If your fiancé(e) is not a citizen of the United States and you plan to get married in the United States, then you must file a petition with USCIS on behalf of your fiancé(e). After the petition is approved, your fiancé(e) must obtain a visa issued at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad. The marriage must take place within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States. If the marriage does not take place within 90 days or your fiancé(e) marries someone other than you, your fiancé(e) will be required to leave the United States. Until the marriage takes place, your fiancé(e) is considered a nonimmigrant. A nonimmigrant is a foreign national seeking to temporarily enter the United States for a specific purpose. A fiancé(e) may not obtain an extension of the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.
If your fiancé(e) intends to live and work permanently in the United States, your fiancé(e) should apply to become a permanent resident after your marriage. (If your fiancé(e) does not intend to become a permanent resident after your marriage, your fiancé(e)/new spouse must leave the country within the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.) Please note, your fiancé(e) will initially receive conditional permanent residence status for two years. Conditional permanent residency is granted when the marriage creating the relationship is less than two years old at the time of adjustment to permanent residence status.
Your fiancé(e) may enter the United States only one time with a fiancé(e) visa. If your fiancé(e) leaves the country before you are married, your fiancé(e) may not be allowed back into the United States without a new visa.
What Does the Law Say?
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is a law that governs the admission of people into the United States. For the part of the law concerning fiancé(e) (K-1) visas, please see INA § 214. The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for the fiancé(e) (K-1 K1) classification are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 214.2(k).
Who is Eligible?
U.S. citizens who will be getting married to a foreign national in the United States may petition for a fiancé(e) classification (K-1 K1) for their fiancé(e). You and your fiancé(e) must be free to marry. This means that both of you are unmarried, or that any previous marriages have ended through divorce, annulment or death. You must also have met with your fiancé(e) in person within the last two years before filing for the fiancé(e) visa. This requirement can be waived only if meeting your fiancé(e) in person would violate long-established customs, or if meeting your fiancé(e) would create extreme hardship for you. You and your fiancé(e) must marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
You may also apply to bring your fiancé(e)’s unmarried children, who are under age 21, to the United States.
Will I Get a Work Permit?
After arriving in the United States, your fiancé(e) will be eligible to apply for a work permit. (You should note that USCIS might not be able to process the work permit within the 90-day time limit for your marriage to take place.) If your fiancé(e) applies for adjustment to permanent resident status, your fiancé(e) must re-apply for a new work permit after the marriage.
How Can I Check the Status of My Application?
Click on the menu button to the left, labeled “Check Case Status” and enter your file number.