The K-1 fiancé(e) visa is for foreigners who wish to marry a U.S. citizen in the United States and become legal permanent residents (LPR) without leaving the United States. K-2 visas are for the children of K-1 applicants. A K-2 applicant must be under the age of 21.
Note: Unmarried children under 21 years old may accompany the parent to the United States or may apply for a visa later. If applying later, the child’s visa application must be made within one year of the date the parent’s fiancé(e) visa was issued.
For information on K-3 and K-4 visas, please go here.
1. HOW TO START
To be eligible for a K-1 visa:
- Both petitioner and beneficiary must be free to marry, which means they are single, divorced, or widowed. Legal separation is not accepted.
- The couple must have met in person within the past two years.
The U.S. citizen must file an I-129F petition for the applicant with the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. The I-129F petition cannot be filed in Brazil. You can learn more here.
Next, the National Visa Center (NVC) will send a letter to the U.S. citizen sponsor when it sends the beneficiary´s case to the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro. Once the case is ready to be scheduled, you will receive an e-mail from the Consulate with instructions.
Important: Please do not schedule your interview before you receive the Consulate’s e-mail.
Eligible children of K-1 applicants may apply for K-2 visas. You must submit a separate DS-160 and pay the MRV fee for each child.
2. VISA INTERVIEW
All K visa interviews are held at the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, no matter where the applicant lives in Brazil.
Prior to the interview, the beneficiary will receive an e-mail from the Consulate. This e-mail will tell you what documents to prepare and how to schedule your interview.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW – APPLICANT SERVICE CENTER (ASC):
- You must register on the ASC website.
- Pay the MRV fee on the ASC website. Learn more about our fees here.
- Choose a visa delivery option: pick-up at the ASC or by mail.
- On the ASC website, schedule a visit to the ASC to collect your photo and fingerprints, then schedule a visa interview at the U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro. Your ASC photo is different from the application process photo.
- Print your appointment confirmation page and bring it to the ASC.
You will not be interviewed at the Consulate if you do not first complete the ASC registration and biometrics collection. Schedule the interview and pay the MRV fee at the ASC website for all dependents who are applying at the same time. Please contact the ASC for all appointment and scheduling questions.
- Please read about fiancé(e) and spouse legal rights here.
- If any of your children will turn 21 within 90 days of the interview, please notify the Immigrant Visa Unit at the United States Consulate in Rio de Janeiro immediately.
- Additional information about filling out the DS-160.
For all required documents, you must bring to your interview originals, or certified copies, for everyone applying to immigrate to the United States. You must also bring any documents the NVC said were missing. If your police certificates are expired, for example, you will need new ones before the interview. Do not send the required documents to the Consulate or to the ASC.
Note: In addition to the documents listed below, you must bring the MRV fee payment receipt and the interview appointment confirmation.
Translations: If your documents are in Portuguese or English, there is NO need to translate them. If they are in another language, you must provide English translations. The translated document must contain a statement signed by the translator stating that the translation is accurate and the translator is competent to translate.
Passport – Your passport should have at least eight months’ validity remaining. Note that children need their own passports. Please bring a photocopy of the passport bio page.
Note: Please bring any previous passports with U.S. visas or entry stamps to your interview.
Birth Certificates – Original, or certified copy, of the birth record of each visa applicant. If any of your children were adopted, you must also submit a certified copy of the final adoption decree.
Prior Marriages – Applicants who have been previously married must submit an original divorce decree, original death certificate for the spouse, or an original annulment order.
Military Records- If you served in the military of any country, you must obtain a photocopy of your military record.
Applicants 18 years old or older and resident in Brazil: You must present a Brazilian Federal police certificate and Brazilian state police certificates (see below). If you have lived outside of Brazil for more than 12 months after age 16, you must present a police certificate from the country where you lived. Information on how to obtain foreign police certificates is available here.
Applicants 16-18 years old and resident in Brazil: You do not need to present Brazilian police certificates, however if you have lived outside Brazil for more than 12 months after age 16, you must present a police certificate from the country where you lived. Information on how to obtain foreign police certificates is available here.
Non-Brazilian citizens/dual nationals over 16 years old: You must present a police certificate from your country/countries of citizenship regardless of how long you have lived there. Information on how to obtain foreign police certificates is available here.
If you have been arrested for any reason, you must present a police certificate from the jurisdiction of the arrest, regardless of age or residency.
Important: You do not need to present police certificates from the United States. Police certificates for K visa applicants expire after one year, unless the certificate was issued from your country of previous residence, and you have not returned there since the certificate was issued.
Police Certificates in Brazil – In Brazil, police certificates are issued only for applicants over the age of 18. Each applicant over 18 must present two police certificates: a State Police (Secretaria de Segurança Pública) certificate and a Federal Police (Polícia Federal) certificate.
List of Public Security Secretariats – Applicants who live in Brazil must obtain a police certificate from each state in Brazil where they have lived for six months or longer in the last five years. If you have lived in more than one state in Brazil during the last five years, you will need a police certificate from each state. State police certificates issued online are accepted. The certificates issued by “Cartório”, “Fórum” or “Poder Judiciário” are NOT acceptable.
Polícia Federal – Applicants who live in Brazil or are citizens of Brazil must obtain a certificate from the Federal Police. All Brazilian citizens, even those living abroad, need to present a certificate from the Federal Police. Federal police certificates issued online are accepted. The certificates issued by a “Cartório” or “Fórum” are NOT acceptable. For additional information go here.
