The Fianc'(e) Visa

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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If you are engaged to a non-U.S. citizen (or you are a non-U.S. citizen engaged to a citizen) and you both want to live together in the United States, you or your fiancé(e) will need to get a non-immigrant fiancé(e) visa from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. The basic procedure is as follows:

The American citizen must file a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). There is a $455 filing fee (2008). The form must be filed with the local Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office (immigration office). Visit your local immigration field office to file your form. The USCIS will notify the filer if it approves the petition and will forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. The petition is then sent to the embassy or consulate where the non-U.S. citizen applies for his or her K-1 nonimmigrant visa for a fiancé(e).

Non-U.S. citizen applies for a visa at the local American embassy or consulate. The consular section at the embassy/consulate will let you know where to obtain the required medical examination. A digital fingerprint scan will be taken. The following information and items are also required:

  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States;
  • A birth certificate;
  • A divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse for both the applicant and the petitioner;
  • Police certificate from all places lived since age 16;
  • Medical examination (vaccinations are optional, see below);
  • Evidence of financial support (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support may be requested);
  • Two non-immigrant visa applications, immigration Form DS-156 (A Form DS-156, prepared in duplicate);
  • One Nonimmigrant Fiancé(e) Visa Application, DS-156K;
  • Two non-immigrant visa photos (each two inches 50 X 50 mm square, showing full face, against a light background);
  • Evidence of a fiancé(e) relationship;
  • Payment of fees.

A schedule of U.S. State Department visa fees for U.S. immigration is found here.

Make sure your vaccinations are current. The following vaccinations must be current: Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Polio, Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, Pertussis, Influenza type B, Hepatitis B, Varicella, and Pneumococcal.

    Non-U.S. citizen must enter the United States through a port-of-entry with the visa. The immigration official will give you instructions upon entry.

    You’ll need to get married within 90 days of entry. After you’re married, the American citizen spouse must file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the local USCIS office. You must fill out the Affidavit of Support and submit it with your spouse’s application.

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