Can’t Wait to Join your Partner in the US and Get Married?
We have successfully helped numerous Nigerians get reunited with their partners in the US. If you need assistance with your K-1 visa , we can guide you through the eligibility requirements and support you along the way. Let us handle all the intricacies and make your application process as stress-free as possible.
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Overview of the K-1 Visa
The K-1 visa, also known as the Fianc(é)e visa, is one of the nonimmigrant visas that permits Nigerians to visit the US to marry a US citizen. This visa is granted to Nigerians who intend to marry their US-citizen partner within 90 days.
After the 90 days and the wedding, you can either return to Nigeria or apply to become a lawful permanent resident. You can only apply for this visa if your partner is a US citizen.
You and your US-based partner must meet certain financial and eligibility requirements for USCIS to approve your K-1 visa application. If you have children who are unmarried and under 21, they can travel with you to the US with a K-2 visa.
Your K-1 visa status is valid only for 90 days and cannot be extended. Also note that if you are already married or living in the US legally, you are not eligible for the K-1 visa. You must be unmarried and living outside the US to apply.
Eligibility Requirements for US Partner
Your US citizen partner must meet certain eligibility requirements before sponsoring your K-1 visa application. They must:
- Be a US citizen
- File Form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fianc(é)e with the USCIS.
- Be free to marry legally in the US. This means they must have been unmarried or able to show the death or divorce certificate of their former spouse.
- Show proof of their relationship with you before your application.
- Be ready to marry you within 90 days of your admission into the US.
- Show that you two have met at least once physically within the past two years. This requirement can be circumvented if your US citizen partner can prove they could not meet you due to financial constraints. Or that meeting you will violate the marital customs of your tribe.
- Meet the income requirement for sponsoring an alien fianc(é)e and their dependents, if any.
Eligibility Requirements for Nigerian Fianc(é)e
To be eligible for the K-1 visa, you must:
- Be unmarried or show that you are divorced or that your former partner is late.
- Show proof that your relationship with the US citizen is genuine.
- Have plans of marrying your US citizen partner within 90 days of gaining admission into the US.
- Have met your partner at least once in the past two years.
- Live outside the US.
- Have no record of a criminal offence.
You and your US citizen partner must prove you have enough funds to stay in the US. The minimum income requirement must also cover your dependents if you have any.
As a Nigerian, you can submit bank statements that show you have enough funds. However, if your US citizen partner will sponsor you, they must file Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support.
Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support
If your US citizen partner will sponsor you financially in the US, they will have to file Form I-134 while they file Form I-129F. Form I-134 is an agreement between your sponsor and the US government.
Your partner submits this form, pledging to support you financially.
Your US citizen partner must file the most recent edition of Form I-134, or else the form will be rejected.
Your US citizen partner has to send the signed Form I-134 to you. This is one of the documents you will go to your interview with. Do note that if you intend to travel to the US with your dependent kids, your partner must file Form I-134 for each of them.
While filing Form I-134, your US citizen partner must include bank statements, an employment contract and one copy of their tax return.
The form must be signed with the name of your US sponsor for it to be processed. Unsigned forms will be rejected.
After you have filed form DS-160, scheduled for an interview, you must undergo a medical examination. This is a standard requirement for anyone applying for a US visa. There are no exemptions.
You must schedule a medical examination with an approved medical practitioner. Details about the medical examination will be made known to you when you apply for your visa.
After the medical examination, you have to also get vaccinated. Again, the details about the vaccination will be made known to you when you apply for the visa. Vaccination is not compulsory, but it is advised you get vaccinated if you intend to adjust your status after 90 days elapse.
Required Documents for Filing Form I-129F
- US passport, birth or naturalisation certificate that proves the US sponsor is an American citizen.
- Divorce or death certificate of the partner from a previous marriage.
- Passport of sponsor and beneficiary.
- Flight tickets, social media messages and pictures that prove the sponsor and beneficiary have met at least once in the past two years.
- Proof of IMBRA waiver.
- Wedding invitations, receipt of a rented hall for the wedding party, payment to a wedding planner that proves sponsor and beneficiary are prepared to marry within 90 days.
- Form I-94.
- Form I-134, Affidavit of Support
Required Documents for Filing Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- ECOWAS passport.
- Passport photographs.
- Medical report from an approved medical practitioner.
- NPC-issued birth certificate.
- Police Clearance Certificate.
- Approved Form I-129F.
- Tax returns of your US citizen partner.
- Form I-134, Affidavit of Support.
Required Documents for the K-1 Visa Interview
Applicants under 79 must attend an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in Abuja or Lagos. You must take the following documents with you while going.
- Visa application confirmation page.
- NPC-issued birth certificate.
- Receipt of visa application fee payment.
- ECOWAS passport valid beyond 6 months after your K-1 visa expires.
- Bank statements or Form I-134.
- Evidence of relationship with the US citizen.
- Police clearance certificate.
- Spouse death or divorce certificate for you and your US citizen, if it applies.
What Are the Required Fees?
When applying for the K-1 visa, you are required to pay the following fees:
- $535 for filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). The US sponsor has to pay this fee separately for each dependent (i.e. Nigerian partner and children).
- $265 for filing Form DS-160.
- $6 for Form I-95.
There are other fees to pay, like medical, vaccination, insurance and documentation fees. These vary from one service provider to another.
How Can IAS Help?
The US K-1 visa application requires a careful approach. Like all US visa applications, this visa requires you to submit many forms. And this can be overwhelming sometimes. You must file all forms correctly or risk your application being rejected.
At Immigration Advice Service, we know how much family and love mean to you and how this visa rejection can keep you away from your loved ones. This is why we have set up a team of expert immigration lawyers that can guide you while making the K-1 visa application.
They can help you assess your eligibility to know if you can get the visa. Our lawyers are also on hand to help you assemble the proper documentation you need for your application.
We have experience in helping Nigerians get K-1 visas. And we are also available to advise you on any other US immigration pathway of choice.
You can walk into our office in Lagos, Nigeria, for more enquiries and physical meetings with our lawyers. Or you can contact us via our Lagos line on +23413438882 You can also contact us online or speak to us on +44 (0) 3316300929.
Last modified on October 26th, 2023 at 11:58 am
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There are many reasons why your K-1 visa application could be rejected. One of the primary reasons is that you or your US citizen partner do not meet the minimum income requirement.
Another reason is that you and your US citizen partner could not prove to the USCIS that your relationship is genuine. It could also be that the consulate officer feels like the marriage plans are fraudulent and they are means to get you into the United States.
Your application can also be rejected if you have broken any immigration rules, engaged in criminal activity or do not meet the requirement for a K-1 visa.
With the K-1 visa alone, you are not eligible to work in the US. This is why USCIS demands proof that you or your US partner can support you during your stay. If you want to work with a K-1 visa, you’ll have to apply for an adjustment of status, and then while your application is being processed, you file Form I-765. This is known as Application for Employment Authorisation. If you get an approval, you can now work in the US.
You can get a green card through the K-1 visa route. To do this, you must get married to your US citizen partner and then apply for an adjustment of status. When this is approved, you can get a green card and become a lawful permanent resident of the US.
If you end up not marrying your US citizen partner after arriving in the US, you must leave the US after 90 days. If you don’t return to Nigeria after 90 days, you will be breaking immigration rules. This will lead to deportation and prevent you from getting approval on any US visa application request.