If you have a K1 visa that’s been approved, what happens next?
The I-129F application, that petition that you file with immigration, that’s what you’re sending immigration to show you have a real relationship. When that petition is approved, that’s immigration saying, “Yes, we see that you have a real relationship and we’re approving your petition. ”
That’s not actually the visa though. The K1 visa is issued at the interview. Once you have your approved I-129F petition, then the National Visa Center will send you a notification with your case number for the US embassy or consulate where your case will be processed and where you will have your interview. You’ll have to take some other steps in that process to have the interview scheduled.
Fast forward, after you’ve had your interview, you’ll receive a visa, the actual K1 fiancé visa in your passport. With that visa, there will be an expiration date on that visa. You need to enter the United States well before that expires because it’s only a one-time entry visa and you have to enter before then.
Then you have to get married within 90 days and then file for a green card application. A lot of people in our Facebook group are asking, “I have my K1 fiancé visa. It’s been issued. What do I do next?” There’s a lot of people who are confusing the steps in the K1 visa process with the steps in the CR1 spouse visa process.
Another question they’ve been asking is, “Do I need to be able to pay my visa fee to enter the United States?” That doesn’t happen on a K1 fiancé visa. You pay a fee before your appointment to have your interview scheduled but there isn’t an additional fee to pay before entering the United States. Once you arrive in the United States, you have to marry within 90 days.
You also need to file as soon as possible after getting married, preferably before your visa expires, another application for your green card. What we do here at our office for our clients is when we know that the visa has been approved, we work with our clients to find out when they’ll come to the US and when they’ll get married. And we start preparing the green card application right away. That way, we can update the application with the marriage certificate and get it sent out right away after the marriage for the green card application and the work permit.
You want to do that before your visa expires so you’re not in the US without documents. You’re not accumulating something called unlawful presence. Those are the main things that happen after you receive your K1 fiancé visa approval. You’ll enter the United States, get married within 90 days and file your green card application with the work form application as soon as possible.
Some people think that once their fiancé enters the United States on a K1 visa, they have to leave before the visa expires. Don’t do that because it’s a one-time entry. You don’t want to leave and not be able to complete the process. You’d have to start over.
If you have a K1 fiancé visa, get married in 90 days and file your green card application and if you need help with your application, we’d be happy to assist you and you can schedule an appointment to talk to our attorneys.