A K-1 visa, otherwise known as a fiancé(e) visa, permits an engaged partner of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States. A K-1 visa holder must get married within 90 days of arriving in the country. Once married, they may then apply for a marriage green card. To find out whether you’re eligible, answer Boundless’ simple questions here.
In this article, we’ll go over the documents required to submit a fiancé(e) visa application. While every situation is different, in general, you’ll need the following documents:
- Proof of citizenship for the U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
- Copy of sponsored fiancé(e)’s passport
- Evidence of terminated marriages, where needed
- Proof of meeting within 2 years of applying
- Evidence of legal name change, where applicable
- Sworn statements and evidence from both partners indicating their intent to marry and attesting to the legitimacy of their relationship
- A copy of Form I-94 arrival-departure records, if applicable for sponsored fiancé(e)
- Evidence supporting International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) waiver, if applicable
- One passport-style photo for each fiancé(e)
- Two passport-style photos for the sponsored fiancé(e)
- Birth certificate for the sponsored fiancé(e)
- Valid, unexpired passport for sponsored fiancé(e)
- Police clearance obtained from countries where the sponsored fiancé(e) lived for more than 6 months, including their country of residence
- Sealed medical exam issued by approved physician, obtained by sponsored fiancé(e) in their country of residence
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-134), submitted by U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
- Most recent tax returns of the U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
In what follows, we’ll break down which documents you need for each stage of the application process:
The U.S. citizen sponsor will, at the outset, submit Form I-129F. To gain approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the sponsor and their fiancé(e) will need to collect the following documents.
|Document Type||Examples of Acceptable Documents||Who Needs It?|
|Proof of U.S. Citizenship||U.S. citizen sponsor|
|Proof that previous marriages have ended|| ||Any fiancé(e) who has been previously married|
|One color, passport-style photo for each fiancé(e)|| ||Both fiancé(e)s|
|Proof of legal name change (if necessary)|| ||Any fiancé(e) who has changed their name|
|Evidence for IMBRA waiver (if necessary)|| ||U.S. citizen sponsor|
|Signed statement and evidence that petitioners will marry within 90 days of their arrival in the United States|| ||Both fiancé(e)s|
|Evidence you’ve both met in-person at least once within 2 years of filing Form I-129F|| ||Both fiancé(e)s|
|Proof of legitimate relationship|| ||Both fiancé(e)s|
|Form I-94 departure-arrival record|| ||Sponsored fiancé(e)|
Remember, if you do not submit the required evidence, USCIS may reject your application, so be sure to double and triple check the list. If, for whatever reason, the primary documents are not available, you may be able to submit a statement from the issuing civil authority saying the documents are not available.
You will then need to attach secondary evidence such as school records, U.S. census records, baptismal certificates, and any other evidence that supports your application. For more information, check out page 10 of the USCIS instructions for Form I-129F.
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After the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) is approved, the sponsored fiancé(e) will need to submit Form DS-160. To do that, both fiancé(e)s will need to gather several items. Below are two lists — one for the sponsored fiancé(e) and one for the U.S. citizen sponsor.
- Valid, unexpired passport
- Two passport-style photos
- Birth certificate
- Sealed medical exam given by an approved physician
- Police clearance from all countries where applicant lived for more than 6 months, including their current country of residence
U.S. Citizen Fiancé(e)
- Evidence of legitimate relationship, with the approved I-129F
- Affidavit of Support (see next section for more details)
- Most recent tax returns
The consular officer will use DS-160, and the answers provided at the interview, to determine whether the sponsored fiancé(e) is eligible for a K-1 visa. In the final section, we’ll discuss which documents you need to bring to the interview.
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As part of the visa application process, the U.S. citizen sponsor will need to submit an Affidavit of Support stating they will be able to financially support their fiancé(e) during their stay. When submitting Form I-134, the U.S. citizen sponsor will need to supply the following documents.
|Document Type||Required Documents|
|Proof of Bank Account||Signed statement given by bank official indicating the date you opened the account, total deposits made within the past year, and current balance|
|Proof of Employment||Signed statement on business letterhead indicating your salary, the dates of your employment, the nature of your job, and whether you are a permanent or temporary employee|
|Proof of Federal Taxes||A copy of your most recent federal tax return, or, if you’re self-employed, a report of commercial rating concern|
|Proof of Bonds (if applicable)||List with denominations and serial numbers of bonds, and names of owners|
Note: to submit this form, you, the U.S. citizen sponsor, must meet 100% of the income level for your household size, as determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For a more detailed explanation of the Affidavit of Support, check out the Boundless guide about Form I-134.
Once form DS-160 is approved, the sponsored partner will need to schedule an interview at their local embassy or consulate. In this section, we’ll go over which documents they need to bring to their appointment.
K-1 Visa Interview Checklist
- DS-160 confirmation page
- Birth certificate
- Police certificates for current country of residence and any country where sponsored fiancé(e) lived for more than 6 months
- Evidence of financial support (the Affidavit of Support may be required)
- Proof of relationship with U.S. citizen sponsor
- Fee payment
- Passport that will remain valid for at least 6 months after your arrival in the United States
- Divorce or death certificates of previous spouses (for both fiancé(e)s)
- Sealed medical exam
- Two 2×2 photos
Many of these will seem familiar, as you and your partner have already collected this documentation when filling out the previous forms. So it’s important to keep all your documentary evidence organized throughout the K-1 visa application process.
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