How to Move to the U.S. from Canada with the K-1 Fiancé Visa
Email us if you are an Canadian citizen engaged to an American and you want to learn more about the K-1 visa process.
What is the K-1 fiancé visa?
The K-1 fiancé visa allows a U.S. citizen who is engaged to a Canadian citizen to sponsor that fiancé for a visa to move to the U.S. Unlike the marriage green card, the couple must not be legally married. If they are already married, then they are not eligible for the K-1 visa. There is no formal requirement to be considered “engaged” for K-1 purposes – so long as the couple intend to get married when applying for the visa.
How do I apply for a K-1 visa?
The K-1 visa involves several steps, beginning with a petition to USCIS by the U.S. citizen; then National Visa Center (NVC), then an interview at the U.S. Consulate in Montreal, and then adjustment of status through USCIS. The K-1 visa is available to any Canadian citizen who is engaged to a U.S. citizen and who is not yet married. Under this visa, the U.S. citizen first files a petition with USCIS to sponsor the Canadian fiancé. Once the petition is approved, the Canadian will attend an interview at the U.S. Consulate in Montreal. If approved, the fiancé will be issued a K-1 visa stamp in their passport at which time they will travel to the U.S. and get married within 90 days of entry. Once married, the Canadian will adjust their status with USCIS and both spouses will attend an in-person interview in the United States.
Qualifying for the K-1 visa
To qualify for the K-1 visa, both parties must be legally free to marry. In other words, they must not still be legally married to somebody. Even somebody who is separated and living separate from a spouse cannot qualify for a K-1 visa because they are still legally married.
2- year in-person meeting
Another qualification is that both parties must have physically met in person at least once within the two years preceding the application. For example, if a U.S. citizen filed a K-1 visa petition on January 1, 2021, he must have physically met his fiancé in person at least one time since January 1, 2019. On the other hand, if he met his fiancé through an online dating site and they had only been communicating via email or text without ever having met in person, they would not qualify to apply for a K-1 visa.
Applying for a K-1 visa during the COVID-19 pandemic
Despite the CoronaVirus pandemic, many Canadians continue to apply for K-1 visas in order to move to the U.S. Since the K-1 visa involves many steps, engaged Canadians can have their American fiancé sponsor them for the visa despite COVID-19.
Learn more about the K-1 visa
Read more about the K-1 Fiancé Visa.