Frequently Asked Questions About Fiance Visa

The Process Takes So Long...is There a Faster Way?

Generally, No. There are no legal shortcuts to make this process faster. Attempting to ‘game’ the process with a Visitor Visa usually results in wasted time and money. It can also hinder your chance in getting a K1 Visa. Marrying in the USA with anything but a K-1 Visa can result in Deportation.

If you get Married in Another Country then the CR1/K-3 Marriage Visa is appropriate for you. It usually takes a bit longer than the K-1 visa. However, marriage visas do have some immigration advantages. Give us a call to learn more.

Do We Have to Meet in Person Before Filing a K-1?

Generally, Yes. In RARE circumstances this requirement may be waived, but it is very unlikely. If you haven’t met in person, you should use this time to start processing the paperwork and plan your trip. Proof of your meeting will be the final evidence needed to file your petition.

I Don’t Live In California or New York, Can You Still Help Me?

Yes. Immigration is federal law and we are immigration document specialists serving Americans in all 50 states. With our Website Interface, we can see all of your required information as soon as you enter it. We use this and other technologies to speed up the process and make it easy on both you and your spouse. Of course, Call Us Anytime to discuss your case.

My Fiance Can Already Travel Here as a Visitor, on Business, or as a Student, Can Get Married and Can He/She Stay Thereafter?

Some people are lucky enough to be engaged to someone who already can travel to the USA. In many cases, couples are tempted to just get married in the USA. For some it is possible to get married and become residents without leaving. However, if a person comes to the USA with the intent to marry, on anything but a K-1 visa, the USCIS regards this old shortcut as fraud. Many times it results in Deportation. With such serious penalties, you will want professional help if you decide to pursue this method. Please call us today to see if we can help. We do marriage visa, visa for fiance, and visa for marriage.

What Is a "Fiance(e)"?

A fiance(e) is a person who is engaged or contracted to be married. The marriage must be legally possible according to laws of the state in the United States where the marriage will take place.

In general, the two people must have met in person within the past two years. The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants some exceptions to this requirement. For example, it may be contrary in some traditions for a man and woman to meet before marriage.

Sometimes the USCIS considers a person a “fiance(e)” even though a marriage contract has been concluded. In such cases, the American citizen petitioner and his/her spouse have not met, and they have not consummated the marriage.

How Does a Fiance(e) Visa Work?

If you are an American citizen and you want your foreign fiance(e) to travel to the United States to marry you and live in the U.S., you must file Petition for Alien Fiance(e) in the United States.

Petition: Filing and Next Steps at NVC and the US Embassy

You must file the Petition for Alien Fiance(e), with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that serves the area where you live. See the Department of Homeland Security’s USCIS Field Office?for information on where you can file the petition. Note: You cannot file this petition at an embassy, consulate or U.S. immigration office abroad.

After the USCIS approves the petition, it sends the petition to National Visa Center?for processing, prior to sending it to the embassy or consulate where your fiance(e) will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for a fiance(e).

What Should I Know about International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA)?

Detailed information about the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) of 2005 petition requirements are shown in the new Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e) instructions.

Extending the Petition

The petition is valid for four months from the date of approval from USCIS. Consular officers can extend the validity of the petition (revalidate the petition) if it expires.

A Fiance(e) Is Also an Immigrant

Because a fiance(e) visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry an American citizen shortly after arrival in the United States, the fiance(e) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa.

Applying for a Visa

The consular section at the embassy or consulate where you, the fiance(e) of an American citizen, will apply for a visa, will tell you about any additional specific requirements that you need to fulfill to complete your visa application, such as where you need to go for the required medical examination. During the interview process, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be taken. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer.

Fees - How Much Does It Cost?

Fees are charged for the following services:

  • Filing an Alien Fiance(e) Petition, Form I-129F
  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee
  • Medical examination (costs vary from post to post)
  • Fingerprinting fees, if required
  • Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, fees for getting the documents required for the visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.), and expenses for travel to the embassy or consulate for an interview. Costs vary from country to country and case to case.

For current fees for Department of State, government services select Fees.

Vaccination Requirements

United States immigration law requires immigrant visa applicants to obtain certain vaccinations prior to the issuance of an immigrant visa. Panel physicians who conduct medical examinations of immigrant visa applicants are required to verify that immigrant visa applicants have met the vaccination requirements. See IV Vaccination Requirements for the list of required vaccinations and additional information.

As a fiance(e), you are not required to fulfill this requirement at the time of your medical examination for a fiance(e) visa. However, you may want to do so. These vaccinations are required when you adjust status following your marriage.

What Must Happen After Getting the Fiance(e) Visa?

