Love can be a crazy thing, especially when it comes to traveling and falling in love abroad. Don’t let the process of bringing your new partner to the United States stop you from allowing your relationship to flourish and to build a new life together. If you have found the love of your life abroad, and want to bring them to the United States so that you can live the rest of your days together, filing for a fiancé visa is the beginning of your happily ever after.
A fiancé visa, legally referred to as a K-1 visa, is used when a United States citizen intends to bring a foreign-citizen fiancé living abroad to the country to marry. Once the foreign-citizen has arrived, an adjustment of status to permanent resident will begin.
If you plan to get married abroad, or your fiancé is already residing legally in the United States, you do not need a fiancé visa.
Three Steps to Obtain a Fiancé Visa
Step One: File the Petition
To begin the process of obtaining a fiancé visa, a petition must be filed with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Petitions cannot be filed outside of the United States, so the U.S. citizen must file this paperwork within the country. Documentation is required to prove your identity, and that you and your future spouse are legally free to marry. It is important that all of the information on this form is complete and correct as this is the beginning of the visa process.
Step Two: Once your Petition is Approved
USCIS will notify you when they have approved the petition, and then they will send it to the National Visa Center (NVC). You will get a case number and your petition will be sent to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé lives.
Once your receive this notification, you should inform your fiancé to prepare for the interview process. You will receive a packet listing the required information and procedures required from your fiancé. Since fiancé visa applicants are intending to become immigrants, some of the same requirements as an immigrant visa must be met, and will be verified in during the interview process.
Step Three: Fiancé Interview
The visa interview with the consular office will be conducted to confirm the foreign-citizen’s identity, their ability to marry, and to confirm the relationship with the petitioner.
If everything is confirmed true and in order at the time of the interview, the visa will be issued on that day. All documentation for the K-1 visa will be placed in a sealed envelope to present to the USCIS when your fiancé arrives in the United States. It is important that the sealed packet is not opened by anyone other than the immigration officer upon arrival.
Children of Your Fiancé
If your fiancé has minor children, they must be listed on the petition. Upon the K-1 visa approval at the consular office, the child will have one year to come to the United States using a K-2 visa. If they do not enter the United States within one year, they will need to file a separate petition.
After Arriving in the United States
Once your fiancé has arrived in the United States, your marriage must take place within 90 days. If it does not, your fiancé will need to leave the U.S. It is very important that you meet this deadline, so we suggest that you get married as soon as possible after your fiancé’s arrival.
Once you have been married, your fiancé can apply for an adjustment of status to be able to live and work permanently in the United States. You fiancé can now apply for a Social Security card to start working, and the process to become a permanent resident begins.
It is important that all information on your petition forms be filled out completely and accurately to avoid any delays in processing, so the help of an attorney is invaluable at a time like this.
At Seff & Capizzi Law Group, we look forward to helping you to bring your loved one to the United States. If you would like to marry someone who is a foreign citizen living outside of the U.S., we can help you to file the paperwork and gather the necessary documents today. Call us at (954) 920-9220 to start the process of obtaining a K-1 visa for your fiancé.