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K-1 fiance(e) visa basics


Attention U.S./Chinese couples: Attorney Huang has extensive experience handling K-1 fiancee visas for Chinese fiancees. He travels regularly to Guangzhou, China to visit the U.S. Consulate General there. He is familiar with the processes Chinese fiancees will undergo and has an excellent 100% success rate. Contact us for more information. 


There are two basic steps to getting a K-1 visa. The first one involves the Petition which is completed by the U.S. citizen while the second step involves the Application which is the alien's request for a K-1 visa stamp at their home country's U.S. consulate. The completed petition is sent to the CIS for approval. Upon receipt of the petition, the CIS will send the U.S. citizen a receipt notice indicating that they have received the petition and providing an approximate time frame for how long the processing will take. 

Once the petition has been approved, a Notice of Action (I-797) is sent to the U.S. citizen reflecting the approval. The file is then sent to an U.S. consulate in the alien's home country. Once received, the U.S. consulate will contact the alien and provide information about setting up an appointment to obtain a K-1 visa stamp. On the day of the appointment, the K-1 beneficiary will required to produce documents showing that s/he is not excludable for health reasons. If everything is in order, s/he will be granted a K-1 visa stamp.

Before proceeding, it is best to first gather all documents that will be needed. They include the following:

  • Proof showing that the petitioner is a U.S. citizen: U.S. government issued birth certificates are best.

  • Proof that each is legally free to marry. If any was previously married, s/he will need to include documents showing that the marriage was terminated through death or divorce.

  • Proof that that the alien has the genuine intention to marry the U.S. citizen within 90 days of his/her arrival into the U.S. This can be in the form of: wedding plans, church reservations, caterer reservations, receipts for deposits placed, wedding invitations, letter from a pastor indicating that he will be presiding over the ceremony.

  • Proof that the two have met within the past two years. This can best be shown through pictures of the two being together. The picture should have the date imprinted on it by the photo developer to show that it was taken within the past two years. This is an important requirement. Failure to meet this requirement will often result in a denied fiance petition.

Upon the approval of the K-1 petition, the CIS will send the file to the U.S. consulate designated on the I-129F form. The U.S. consulate will notify the alien when they have received the file and provide the alien with forms and information and an appointment time.

One of these forms is another biographical information form. This form will be used to conduct a background security check on the alien. The DS-156 is another form that must be completed. 

The alien will also have to bring the Affidavit of Support to the appointment. This form shows to the officer at the U.S. Consulate that the signor will take financial responsibility for the alien.

For the appointment, the alien must be prepared to present the following documents: a valid passport, police clearance certificates, passport photos, and copies of all the paperwork submitted for the Petition in Step One. 

The alien will also be required to undergo a medical examination. The notice that is sent to the alien from the U.S. Consulate when the petition is approved by the CIS and received by the consulate will provide instructions on where to go see a medical examiner. The interview is designed to verify all the information contained in the application.

Assuming that the alien is not excludable and that s/he and the U.S. citizen have physically met within the past 2 years, intend to marry within 90 days of the alien's arrival, are both legally free to marry, have properly completed the paperwork, and have all supporting documents to prove these claims, the application should be approved and the alien will be on his/her way to joining their future spouse in the U.S.




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