By Atty. James G. Beirne

So you have finally found your soul mate, the only problem is that she lives in another country. You have fallen in love become engaged, and now it is time to get your loved one into the United States so you can be married. Before you can walk down the aisle, you will need to file for a K-1 visa for your foreign spouse to be so they can lawfully enter the U.S.

What is it?

A K-1 visa allows a foreign fiancé lawful entry in the U.S. in order to marry a U.S. citizen. Once you are married, your spouse will need to file for an adjustment of status. It is important to note that this method will in essence provide your loved one with lawful entry into the U.S., and provides a 90-day window period to get married. It is to be distinguished from other immigrant spouse visas, the CR-1 and IR-1 visa. These visas are for immediate relatives and once obtained will provide lawful permanent residence into the U.S. and no adjustment of status filing will be required.

The process of obtaining a visa can be complicated depending on your particular circumstance. As with all immigration issues, it is best to consult with a qualified immigration attorney for help at the beginning of your immigration journey. Having legal guidance will prevent mistakes being made, resulting in frustrating delays.

In order to get the ball rolling, you will need to file Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In this petition, you will be representing that you are in fact single, and are eligible to be married. You will also need to prove that you have an existing relationship with your fiancé. As far as proving your relationship, you will need to provide cancelled airline tickets or passport stamps to show you have been in a relationship within the past two years.

Once this petition is approved, your fiancé will be able to complete the process and receive the K-1 visa. The USCIS will forward the petition to the American consular office in your fiancé’s country. The consular’s office will request that your finance submit various documents such as their passport, birth certificate and vaccination records. Once in the U.S., the foreign fiancé will need to submit additional documentation, have a medical exam and be interviewed for their visa.


Your fiancé must be physically outside the U.S., and be a citizen of another country. Also, as a couple you must be able to prove that you have a genuine intention to marry. It is important that you both are in the position to marry each other within 90 days of entering the U.S. The marriage must occur within the 90-day period.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

While you may be tempted to try to navigate the immigration process yourself, it is not recommended. Having your fiancé safely arrive in the U.S. is just too important to take short cuts. There are many details to attend to, and mistakes can result in your fiancé’s visa being delayed or denied all together.

Contact the Law Offices of James G. Beirne for advice and guidance. Immigration law can be complex and it is important to approach the matter with a lawyer guiding you through the process. Our office has helped thousands of clients gain lawful entry into the United States, and we can help you too. We provide immigration services including family, fiancé and employment petitions, student and investor visas, visa extensions, naturalization and much more. Come in to speak with an immigration lawyer from our team. We will provide you with sound legal advice as well as a free consultation. Contact us today. We have three locations to serve you, Glendale (818) 552-4500, Cerritos (562) 865-4480 and West Covina (626) 262-4446. With your first appointment, you will receive legal guidance and a free consultation, so call today.


An active member of the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Nevada, James G. Beirne is also a member of the highly respected American Immigration Lawyers Association and Los Angeles County Bar Association Immigration Section. He is admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, all federal district courts in California and Nevada, California state courts, and Nevada state courts. Mr. Beirne has represented clients in numerous immigration cases. His offices are located at 520 E. Wilson Ave., Suite 110, Glendale, CA 91206, and 17215 Studebaker Rd., Suite 380, Cerritos, CA 90703, with telephone numbers (818) 552-4500; (562) 865-4480; and (866) 903-4522. He also has offices at 2640 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 104, West Covina 91791, with tel. no. (626) 262-4446. His newest office is at Valencia Executive Plaza, Suite 200-E, 27201 Tourney Road, Valencia, CA 91355, tel. no. (661) 200-0644.

(Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Results may vary depending on the facts of a particular case. We make no prediction, warranty or guarantee about the results of any case, nor do we assume any legal liability for the completeness of any information and its impact on the results of any case. Each case is different and results depend on the facts of each case. Consult with and retain counsel of your own choice if you need legal advice.)