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To be eligible for the K-1 nonimmigrant classification, the noncitizen must be the fiance(e) of a U.S. Citizen. K-1 applicants must be coming to the United States to conclude a valid marriage to the U.S. Citizen petitioner within 90 days. Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended. The fiancé(e) should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If your fiancé(e) does not depart, he or she would violate U.S. immigration law. This could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.

The fiancé(e) visa is a temporary visa that simply permits your fiancé(e) to enter the United States so that the two of you can marry in the United States within the 90 days permitted from the date of entry. It is not a way for you to bring a person here so you can get to know one another, or spend more time together to decide whether or not you want to marry.

All nonimmigrant grounds of inadmissibility apply. K-1 aliens must have met the fiance(e) in person within the 2 years immediately preceding the filing of the petition, with the exception of cases of extreme hardship or established foreign culture o r social practice. Once you marry, your spouse can apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while we process the application. If you choose this method, file a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). Filing instructions and forms are available on our Web site at www.uscis. gov. If we approve the I-129F, we will send it to the National Visa Center, which will process and forward it to the U.S. Embassy or consulate nearest your fiancé(e)’s foreign place of residence. The embassy or consulate will then invite him or her to apply for the actual fiancé(e) visa.

Once admitted to the United States with a K-1 visa, your fiancé(e) will be authorized to stay for 90 days during which you are permitted to marry. As soon as you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence by filing a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, and mailing it to: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services P.O. Box 805887 Chicago, IL 60680-4120.

What are the basic eligibility requirements for a fiancé(e) petition?

You must be a U.S. citizen to file a fiancé(e) petition. In your petition, you must show that:

• You are a U.S. citizen;

• You and your fiancé(e) intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States;

• You are both free to marry; and

• You have met each other in person within 2 years before you file this petition. However, there are two exceptions that require a waiver:

– If the requirement to meet your fiancé(e) in person would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice; or

– If you prove that the requirement to personally meet your fiancé(e) would result in extreme hardship to you.

My fiancé(e) has a child. May the child come to the United States with my fiancé(e)?

If the child is under 21 years old and is not married, a K-2 visa may be available to him or her. Be sure to include the name(s) of your fiancé(e)’s child(ren) on your I-129F fiancé(e) petition.

Can my fiancé(e) work in the United States while on a fiancé(e) visa?

After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with a USCIS Lockbox based on your place of residence. Any work authorization based on a nonimmigrant fiancé(e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry. However, your fiancé(e) would also be eligible to apply for an extended work authorization at the same time as he or she files for permanent residence. In this case, your fiancé(e) would file Form I-765 together with Form I-485 as soon as you marry.

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