The process of bringing your foreign fiancé to the U.S. can be challenging and difficult to navigate, as there are several requirements. A great first step you can take to jumpstart a life together with your significant other in the U.S. is to understand the legal requirements associated with bringing your fiancé to the U.S. and the initial steps of the process.
1. Meet the Requirements
In order to apply, you as the applicant or petitioner must meet the following requirements:
- U.S. citizenship
- Plan to marry your foreign fiancé(e) within 90 days of their arrival to the U.S.
- You and your fiancé are not already legally married. Note that in the case either you or your fiancé were formerly married, then the paperwork is required to prove the marriage legally ended by death, divorce, or annulment.
- Proof you met your fiancé in person at least once in the last 2 years.
Note that a skilled and experienced immigration attorney can explain which exceptions may apply based on the specific facts and circumstances of your case.
2. File a Petition
If you plan to marry your fiancé(e) in the U.S. and are bringing your fiancé to the U.S. from a foreign country (and their children if applicable), then you and your fiancé must begin the K-1 fiancé visa process.
As part of the process, it is your responsibility to complete a form entitled the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). This form is processed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Additionally, you can begin familiarizing yourself with the timeframe necessary to process your case here.
Importantly, if this is not your first time applying for a fiancé visa in the past, then consulting with an attorney is particularly essential as the federal government may identify your application for potential immigration fraud.
As part of this process, your fiancé will be asked to complete:
- An interview at the consulate
- Medical examination
3. Marry Within 90 days
After the government issues out a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa, then you and your fiancé must legally marry within 90 days of their arrival to the U.S. It is critical to be aware that in the event a marriage does not take place within the stringent 90-day period, then your fiancé’s K-1 visa expires, and there is no way to extend their stay. A skilled immigration attorney can best advise you if your fiancé is required to leave and seek other options.
4. Help Your Spouse Apply for a Green Card
After marrying within the 90-day period, your spouse may apply for a green card. A green card allows your spouse to obtain permanent residence in the U.S., allowing them to lawfully live, work and attend school in the U.S.
As a U.S. citizen, you may petition for an immediate relative, such as a spouse, to apply for a green card. At this stage, there are certain barriers that may get in the way of your spouse’s green card application process. For example, criminal history and/or specific acts such as robbery, fraud, and assault.
Having an experienced immigration attorney by your side can make all the difference to ensure you have a seamless application process and understand your options throughout this lengthy process. For example, an attorney can help you, and your spouse understand how the eligibility process for bringing a spouse’s children to the U.S. and what special legal considerations to take into account.
5. Contact an Immigration Attorney
The K-1 fiancé visa process can be complicated depending on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding you and your fiancé’s situation. Seeking guidance from an experienced attorney with a background in processing K1 visa applications can provide valuable insight for you as you start and continue through the process.
Speak with an Immigration K-1 Fiancé Visa Attorney Today!
If you are interested in understanding whether you and/or your fiancé qualify under the K-1 visa requirements, and you would like to begin the visa application process—don’t delay! It makes all the difference to have attorneys knowledgeable in immigration law to help you navigate the complex K-1 fiancé visa legal process and understand your legal options. The dedicated and experienced immigration law attorneys at Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon possess extensive experience with guiding clients through the K-1 fiancé visa application process. We are here to stand by your side through the process. Don’t delay!
Contact us today