Many individuals emigrate to the United States with the hope of obtaining a visa for a fiancé who is living in another country. As with many immigration procedures, obtaining a visa for a fiancé can appear to be very simple on the surface and very complex in practice.
A person who wants to bring a fiancé to this country must obtain a K-1 non-immigrant visa (often called ”the fiancé visa”). The first step in this process is filing a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé. Both the person in the United States who is submitting the K-1 application and the fiancé living in another country must be single and otherwise legally eligible to marry. The couple must intend to marry within 90 days after the foreign fiancé enters the United States. The marriage must be valid, that is, the couple intends to establish a life together, and the marriage cannot be arranged for the sole purpose of obtaining a U.S. immigration benefit.
Other conditions of eligibility
In addition to being legally able to marry, the couple must have met each other in person at least once in the two years prior to filing the 129F petition. This condition may be waived by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) if such a meeting would involve great hardship or violate established customs of the foreign fiancé’s native country.
Review and approval of Form 129F
After the USCIS reviews the Form 129F, it makes a decision to approve or reject the petition. If the petition is rejected, the petitioner is notified by mail of the reasons for the rejection. If the petition is approved, it is sent to the National Visa Center. The NVC will then send the petition to the U.S. Embassy or consulate in the country where the fiancé lives. The fiancé will be called to the Embassy or consulate for an interview. The consular officer decides whether the fiancé satisfies the requirements for a non-immigrant visa. If the consular officer approves the petition, the fiancé is issued a K-1 non-immigrant visa that is valid for six months.
After the marriage
If the couple marries within 6 months after the fiancé’s arrival in the United States, the foreign spouse can apply for a green card by filing Form 485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Solid advice from an immigration attorney
Anyone hoping to bring their fiancé to this country may run into any one of many snags in the process. In such cases, advice from an experienced immigration attorney can be very helpful.