A K-1 Visa, sometimes referred to as a “fiance visa,” is available for people who are engaged to U.S. Citizens. As long as the marriage takes place within 90 days of entry into the United States, the K-1 Visa can lead straight to a green card, and eventually naturalization (U.S. citizenship).
Of course, there are a few requirements. First, the marriage needs to be planned out prior to applying. That means a date needs to be actually set.
Second, the marriage actually needs to happen. If it doesn’t, the K-1 visa expires at the end of the 90 days.
Third, the couple needs to have actually met in person within the last two years (there are some exceptions to this requirement, but they are limited).
Fourth, expect fairly typical criminal background checks for both individuals.
Fifth, both individuals need to prove that they are not married to anyone else.
Sixth, the U.S. Citizen needs to show that he or she is able to provide financial support. This is typically done by proving a certain income.
Special rules apply if the two met through a “marriage broker,” or if the U.S. citizen has applied for a K-1 visa in the last two years or has applied for two or more K-1 visas anytime in the past.
K-1 visas typically take well over six months to process. Don’t procrastinate–get working on it sooner rather than later.