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How long does a K-1 fiancé(e) visa last?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2024 | Immigration

Choosing to marry a non-U.S. citizen comes with a bunch of legal things you need to know about. Getting a K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé(e) visa, is just the first step. Once you’ve got that in hand, you need to go through immigration and follow the terms of the visa. These include things like not committing crimes and not violating the terms of admission to the U.S.

But remember, a K-1 visa has certain time limits. When that limit is up, it can be challenging to try and extend it.

The clock starts ticking at six months

The K-1 visa is only good for up to 6 months from the date of issue. That gives your fiancé(e) enough time to pack up, say their goodbyes and start their new life in the U.S. Once they’re in the country, another countdown begins. You’ve got 90 days to tie the knot. This 90-day period is non-negotiable—you can’t ask for an extension.

This means you need to plan your wedding and make sure that it happens within this 90-day window.

What happens if you miss the deadline?

If you don’t get married within 90 days, your fiancé(e) and any kids they have (on K-2 visas) need to leave the U.S. This is because the K-1 and K-2 visas automatically expire after 90 days. But, if you marry your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) after the 90 days, you might still be able to get a Green Card by filing Form I-130. Trying to get a Green Card after the deadline can be a bit more complicated, though.

You should get help with all immigration matters

With all these strict timelines and possible legal headaches, it’s really important to know all the rules and deadlines that come with the K-1 visa. If you find yourself in a tricky situation, it might be a good idea to reach out to an attorney. They can look at your specific situation and help you meet all the requirements and deadlines.