Court and Prison Documents – If you have been charged with a crime, you must obtain a certified copy of the full court record and any prison record, even if you were later acquitted or benefited from an amnesty, pardon, or other act of clemency.
Deportation or Voluntarily Removal and Asylum – If you have been deported from the United States, bring complete documentation to your interview and follow the instructions here to apply for permission to re-enter the United States.
Evidence of Financial Support – You must submit evidence showing that you won’t become a public charge. If you use Affidavits of Support or job offer letters, make sure they were issued and signed within one year. The petitioner may fill out an Affidavit of Support, Form I-134.
Medical Exam – All immigrant visa applicants, regardless of age, must have a medical exam completed by a Panel Physician in Brazil before the visa interview. Please go to the medical examination page for further instructions.
Photos – One (1) photo 5×5 cm or 5×7 cm is required of all applicants regardless of age.
Proof of Relationship – You must submit evidence of relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e). This may be any document that you think will prove that you have a real relationship with your fiancé(e), such as: phone bills, photos, correspondence/e-mails, etc.
Sworn Statement: (Fiancé(e) Visas only) – Print and fill out the Marriageable Statement Form. It should only be signed during your interview. Do not take it to a Notary or a “Cartório” to be notarized.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE INTERVIEW AND VISA:
- We cannot guarantee your visa will be approved and issued. Do not make any final travel arrangements or quit your job before your visa is in your hand.
- For security reasons, visa applicants and U.S. citizens are not allowed to enter the Embassy or Consulates with cell phones and other electronic devices (including, but not limited to, smartwatches, activity monitoring devices, such as fit bits, tablets, laptops, and other recording devices). Liquids/drinks are also not allowed (except for applicants with children that require a bottle). Bags, with the exception of one small purse or equivalent, are also not allowed. All visitors and items brought into the Embassy or Consulates are subject to a complete search. Neither the Embassy nor the Consulates have storage facilities for such items. We strongly discourage our customers from bringing these devices when they come to the Embassy or Consulates to conduct business. If you must bring these devices with you, there are private companies that provide storage facilities for a fee. These companies are not sanctioned by or otherwise affiliated with the U.S. government, and the U.S. government takes no responsibility for devices left in their care.
3. AFTER THE INTERVIEW
All issued K visas will be delivered via the ASC. You may choose to receive your document at home, or other designated address, or pick-up at the nearest ASC branch. The ASC will keep the document for 30 days only. There is no pick-up at the Consulate.
For passport delivery information please go to the ASC website.
For passport delivery questions, please contact the ASC.
If you are granted a K visa, you will receive a packet of documents inside a manila brown envelope. This packet is known as a “Visa Packet.” Do not open this packet. If the manila envelope is damaged, you will have to return the envelope and documents to the Consulate and they will need to be checked and sealed again.
Please check all visa data carefully, including the expiration date. The maximum validity of a K visa is usually 180 days from the date of the medical exam, but it may be less. The expiration date written on your visa is the maximum amount of time the visa is valid. You must travel to the United States before your visa expires.
The dependents of a K-1 visa holder cannot enter the United States before the principal beneficiary has entered.
Adjustment of Status – USCIS
After marrying in the United States, K visa holders must apply for a Green Card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. For additional information visit the USCIS website.
The Consular Officer may require additional information to determine whether you qualify for a visa. If you need to submit additional information, your visa will be refused under section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This does not mean the visa has been refused permanently. It means that more action is required before a final decision can be made.
How to send the pending documents:
If you need to send additional physical documents, you must schedule an appointment to deliver the documents to an ASC branch. To schedule an appointment, sign into the ASC website, and select: “Consular Section instructed me to send more documents.” The ASC will forward the documents to the Consulate for review.
If you need to send additional documents by e-mail, send them to email@example.com
Administrative Processing Information :
Ineligibilities and Waivers
Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a visa. Examples of these ineligibilities include: drug trafficking; overstaying a previous visa,; and submitting fraudulent documents. If you are ineligible for a visa, you will be informed by the consular officer and advised whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility available to you. Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas contains the complete list of ineligibilities.
Ineligible IV applicants, for whom a waiver is available, must file a form I-601 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). I-601 filing instructions are available at: www.uscis.gov/i-601.
Immigrant Visa applicants requiring consent to reapply for admission in addition to an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility must follow instructions at: www.uscis.gov/i-212.
You can access waiver requirements by clicking on your specific ineligibility below:
- Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) – Have committed misrepresentation in order to obtain a visa to enter the United States. (Considered inadmissible permanently)
- Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) – Were unlawfully present in the United States for over 181 days but less than one year, after April 1st, 1997. (Considered inadmissible for a period of three years after a voluntary departure from the United States).
- Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) – Were unlawfully present in the United States for 365 days or more, after April 1st, 1997. (Considered inadmissible for a period of ten years after subsequent departure from the United States).
- Section 212(a)(9)(A)(i) – Have previously been deported/ordered removed from the United States at the port of entry. (Considered inadmissible for a period of five years after the removal or deportation from the United States).
- Section 212(a)(9)(A)(ii) – Have been deported from the United States or departed the US during the deportation process. (Considered inadmissible for a period of ten years after departure or deportation from the United States).
- Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) – Have committed a crime of moral turpitude. (Considered inadmissible permanently)
- Section 212(a)(1)(A)(ii) – Have failed to submit proof of vaccination. (Considered inadmissible according to statutory vaccination requirement).
- Section 212(e) – Have participated in an Exchange Visitor Program and your program falls under certain conditions, subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement before applying for an immigrant visa. (Considered inadmissible for a period of two years after the departure from the United States).