This visa allows the applicant to travel to the US and to get married, however, the applicant will have only 90 days for the marriage to take effect. After this time, if the marriage has not taken place, the visa will expire and the applicant must return to his/her country of residence. After obtaining K-1 visa your Russian wife can be eligible for the adjustment status, which is a transit period before becoming a permanent resident (LPR). DHS and USCIS in the United States are the agencies you will need to address for your wife to undergo this procedure. The children of your wife will be able to obtain K-2 visa.
Who is eligible for K-1 visa?
The American immigration law envisages the Form I-129F to be filled out by your future Russian bride. In order to marry your fiancée legally, you must ensure that there are no circumstances that can disrupt the implementation of this procedure, such as previous marriages, incurable illnesses, prison stints and so forth. It is not a very pleasant task to probe into the past of your future wife, but you will have to do it in order to avoid any complications with the American law. From your side, you also must be free from any such encumbrance that otherwise may serve as the basis for the waiver of your nuptial agreement.
Another stringent rule is that you must have met in person with the foreign citizen who is going to become your wife. There are some vague exceptions from this rule provided by USCIS, but chances are they may not be applicable to your case. These exceptions mainly concern Muslims in whose culture, in some countries, the tradition is that the bride never meets the groom right before the wedding day. You can either visit Russia yourself or invite your spouse-to-be to the US. Russia is a great country, its two most famous cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, have a lot to offer even to the most demanding and seasoned tourists, so we would advise you to visit the country. This way you will also be able to pay a visit to your bride’s relatives in order to produce the right impression and to make all the further arrangements that you will deem fit and appropriate for the occasion.
You will also need to be aware about IMBRA regulations and requirements. They are contained in the Form I-129F. The first crucial step is to fill out this form at the nearest USCIS office in your neighborhood or residential area. You need to be aware that this document cannot be filled out at an American embassy or consulate or, for that matter, at a USCIS office located in another country.
What you need to do after filling out the Form I-129F for your Russian bride
Your petition will need to be approved, and after the approval procedure it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC), where it will be duly processed and assigned a case number. Then your petition will be dispatched to the American consulate or embassy in the home town of your Russian lady.
NVC will forward to you the respective notification. After that your future Russian wife will need to follow the guidelines below and to get ready for an interview.
The following documentation will be required:
- Form DS-160 (completed), Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application;
- Foreign passport of your Russian bride valid for travel to the US, it should be valid for not less than 6 months beyond the period she intends to remain in your country;
- Death or divorce certificate(s) of her previous husband(s);
- Police certificates both for you and for your spouse;
- Required medical documents (refer to the medical examination procedures at the official site of NVC);
- Financial support evidence (all the information pertaining to the Form I-134);
- 2 two-by-two photographs;
- Relationship evidence;
- Payment of respective fees.
Note: embassy or consulate officers may request any other additional information, including additional photos and/or more proof that your relationship is truly genuine. Some of their questions and requests may sound offensive, but do remember that they are just doing their job and that the regulations in this area have become way more stringent after 9/11 and after the implementation of all the measures aimed at tightening the country’s overall security.