K1 fiancee visa applicants must prove they have met “in person” within the past 2 years and have a legitimate relationship using documents such as visa stamps, airline tickets, emails, phone records and photos together.  US sponsors must prove they can support their fiancee above the US poverty line, which can be found on the US Department of Health and Human Services website.

K1 fiancee visa holders must legally register their marriage within 90 days after arrival in the US or they are required to leave the US.  After legally registering their marriage, visa holders must also file to adjust their status in order to obtain permanent residence in the US.  Visa holders filing to adjust their status to permanent resident must file another application and pay additional fees to USCIS within 90 days after arrival in the US.  The applicant will not be able to work, attend university or travel in & out of the US for many months while they are waiting for the permanent residence application to process.

CR1 spouse visa is better than the K1 fiancee visa because the applicant will get permanent residence upon arrival in the US, which allows them to work immediately or attend university and travel in & out of the US.  Unlike the CR1 spouse visa, K1 fiancee visa applicants cannot have another person act as the co-sponsor to meet the income requirements.  K1 fiancee visa is only recommended when the US citizen cannot travel outside the US to register their marriage.

The only other paper work required is to remove the conditions on the K1 fiancee visa applicant’s permanent residence within 90 days before 2 years from the date of their arrival in the US. This is required for both the CR1 spouse visa and K1 fiancee visa.

Self Help

US State Department - K1 Fiancee Visa

Foreign Affairs Manual - K1 Fiancee Visa

USCIS - K1 Fiancee Visa