Have you fallen in love with someone who doesn’t live in the U.S.? You may qualify for a fiance visa. Keep reading to learn more about the fiance visa process and whether you may qualify for one.
Talk to an Immigration Attorney
Immigration law is incredibly complex. It’s not an area of law that you should try to do yourself. A simple paperwork mistake can set people back months or result in having to leave the U.S. If you want to get a fiance visa, talk with an immigration attorney about your circumstances. Call 303-688-0944 to begin your free case assessment, o lláme al 720-359-2442 para hablar con alguien en español.
Our Immigration Team receives many calls from people who have developed a relationship with someone from a foreign country and want to find out how they can be together here, in the U.S. The easiest way to do that is through a fiance visa.
What is a Fiance Visa?
A fiance visa is also known as a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. It’s for people, like you, who want their foreign fiance (formally spelled fiancé or fiancée) to come live with them in the U.S.
Who Qualifies for a K-1 Visa?
Only U.S. citizens are eligible to receive a K-1 visa for a fiance.
Intend to Marry Soon
You and your fiance must marry within three months (90 days) of your fiance arriving in the U.S. on the K-1 visa.
Permitted to Marriage
You both must be legally free to marry each other. In other words, if either of you has recently gone through a divorce, the split must be final. The same goes for annulments.
Finally, the two of you must have met one another face-to-face at least one time within 24 months of petitioning for a fiance visa. The U.S. government wants to make sure your relationship is authentic and not a ruse to obtain a visa for someone.
There are a couple of exceptions to the in-person meeting rule. One, you can ask for a waiver if you can show that an in-person meeting would violate the strict customs of your fiance’s culture. And, two, a waiver may be permitted if meeting your fiance in person would bring you – the U.S. citizen – extreme hardship.
What’s the Process Like to Get a Fiance Visa?
Sometimes arduous and complex, to be honest. That’s why we recommend getting advice from an immigration attorney at the very least before you begin. An immigration attorney can advise you on what evidence you need to present to the government, walk you step-by-step through the process, explain all the costs involves, and give you an idea of how long it will take from start to finish.
Additionally, your immigration attorney will be able to tell you what your finance needs from their country for the visa.
So, let’s quickly go over the process.
Petition for Fiance
So your first step in the process is the ask the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to recognize your relationship with your fiance. You’ll do that by filing the Petition for Alien Fiance form, which is I-129F.
If the USCIS approves your request, the form is sent off to the U.S. Department of State National Visa Center.
If your request is denied, the USCIS will let you know and tell you why it denied your petition.
Apply for the Visa
Let’s assume your Petition for Alien Fiance is approved. Next, the National Visa Center sends the form to the U.S. Embassy or consulate where your fiance will file for the K-1 visa and be interviewed. You’ll be notified when the interview is scheduled to take place.
Your fiance will apply for the visa. During the interview, your fiance will provide the Department of State officer with the required forms and documents. And he or she will determine whether your fiance meets the K-1 visa qualifications.
Steps to Take After a Fiance Visa is Issued
Your Fiance Comes to the U.S.
If the state department issues your finance a K-1 visa, it is valid for up to six months and only one entry.
Unfortunately, your fiance is not guaranteed entry to the U.S. just because she or he successfully obtains a K-1 visa. The officer working at the port of entry will ultimately decide whether to allow your finance into the country.
Provides there are no issues when your fiance arrives in the U.S., your next step is to get married. In order for your fiance to legally remain in the U.S., you need to do that within 90 days.
After You’re Married
Apply for a Green Card
Once you’re legally wed, your husband or wife can apply for a Green Card. And that’s a massive undertaking itself, one you’ll want to consult with an immigration attorney.
What Happens if We Don’t Marry in 90 Days?
Well, generally speaking, your fiance will have to leave the country. And if they don’t leave, they will be violating U.S. immigration law, which can have permanent, and devastating, consequences for the two of you.
If you happen to get married past the 90-day window, you’ll have other paperwork you’ll need to file. You will definitely want to get in touch with an immigration attorney to discuss how to get that taken care of as quickly as possible.
Get Help Applying for a Fiance Visa
The relationship you have with your fiance is important to you, so don’t risk any mishaps as you work to get them here. Our Immigration Team will be there for you through the entire process. From filing complete and accurate paperwork to ensuring you have all the evidence you need to make your petition a success. We offer prospective clients a free case assessment. Call 303-688-0944 to begin yours, o lláme al 720-359-2442 para hablar con alguien en español.