will assign it a case number and forward it to your local embassy or consulate. Our attorneys can track your case and help prepare you for the next steps.
- Apply for the visa. Your local embassy or consulate will notify you and send instructions for starting the application process. You must fill out and submit Form DS-160 online. Our fiancé visa attorneys can help you understand the forms, fill them out accurately, and submit the correct documents.
- Medical exam and interview. After submitting the documents, you must visit your local consulate or embassy for a medical exam. This includes reviewing your medical history, a brief physical exam, blood tests, and chest X-rays. You’ll also complete an interview with a consular officer. Our lawyers can tell you what to expect during your exam and offer guidance on answering the interviewer’s questions.
- Final decision and issuance. At the end of the interview, the consular officer may approve, deny, or request additional documentation for your application. If you receive approval, you will return to the consulate to obtain a packet with your new passport containing the K-1 visa. Do not open the sealed packet – an officer with the Department of Homeland Security will open it upon your arrival in the U.S.Our team can help you prepare for entry into the United States while you wait for your passport and visa. We can provide advice and counseling regarding future legal filings, such as the adjustment from fiancé visa status to permanent resident.
- Entry into the United States. Once you receive your passport and visa, you are ready to travel. You may use your K1 visa to enter the United States. Your fiancé visa attorney can advise you on what to do on U.S. soil, like how to respond to a CBP officer’s questions. Once you are cleared for entry, you must marry your American fiancé within 90 days.
Start Your Journey to the Fiancé Visa Today
At Avazian & Avazian, we understand you are eager to start your life with your future spouse in the United States. Our fiancé visa attorneys can guide you through every step of the K1 visa process.
We have over 40 years of experience representing clients in immigration matters and will use our knowledge to help you receive your K-1 visa as soon as possible. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Fiancè Visa – FAQs
How much does a lawyer cost for a fiancé visa?
While total costs vary depending on the case complexity, a typical fiancé visa lawyer in California charges $1,000 to $2,000. This covers any consultations, paperwork, or communications your lawyer has with you, USCIS, or other agencies.
How long does it take to get a fiancé visa with a lawyer?
Fiancé visa processing times depend on how busy the USCIS and NVC offices are. On average, you can expect the fiancé visa timeline to last between 12 and 18 months.
What is the difference between K1, K2 and K3 visa?
The K1 visa allows foreign nationals engaged to U.S. citizens to enter the United States and marry their fiancé within 90 days of entry. K2 visas allow a K1 visa holder’s children and dependents under 21 to accompany and enter the U.S. The K3 visa allows foreign spouses to travel to the United States to reside with their U.S. citizen spouse while waiting for approval on their immigrant visa petition (USCIS Form I-130).
Can an immigration lawyer speed up the fiancé visa process?
While immigration lawyers cannot shorten processing times, they can help you avoid delays. For example, our attorneys can ensure you and your spouse file all relevant forms accurately and send as much documentation as needed. This helps minimize requests for further documentation or clarification, which can lengthen the fiancé visa process.