Did you meet the love of your life… who just so happens to hail from a country other than the U.S.? Whether you met while your fiancé was in the U.S. and she has had to return home, or you met while you were travelling abroad and your travels are over, chances are you are looking for ways to be together again. At Biesenthal and Gray, LLC, the fiancé visa is one of our favorite types of cases. Who doesn’t love to assist in someone else’s happily-ever-after?!
Who can apply to bring their fiancé to the US?
If you wish to get married in the U.S., a K1 fiancé visa will allow you to bring your fiancé to the U.S. and marry her here within 90 days. A U.S. citizen is eligible to file for his fiancé if he can show 1) that he and his fiancé are free to marry (neither party is currently married) and 2) they have met in person within the last two years (or fall within some very narrow exceptions).
How do you get a fiancé visa?
The process of getting your fiancé to the U.S. involves the filing of Form I-129F and supporting documentation with USCIS. When that form is approved (which takes anywhere from a week to several months), then after a brief wait, your fiancé will begin “consular processing” (the process of applying for a visa from the U.S. consulate or embassy in her country). She will first complete an online form and gather documentation to submit at her interview. The final steps of consular processing are a medical exam and then an interview which your fiancé attends at the consulate/embassy. If your fiancé is approved to receive a visa at the interview, her passport and visa will be returned to her usually within about ten days to two weeks. The visa is good for six months and allows your fiancé to enter the US ONE TIME during that six month period. You two then needs to marry within 90 days of your fiancé entering the U.S. in order for your fiancé to be eligible to apply for adjustment of status.
What happens after the marriage takes place in the U.S.?
Once the couple is married, then your new spouse can submit applications for permanent residency, work authorization and travel permission. It is important for couples to realize that the immigrant spouse cannot work or travel outside the U.S. until work authorization and travel permission are received. The fiancé visa is a ONE-ENTRY visa, meaning it can only be used to enter the U.S. once.
For more detailed information on the fiance visa application process, check out our blog post on the ins and outs of fiance visas.