K - Fiancé of U.S. Citizen

The K nonimmigrant visa is for foreign nationals who are coming to the United States to marry U.S. citizens. Specifically, the K nonimmigrant visa category is reserved for:
an alien who is the fiancée or fiancé of a citizen of the United States and who seeks to enter the United States solely to conclude a valid marriage with the petitioner within ninety days after admission, and the minor children of such fiancée or fiancé accompanying him [her] or following to join him [her]. INA Section 101(a)(15)(K), 8 USC 1101(a)(15)(K).

To be classified as a fiancée or fiancé as defined in INA section 101(a)(15)(K), an alien must be the beneficiary of an approved visa petition filed on Form I-129F (attached as an exhibit in the appendices to this guide). The regulations require that the Form I-129F be filed, with appropriate supporting documentation, with the District Director [USCIS Regional Service Center] which has administrative jurisdiction over the place where the petitioner is residing in the United States. 8 CFR Sec. 214.2(k)(1).

One of the requirements for obtaining K nonimmigrant status is that the petitioner must “establish to the satisfaction of the District Director” that the petitioner and the beneficiary have met in person within the two years immediately preceding the filing of the K nonimmigrant visa petition. 8 CFR Sec. 214.2(k)(2). However, this requirement may be waived by the District Director “as a matter of discretion” only if it can be established that

(1) compliance would result in extreme hardship to the petitioner; or

(2) that compliance would violate strict and long-established customs of the beneficiary’s foreign culture or social practice, as where marriages are traditionally arranged by the parents of the contracting parties and the bride and groom are prohibited from meeting subsequent to the arrangement and prior to the wedding day. 8 CFR Sec. 214.2(k)(2).

The approval of a petition under this visa category is valid for a period of four (4) months. However, and as a practical matter, visa processing at the U.S. Consulate office abroad may result in delays. The regulations therefore permit either the Director or a Consular Officer to revalidate an expired petition for a period of four (4) months, upon a finding that the petitioner and the beneficiary are free to and intend to marry within ninety (90) days of the beneficiary’s entry into the United States. 8 CFR Sec. 214.2(k)(5).

After the petitioner and the beneficiary have been married, the petitioner should Petition the USCIS for his/her alien relative on USCIS Form I-130 and the beneficiary should file an application to adjust status to lawful permanent residence (the “Green Card”).