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Understanding the K-1 visa

There are numerous visas available for immigrants to eventually become United States citizens. Anyone who has watched the popular television show “90 Day Fiancé” is familiar with the K-1 visa, but there are many details about this visa the show fails to delve into. 

Someone who wishes to immigrate to the United States can become a citizen by marrying someone who is already a citizen. The immigrant can live in the country for a specified amount of time until the couple marries. If you find yourself in this situation, then there are various steps to know about the process. 

Filing the petition

The person who presently lives in the United States will need to first file a petition with United States Citizens and Immigration Services. The USCIS will inform the U.S. citizen they received the petition. After the organization approves all the paperwork, another petition will go to the beneficiary who lives in another country. The beneficiary will have to complete a great deal of paperwork, and this includes a medical evaluation and interview. The beneficiary receives the K-1 visa and is able to enter the United States. 

Activating the visa

After receiving this visa, the beneficiary needs to travel to the United States within six months. Shortly after entering the country, the beneficiary will need to apply for a Social Security card. At this time, the couple will then be able to apply for a marriage certificate. 


Once the beneficiary is in the country, the couple can tie the knot. The couple has 90 days to do this upon activating the K-1 visa. After marriage, the beneficiary can change his or her name. This requires going to the Social Security Administration office with the marriage certificate and Social Security card. After marriage, the beneficiary will need to apply for an Adjustment of Status. This is an essential step to eventually become a permanent U.S. resident.