If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to bring your foreign fiancé(e) to the United States in order to get married, you will need to file a Form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fiancé(e). This is the first step to obtaining a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for your fiancé(e). The K-1 nonimmigrant visa is also known as a fiancé(e) visa.
What You Need to Know About the K-1 Visa
•A fiancé visa might be your only option if your U.S. citizen fiancé is unable to travel to your home country to marry you.
•K-1 status lasts for 90 days, which should, if you act reasonably quickly, give you enough time to get married and prepare your green card application. However, K-1 status cannot be renewed or extended.
•Immediately upon arriving in the United States, you may apply for permission to work. It’s probably not worth doing that, however, because by the time USCIS makes a decision on your work permit application, your K-1 status will have expired, and your application will be rejected. It’s usually wiser to wait until you apply for a Green Card to apply for work authorization.
•After using a fiancé visa to go to the United States and get married, you have a choice of either returning to your home country or staying and applying for a U.S. green card.
•Your unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to accompany you on your fiancé visa (as K-2 visa holders).
•The immigrant’s intended spouse is a U.S. citizen (not a permanent resident or green card holder).
•Both members of the couple are legally able to marry (single and of legal age).
•The immigrant has a genuine intention to marry the U.S. citizen petitioner after arriving in the U.S.
•The two of you have met and seen each other in person within the past two years. The marriage is not for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit. In most cases, USCIS will accept a signed statement from each spouse simply stating they intend to marry the other within 90 days of the foreign spouse’s arrival in the U.S. If USCIS gets suspicious for some reason, you’ll need to show proof that you truly plan to get married, such as letters to each other discussing your plans and wedding announcements to friends. One of the most convincing ways to prove this is by showing that you’ve actually set a date for the wedding, and made arrangements like hiring a photographer, or booking a venue. (But leave room for flexibility—you can’t necessarily count on getting the visa!
Process for Bringing your Fiancé(e) to the United States
The process for bringing your fiancé(e) to the United States involves USCIS, the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). At each stage in the process, background and security checks may be conducted on both you and your fiancé(e). This may include checks in various databases for national security, criminal history, and other information about you and your fiancé(e). These checks are conducted using fingerprints, names, or other biographic or biometric information.
Failure to Marry Within 90 Days
K-1 and K-2 nonimmigrant status automatically expires after 90 days and cannot be extended. Generally, your fiancé(e) and his or her children must leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If they do not depart, they will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal (deportation) and could affect their future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.
Immigration law is complex. Get the assistance of a qualified and experienced attorney. Call 855-768-8845 or visit www.askthelawyer.us to schedule an appointment.