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What Is the Process Followed When Applying for a Fiancé Visa?

Posted on in Immigration

Itasca family immigration attorneySome of the most common avenues for immigration involve sponsorship by a person who is already living in the United States. Family-based immigration allows U.S. citizens or permanent residents with valid Green Cards to sponsor family members for immigrant visas. However, certain types of visas are also available that will allow U.S. citizens to establish family relationships and provide others with immigration benefits. Fiancé visas are one common way of doing so, and this type of visa will provide a foreign-born person with the right to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married to a U.S citizen. Couples who are planning to get married will need to understand the procedures that will be followed as they work to complete the immigration process.

Steps Followed When Bringing a Foreign Fiancé to the U.S.

K-1 visas provide a person with the authorization to enter the United States and get married to a U.S. citizen. These are technically non-immigrant visas, and they do not authorize a person to stay in the U.S. permanently. Instead, they provide temporary authorization to come to the U.S., and after a couple gets married, the foreign-born spouse can then apply for adjustment of status based on their legal relationship to their U.S. citizen spouse. 

A couple will need to proceed through the following steps when they apply for a K-1 visa:

  1. File a visa petition - The U.S. citizen will file Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)). They will also provide any required documentation to show that their relationship with their fiancé meets all applicable requirements. Both parties must be free to get legally married, and any previous marriages for either party must have been terminated through divorce, annulment, or death. To show that their relationship is bona fide, a couple must generally have had at least one face-to-face meeting within the two years prior to filing the visa petition, although exceptions may apply in extraordinary circumstances.
  2. Apply for a K-1 visa - The foreign fiancé will attend an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. At this interview, they will need to provide documentation demonstrating their eligibility to enter the U.S., including a valid passport and records of medical examinations and vaccinations. If a consular officer determines that a visa should be granted, the fiancé will generally have a six-month window during which they can enter the U.S.
  3. Enter the U.S. - When the fiancé comes to the United States, they will be inspected at a port of entry, and an officer with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will determine whether they should be admitted to the country.
  4. Get married - After the fiancé enters the U.S., the couple will have a 90-day window in which they must get married. If they do not become legally married during this time, the fiancé will be required to leave the country.
  5. Apply for adjustment of status - After the couple’s marriage, they must file Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). If the request to adjust status is granted, the foreign-born spouse will be issued a conditional Green Card.
  6. Apply to remove the conditions on residence - A conditional Green Card will be valid for two years. Within 90 days before the Green Card expires, the foreign-born spouse will be required to apply to remove the conditions on their Green Card. If immigration officials are satisfied that the couple’s marriage is valid, a permanent Green Card will be issued. Failure to apply to remove the conditions on residence will result in the termination of a person’s conditional Green Card, and this will likely result in deportation.

Contact Our Itasca Fiancé Visa Attorneys

At Unzueta Law Group, P.C., we can help you apply for a fiancé visa and ensure that you follow the correct steps to complete the immigration process. To arrange a consultation and learn how we can help with issues related to visas and Green Cards, contact our DuPage County visa application lawyers at 630-875-1700.

 

Sources:

https://www.uscis.gov/family/family-of-us-citizens/visas-for-fiancees-of-us-citizens

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/family-immigration/nonimmigrant-visa-for-a-fiance-k-1.html

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