Foreign-born citizens engaged with Americans often want to join their intended spouses in the U.S. to start their new life together. Doing so requires the foreign-born fiance to secure a K-1 visa.

Securing a K-1 visa seems like a straightforward process to some — but it’s not. There are certain requirements that you must meet to qualify for such a visa. Immigration officials may deny your request if you don’t meet them.

Travel while waiting on your visa could be a problem

It can delay the processing of your visa application if you travel while you’re awaiting a decision. This may occur because immigration officials must perform background and security checks before the K-1 visa is issued. Immigration officials may have to re-do these checks after every visit you take, potentially delaying the processing of your application.

You must provide proof that you can support yourself

Immigration officials require you to submit documentation showing your ability to support yourself financially once you arrive in the U.S. You may also be able to convince immigration officials that you are self-sustaining if your American fiance is sponsoring you.

You need proof that your relationship is valid

You must include proof of your romantic relationship when requesting a K-1 visa. You may need to gather together plane ticket stubs, hotel receipts, pictures, and other evidence to substantiate how strong your bond is with your fiance in order to convince immigration your relationship is real.

Marrying before your K-1 visa is issued can lead to a denial

A fiance visa is just for foreign-born citizens who are engaged to U.S. citizens. There’s a different visa for married spouses. Immigration officials will deny your request for a K-1 visa if you marry before they decide on your application.

When you’re planning your future with that special someone, don’t take chances with immigration. Find out more about what it takes to get the visa you need.