What is the K-1 fiancé visa?
The K-1 fiancé visa allows a U.S. citizen who is engaged to a Canadian citizen to sponsor that fiancé for a visa to come to the U.S. Unlike the green card, the couple must not be married. If they are already married, then they are not eligible for the K-1 visa. There is no formal requirement to be considered “engaged” for K-1 purposes – so long as the couple intend to get married when applying for the visa.
How do I apply for a K-1 visa?
The K-1 visa involves several steps, beginning with a petition to USCIS by the U.S. citizen; then National Visa Center (NVC), then an interview at the U.S. Consulate in Montreal, and then adjustment of status through USCIS again. The K-1 visa is available to any Canadian citizen fiancé who is engaged to a U.S. citizen and who is not yet married. Under this visa, the U.S. citizen first files a petition with USCIS to sponsor the Canadian fiancé. Once the petition is approved, the Canadian fiancé will attend an interview at the U.S. Consulate in Montreal. If approved, the fiancé will be issued a K-1 visa stamp in their passport at which time they will travel to the U.S. and get married within 90 days of entry. Once married, the Canadian spouse will adjust their status with USCIS and both spouses will attend an in-person interview in the United States.
Qualifying for the K-1 visa
To qualify for the K-1 visa, both the U.S. citizen and the Canadian fiancé must be legally free to marry.
Additionally, both the U.S. citizen and the Canadian fiancé must have physically met in person at least once within the two years preceding the application. For example, if a U.S. citizen filed a K-1 visa petition on January 1, 2019, he must have physically met his Canadian citizen fiancé at least one time since January 1, 2017. On the other hand, if he met his fiancé through an online dating site and they had only been communicating via email or text without ever having met in person, they would not qualify to apply for a K-1 visa.
Learn more about the K-1 visa
Click here to learn more about the K-1 Fiance Visa.