A U.S. citizen planning to marry a foreign partner can kick-start the process by submitting Form I-129F - Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
This document is crucial for acquiring a K-1 nonimmigrant or fiancé(e) visa, enabling the partner to travel to the United States.
Anyone with the aim of bringing their partner to the country can apply for a visa for their fiance in the United States. Remember, the couple must marry within ninety days of the foreign fiancé(e)’s arrival.
Both individuals should be legally free to marry. Additionally, they must have met in person at least once in the last 2 years, barring a few exceptions.
The visa requires the couple to marry within ninety (90) days of the foreign fiancé(e)’s arrival in the U.S. The intended marriage must be legitimate. Its aim must be at building a shared life rather than solely aiming for immigration advantages.
Once married within the specified duration, the foreign partner can apply for permanent residency, otherwise known as a Green Card.
The visa process involves several stages. It begins with the filing of Form I-129F. If approved, the USCIS forwards it to the National Visa Center (NVC). The approved form is then sent by the NVC to the U.S. Embassy or consulate in the fiancé(e)’s country.
The citizen’s fiancé(e) can then apply for the K-1 visa and attend a visa interview. The visa, if granted, allows the fiancé(e) to enter the United States within 6 months. The visa application processing can take 12-18 months.
For K fiancé(e) visas, the DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, is used for short-term travel to the US. Electronic submissions of Form DS-160 are made to the Department of State’s official platform.
Upon arrival, admission to the U.S. is not automatic but is determined by a CBP officer. Once admitted, the couple must get married within 90 days.
After the wedding, the foreign spouse can apply for a Green Card by filing Form I-485. If approved, they receive a 2-year conditional permanent resident status.
Children under 21 of the foreign fiancé(e) may be eligible for a K-2 visa and can also apply for a Green Card.
After being admitted to the U.S., the foreign fiancé(e) may apply for work authorization. Initially, this is valid for 90 days, but it may be extended in one-year increments when applying for a Green Card.
Navigating the process of the Fiancé(e) Visa (K1 Visa) is pivotal for couples with international backgrounds intending to build their lives together in the United States. While it may seem complex, keeping the above steps in mind will ensure a smooth journey toward a shared future.