The K-1 visa, commonly called the Fiancé visa, is one of the easiest and most convenient visas to apply for. This type of visa is specifically set up to allow an American citizen bring over their fiancé/fiancée to the U.S and get married there. After marriage, the foreign spouse can then apply for permanent residence.
One of the advantages of the K-1 visa is also that it allows for the sponsored individual to include their child or children to the petition as K-2 derivative. If the K-1 visa becomes successful, the child will also be granted the K-2 derivative visa.
The success of the K-1 visa however requires an application that leaves no room for mistakes. Among other things, the application also requires painstakingly gathering the relevant documents that will be asked for by the authorities.
To increase your chances of a successful K-1 visa application, you should get in touch with experienced professionals who can help. At Siam Legal International, we specialize in US Immigration: K-1 Fiancé and K-3 Spouse applications in Thailand. Get in touch with us here or call +6622548900 today for further assistance.
Even though the U.S K-1 visa is classified as a non-immigrant visa, it is processed by the Immigrant Visa section of United States embassies and consulates worldwide. This is no doubt because of the immigration benefits and options that the fiancé/fiancée stands to gain. Other relevant information relating to the K-1 visa will be provided in this article.
Eligibility for Fiancé(e) Visas
Obviously, the K-1 visa is not just for anyone. There are a number of things to consider to determine whether or not you and your fiancé/fiancée are eligible for a K-1 visa. According to the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), here are some of the eligibility rules for the K-1 visa:
- One of the partners is a U.S. citizen;
- You and your fiancé(e) intend to marry one another within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s arrival in the United States;
- The couple are both legally free to marry in the U.S. For instance, the coupe must be without any encumbrance and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment); and
- The couple met physically at least once within the 2-year period before applying for the K-1 visa. This condition may however be waived if proof is shown that a physical meeting would violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice. A waiver may also be made if the U.S citizen can prove that a physical meeting would result in extreme hardship.
A K-1 visa allows the holder to migrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen shortly after arrival in the United States. In addition to the conditions, there are also some requirements that must be met by the couple if they want their application to be successful. Some of these requirements include that:
- The partner that is a U.S citizen must meet the financial requirements for the K-1 Visa. What this generally means is that the income of such a person must be above the Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support.
- You and your Thai fiancée must pass a criminal record check for the K-1 Visa;
- Your Thai fiancée must pass a medical exam for the K-1 Visa;
Falling short of a requirement does not automatically mean your K-1 visa application will be denied. If you engage the services of our team of Lawyers and professionals at Siam Legal International, we may be able to render qualified assistance to you in this regard.
Application process for the U.S K-1 visa
The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services has outlined the expected process involved in the application for a fiancé/fiancée visa. The basic steps can be categorized thus:
The I-129F petition, also known as the otherwise known as Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), is the form required to be filled by the partner that is a U.S citizen. The filling of this form signals the beginning of the application process. The Thai partner cannot apply for this K-1 visa. The petition must be filed by the American citizen to the USCIS. It usually takes about two to three months on average for the USCIS to review this petition.
After the USCIS determines that you’re eligible for the K-1 visa, your form will be approved and sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) from where it is sent to the US Embassy in Bangkok for processing. The embassy will then notify you of the date of the interview for your Thai partner.
Preparing for the interview
In preparation for the interview at the US Embassy, the ‘foreign’ partner will be required to produce a list of required documents and application forms. These documents include:
- Birth certificate,
- A valid passport,
- 2 pcs (2X2) of recently taken photographs in required format,
- Police clearance,
- Medical certificate,
- Divorce or death certificate if previously married,
- Evidence of financial support,
- Proof of genuine relationship between the Thai citizen and their American partner. This may be in form of photographs, videos, correspondence, etc.,
- Proof of payment of the required application fees.
The interview and medical examination
The required forms and documents must be taken along to the interview at the U.S Embassy. Prior to this, a medical examination must have been conducted at specified locations in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
The interview itself may take a couple of hours to conclude. After the documents are reviewed, the visa officer may ask questions to determine the authenticity of your relationship.
If the K-1 visa application is approved, it should be available about two business days after the interview. On the other hand, all applications discovered to be fraudulent will be rejected by the U.S Embassy.
How long does it take to process the U.S K-1 visa?
Based on our extensive experience at Siam Legal International, it takes about 5 to 8 months to obtain the actual K-1 visa at the U.S Embassy in Bangkok. However, each application will have its own timeline based on its own particulars. The time it takes largely depends on how fast the USCIS and other agencies can process the application. Also, an application that contains an error or is not properly filed will also affect the timeline.
This is why it is recommended that due precaution must be taken when filling the I-129F form. To avoid a disaster, our team of lawyers and professionals at Siam Legal International is ready to lend you our expertise and reunite you quickly with your loved one.
Do you need the services of experts to apply for the U.S K-1 visa?
The long process and barrage of documents required for the fiancé/fiancée visa application has already been mentioned. It is very obvious that there is no space for error at all. The form must be filled correctly and all documents must be provided. For someone with little or no experience in visa applications, the process can be very overwhelming. Even more so, majority of U.S K-1 visa applications denied were by people who chose to wrongly do it on their own.
At Siam Legal International, we have successfully helped Thai citizens and their American lovers to process their K-1 visas. Some of the services we will be rendering include:
- Petitioning the USCIS on your behalf.
- Gathering relevant information and documents required for your application,
- Conducting a follow-up on the petition,
- Liaising with our licensed American attorney if required,
- Establishing a correspondence with the US Embassy,
- Getting the Thai fiancé/fiancée the required Police Report,
- Facilitating the acquisition of the certificate of medical examination,
- Preparing and coaching the Thai partner on the K-1 visa interview at the U.S Embassy in Bangkok, and much more.
Get in touch with Siam Legal International today for your K-1 visa application
At Siam Legal International we specialize in US Immigration, especially K-1 visas and K-3 spouse applications in Thailand. Our team of legal experts and professionals include English and Thai staff that can help you and your Thai fiancée or spouse obtain a visa quickly. Contact us online here as soon as you can or call +6622548900 today for further assistance.