What Is a Fiancé(e) Visa and How Do I Get One?
If you are trying to get a visa to the United States and have come across the fiancé(e) visa, you may be wondering what this type of visa is, as well as the requirements to get one. The New Orleans immigration attorneys at The Law Office of James A. Graham will help you understand what a fiancé(e) visa is and if it is something that you would be interested in obtaining.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a fiancé(e) visa is for United States citizens who would like to bring their loved ones over from other countries to get married. This type of visa is also commonly referred to as the K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
The fiancé(e) visa allows individuals from other countries to travel to America and marry a United States citizen within 90 days from their arrival date. After the couple is married, the spouse can apply to become a permanent resident. A lawful permanent resident means that the individual will receive their Green Card to stay in the United States.
The requirements to get a fiancé(e) visa
There are certain requirements that must be met in order to get a fiancé(e) visa with the help of a New Orleans immigration attorney. These requirements include the following:
- One individual must already be an American citizen.
- Both individuals plan to marry each other within 90 days after one individual arrives in the United States.
- Any previous marriages must be terminated legally. This means there must be divorce, annulment, or a death.
- Both individuals must have met and seen each other in person at least one time within the last two years since the petition has been filed. If you both have not been able to see each other in the last two years, you must complete a waiver and show that meeting in person would cause a very difficult hardship for the U.S. citizen or that it would go against the other individual’s culture or customs.
What does the process of obtaining a fiancé(e) visa entail?
When you are deciding to bring your fiancé(e) to the United States, there are several different steps you must go through to do so. The process involves The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the United States Department of State (DOS). During each step of the process, there may be security and background checks completed on you and your fiancé(e). This is a normal part of the process that requires fingerprints, full names, and other important information. The reason that this information is needed is to ensure that neither of you are criminals nor will cause any type of danger in America. Here is what the process of a fiancé visa entails:
- File the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) form.
Follow the instructions on the form and make sure everything is filled out properly. The goal of this form is to recognize and establish the relationship between you and your fiancé(e). The USCIS will review the form to approve or deny your eligibility. They may ask for additional information if need be.
- Your fiancé(e) will apply for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa.
Once your form is approved, your betrothed will apply for the fiancé visa. The United States Embassy will let you know when they schedule your partner’s interview. Once they arrive for the interview, they will need to bring the forms and required information. After the interview, it will be determined if your fiancé(e) is eligible for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa. If they are approved, the visa is valid for only six months for one entry to the US.
- There will be an investigation at the port of entry.
Even though your fiancé(e) may be approved for the visa, it does not guarantee they will be granted entry to the United States. Once they arrive at the port of entry, it is up to the CBP officer if your fiancé(e) can enter.
- You both will marry each other.
If your fiancé(e) is allowed to enter the U.S. and given a visa, you have 90 days to get married to each other. If this does not happen, they will need to leave the United States.
- After marriage, there will be an adjustment of status.
After you have married within 90 days, your spouse can now file for a Green Card. This form and other documents will be reviewed by the USCIS. There will also be an interview scheduled that you both will need to attend.
What if you do not marry within 90 days?
If you do not marry within 90 days, the nonimmigrant status will expire on its own. Most people ask if they can extend the 90 days, but the answer is no. Once the nonimmigrant status disappears, your fiancé(e) must leave the United States. If they do not leave, they will be in violation of the law and could lead to deportation. If they become deported, this will impact their ability to ever return to the US again in the future.
Are you interested in bringing your fiancé(e) to the United States and need assistance with the process? Our attorneys at the Law Office of James A. Graham are glad to help you. We are based in New Orleans and Slidell and our team is skilled and experienced when it comes to the laws surrounding these issues. If this sounds like a good fit, please call our office or complete our contact form, and our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.