A K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for the fiancé of a U.S. citizen. A K-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for an unmarried child, under 21 years old, of a K-1 applicant.
A K-3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for the spouse of a U.S. citizen. A K-4 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for the unmarried child, under 21 years old, of a K-3 applicant. If your I-130 petition is approved before your K-3 visa interview, you will no longer be eligible for a K-3 visa and will have to complete the process for an immigrant visa. This rarely happens. If it does happen, the consulate can help you switch to the immigrant visa process.
Your sponsoring fiancé/spouse is not required to attend the interview, but it may be a good idea to do so.
You may have to wait beyond your scheduled appointment time, as many applicants are scheduled at the same time.
Review all your paperwork before the interview. Review the questions and answers on all the forms and documents that you and your sponsor have submitted so far. Review the dates of your visits to different places, financial figures, and your immigration history. If there have been any changes, or if you have noticed any errors since filing out the forms previously, be prepared to explain the changes and provide documents confirming the new information, as appropriate.
After reviewing the paperwork, discuss with your fiancé/spouse the facts and circumstances surrounding your relationship, such as where you met, how your relationship developed, how you have corresponded or visited and when, and why you decided to get married.
If you are applying for a fiancé visa, you should be ready to explain your plans for the wedding and subsequent life together.
Dress neatly, professionally, and even conservatively. Don’t wear T-shirts or jewelry with slogans or symbols that might make the officer wonder about your lifestyle or morals. However, don’t overdo it by wearing a tie covered with American flags, for example, or make comments about how great the U.S.A. is and how you would be a member of a great society.
All applicants are interviewed on the day of the interview. The consular officer fingerprints the applicant, takes the applicant’s oath, reviews the documents, and advises the applicant of the decision reached. Applicants who are refused visas are given a letter of refusal which explains the reason for the refusal and the action that needs to be taken in order for the visa to be issued. For the applicants who are issued visas, the visas are affixed inside each passport.
Don’t talk unnecessarily or make any jokes such as “mail-order bride” or paying money for a bride or anything like that.
The consulate makes every effort to complete the visa interview as soon as possible. However, it is possible that applicants may have to spend several hours at the consulate on the day of the interview.
You may be asked questions such as how you and your spouse/fiancé met, when you decided to get married, and other facts regarding your visits or correspondence. If you are already married, you may be asked how many people attended the ceremony and how you have visited or corresponded with each other in recent years. If you don’t know the answer or don’t remember something, say so rather than just making a guess.
No assurance can be given in advance that a visa will be issued. A consular officer can make that decision only after the visa application and documents have been reviewed and the applicant has been personally interviewed. Applicants are, therefore, advised not to make any travel arrangements, not to dispose of property, or not to give up his/her job until the visa has already been issued.
Applications are rarely denied on the spot. If there are problems that can be corrected, or if you are inadmissible but are eligible to apply for a waiver, you will be asked to provide additional materials. Politely ask the officer to put any requests for more materials in writing, stating exactly what is needed and why. If there are any questions about the validity of your marriage, the consular officer may send the file back to the U.S. for investigation.
There will be no visa stamp in the passport. Instead, the visa will be stuck to the sealed envelope containing most of the forms and documents that you have submitted during the process. DO NOT open the envelope.
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If you are pregnant at the time of your fiancé visa interview, the consular officer will arrange to give the baby a separate visa if it is born before you depart for the U.S. However, before either of you are given a visa, the consulate will need to receive a written acknowledgment from your U.S. citizen fiancé that he is still willing to marry you. This is because it may be possible that the U.S. citizen fiancé may not be the father of the baby and may, therefore, change his mind about the engagement.
Unmarried children under 21 can either accompany the parent or follow to join later, as long as they remain unmarried and are still under the age of 21. They need to contact the consulate if they decide to follow you. The consulate will verify your initial visa approval, and children have to go through the same procedure as described above to be granted a visa.
The children will need to be under 21 not only while getting a K-2/K-4 visa, but they will also need to be under 21 while entering the U.S. with a visa.
The children will need to submit their Adjustment of Status application in the U.S. before their visa expires. After entering the U.S., based on the Child Status Protection Act, it is possible to file an Adjustment of Status after turning 21, as long as Form I-130 was filed before the child’s 21st birthday.
In the case of the fiancé (K1) visa, if your children would like to just attend the wedding, they may be able to get a tourist visa.
Validity of the fiancé visa (K-1/K-2):
Fiancé visas are valid for 6 months from the date the visa is issued. Applicants must travel and apply for admission to the U.S. within that 6-month period. The visa may not be transferred from one person to another or used by any person other than the person to whom it was issued.
Validity of the K-3/K-4 visa:
A K-3 visa is generally valid for a maximum period of 10 years from the date of issuance; a K-4 visa is valid until the applicant’s 21st birthday. You must travel and apply for admission to the U.S. within that period. The visa may not be transferred from one person to another or used by any person other than the person to whom it is issued.
Procedures at the Port of Entry:
A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The visa specifies the period during which the bearer may apply at a port of entry to enter the U.S. The USCIS, not the consular officer, authorizes the traveler admission to the U.S. Applicants whose medical reports classify them as Class A or Class B tubercular need to present their X-rays to the officials at the port of entry and should therefore HAND CARRY the X-ray films to the U.S.
Hand over the envelope to the port of entry immigration officer. Stay calm and carefully answer all questions. Do not make any silly jokes that may deny your entry into the U.S.
If the sealed envelope given to you by the consulate is open, you may be sent back to the consulate to apply again or you may be accused of visa fraud. The port of entry officer may use summary exclusion powers to prohibit you from entering the U.S. for the next 5 years.
Your passport will be stamped with a K-1 fiancé status (or K-2 or K-3 or K-4 as appropriate) and the I-94 card will have the appropriate duration for the visa. If you plan to work in the U.S., ask the officer whether he/she can stamp your passport for work authorization. Even though it’s less likely he/she will, it is worth a try. Otherwise, you will have to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which takes a long time to process.
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