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What are the eligibility requirements for a K-1 visa?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Immigration Law

If you are a U.S. citizen and your partner is a foreign national, a K-1 visa can help you live together as a couple in the United States.  This type of visa enables your partner to travel to the U.S. for marriage purposes.

Once you are married, your spouse can apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident. Below are the eligibility requirements for a K-1 visa.

Your relationship must be genuine

You must demonstrate that your relationship is bonafide and not just a means to obtain a visa. You can prove this by presenting evidence like communication records, photos and even testimony from friends and family.

You must also have met your partner in person at least once in the two years before filing the petition unless circumstances do not allow.

You must be legally free to marry and intend to do so

You and your spouse must be unmarried or divorced when making the visa application and remain so until you tie the knot with your partner. Additionally, you must get married within 90 days of your partner’s arrival in the U.S.

Demonstrate financial ability

You must show that you can financially support your fiancé(e) upon their admission to the country.  Your income must meet or surpass 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, although you can have a joint sponsor if you do not meet the income requirements.

Pass background checks

You will both be subjected to background checks whose outcome could impact your eligibility for a K-1 visa. For instance, your partner should not have a criminal record that would make them inadmissible to the U.S. They must also pass a medical examination by an authorized physician.

A K-1 visa can be a valuable opportunity for you and your partner, but nothing is guaranteed. The process can be complex, and you may encounter hurdles such as delays, requests for additional evidence or even denial of your visa application. Seeking legal guidance can help you navigate the process, understand your responsibilities and increase your chances of a successful petition.