The Limitations of the K-1 Visa

Understanding the K-1 visa doesn’t have to be a difficult process with all the resources available to learn. However, it can still be hard to comprehend all that it entails. Some of the issues you need to understand include the rights a K-1 visa gives, and its limitations.

Read on to understand some of the limitations of the K-1 visa. 

The K-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals who are the fiancés or spouses of U.S. citizens. The holder had six months from the date of issue to enter the US and must marry his or her fiancé(e) within 90 days of arrival in order to apply for adjustment of status without the need for additional immigration filing.

K-1 visas are subject to several limitations. One of the most important is that if a U.S. citizen marries a person from overseas and wants them to immigrate, they must apply for a K-1 visa. The applicant must meet certain requirements to qualify for this type of visa, including being single, at least 21 years old, and having no children in your home country who are younger than 21 years old or will join you within two years after arrival in the United States on your K-1 visa.

The holder of a K-1 visa is allowed six months from the date of issue to enter the US. This time frame is counted from when you actually file for your I-129F petition, or (in some cases) when you file for adjustment of status in lieu of being outside the country at least once during that period.

If your marriage ends before this six-month period has elapsed, then your visa will lapse and be invalid. This means that if you were to leave on another trip after filing for divorce but before receiving your new K-1 visa, it would no longer be valid once you reentered the US as a single person without having it renewed.

You may not adjust your status unless you marry your sponsor within 90 days of entering the US on your K-1 visa or have obtained an extension based on extreme hardship caused by deportation or fear of persecution in their home country due to race, religion, or political opinion​​​​​​.

If you’re a K-1 holder and you don’t marry the person who filed your visa petition within 90 days of arriving in the U.S., you’re required to return to your home country and apply for another visa.

There are a few things to keep in mind when applying for a K-1 visa:

  • You must get married within 90 days of entering the United States. If you do not, you will need to go through the process again and apply for an immigrant visa at your local consulate or embassy.
  • Once married, you can still file for adjustment of status without applying for another K-1 visa (as long as both spouses meet all other eligibility requirements). However, if one spouse does not meet all eligibility requirements at that time, it is likely that he or she will need to return home and apply for an immigrant visa before reentering the U.S.


The K-1 visa is a great way to bring your future spouse to the United States, but it does have limitations. The main limitation is that you must marry within 90 days of entering the country, or else you will need to file an adjustment of status and obtain another immigrant visa. You should also keep in mind that once someone enters on a K-1 visa they cannot adjust their status later on unless they marry within 90 days or otherwise obtain an immigrant visa through another means such as employment sponsorship.

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