The K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant (or temporary) visa for a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen. In order to apply for this visa, the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) must file an I-129F petition with USCIS. Once that case is approved, the foreign fiancé(e) may apply for a K-1 visa stamp at the U.S. Consulate. The K-1 visa allows the foreign national fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S. in order to get married within 90 days of arrival. Thereafter, he or she must file an Adjustment of Status application in order to obtain a Green Card.
The I-129F and I-485 Adjustment of Status applications are filed with USCIS. The current USCIS processing times may be accessed at www.uscis.gov. The K-1 Visa Applications are processed by the U.S. Consulate in the applicant’s home country or country of residence. Processing times vary based on the location of the Consulate.
If you’re married for less than 2 years at the time of Green Card approval, you will receive a “Conditional Green Card” that is valid for 2 years. Prior to the expiration of the Conditional Green Card, you will need to file an I-751 Removal of Conditions application. In general, this requires you to submit evidence to prove to USCIS: 1) You’re still married to your U.S. citizen spouse, or 2) If you’re no longer married, that your marriage was valid at the time you applied for the Green Card.
If you’re married for longer than 2 years at the time of Green Card approval, you will receive a Green Card that is valid for 10 years. As long as you are maintaining your permanent residence and admissibility to the U.S., you may be eligible to renew your Green Card indefinitely. However, we always recommend clients to consider applying for U.S. citizenship through the Naturalization process.