After getting the fiance(e) visa, your fiance(e) enters the U.S. through a U.S immigration port-of-entry. The U.S. immigration official gives your fiance(e) instructions on what to do when he/she enters the United States. You must get married within 90 days of your fiance(e)’s entry into the United States.

After marriage, your spouse must file Form  I-485?Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live in the United States. You must fill out the Affidavit of Support,? Form I-864, with the USCIS for your spouse’s application to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR). See Permanent Resident at the  Department of Homeland Security’s, USCIS internet site.

Can a K-1 Visa Holder Leave the United States?

The K-1 visa allows a fiance(e) to enter the United States one time only. If you leave the United States after entering on a K-1 visa, you may not re-enter on the same visa. If you want to leave and re-enter the United States, you should apply with  Form I-131?Application for Travel Document to the USCIS office that serves the area where you live for advance parole to return to the United States. See  Emergency Travel?for information on how to get a travel document that allows you to return to the United States.

Can a K-1 Visa Holder Work in the United States?

As a K-1 visa holder you may file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live for a work permit (employment authorization document).

Can a K-1 Visa Holder Work in the United States?

As a K-1 visa holder you may file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live for a work permit (employment authorization document).

Children Have Derivative Status

The child of a fiance(e) may receive a derivative K-2 visa from his/her parent’s fiance(e) petition. You, the American citizen petitioner, must make sure that you name the child in the I-129F petition. After the marriage of the child’s parent and the American citizen, the child will need a separate form  I-485 ?Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status. The child may travel with (accompany) the K-1 parent/fiance(e) or travel later (follow-to-join) within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa to his/her parent. A separate petition is not required if the children accompany or follow the alien fiance(e) within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa. If it is longer than one year from the date of visa issuance, a separate immigrant visa petition is required.

Remember that in immigration law a child must be unmarried. The stepparent/stepchild relationship must be created before the child reaches the age of 21.

How Long Does It Take?

The length of time varies from case to case according to its circumstances. The time it takes each USCIS office and each consular office to process the case varies. Some cases are delayed because the applicant does not follow instructions carefully or supplies incomplete information. (It is important to give correct addresses and telephone numbers.) Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer.

What If the Applicant Is Ineligible for a Visa?

Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a visa.

Examples of these ineligibilities are:

  • Trafficking in Drugs
  • Overstaying a previous visa
  • Practicing polygamy
  • Advocating the overthrow of the government
  • Submitting fraudulent documents

The consular officer will tell you, the applicant, if you are ineligible for a visa, whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility and what the waiver procedure is.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marriage Visa

How Long Does it Take to Get My Wife/Husband to the USA?

The CR1 Marriage Visa process is a three step process. The process begin in the USA and ends at the US Embassy in the country of your spouse. While processing time varies, most petitions are approved in the 8-10 month range.

What is Better, A Fiance Visa or a Marriage Visa?

In short, it depends on what your circumstances are. A fiance visa is for someone who is engaged but is NOT already married to a foreigner. A fiance visa is generally faster to obtain than a marriage visa, usually requiring about a 6 month wait as compared to 8-10 months for a marriage visa. The fiance visa will cost less initially, but ultimately it requires an Adjustment of Status / Green Card application after your fiance arrives in America, negating any cost savings. An advantage to the CR1 Marriage Visa is that it is a temporary Green Card upon arrival, not requiring the additional filing with USCIS. Therefore you can begin your lives together in the USA without additional cost or paperwork.

My Fiance or Spouse is Already Here as a Visitor / Student / Employee Can They Stay?

When someone comes to the USA with the ‘intent to marry’ on anything but a K-1 visa, it can be a tremendous problem. The government regards this as fraud and it could result in deportation. There are no shortcuts to legal immigration and the government can be extremely harsh when people try.

That said, in some circumstances your fiancé or spouse may be allowed to stay without returning home, but it is not easy. A consultation with one of our Case Coordinators will allow us to assess your case.

Can’t I Just File Some Paperwork at the Embassy Overseas and Bring Her Home With Me?

Not anymore. The Direct Consular Filing (DCF) option ended a couple of years ago in all but a few rare cases. When US immigration ended full visa processing at the US Embassy, they forced all marriage based petitions to undergo domestic screening with the USCIS. The day of ‘bringing your wife home with you’ may be over, but when done properly the CR-1 / K-3 process can go rather quickly.

How Much Does it all Cost?

While a typical Law Office would charge $3000-$6000 for their fee alone, our one-time fee begins at only $1095. In addition, the USCIS filing fee is currently $535. Once approved, the financial affidavit processing and review by the National Visa Center (NVC) will cost $488. Your spouse will need to undergo a physical exam and obtain a police certificate, both costs vary by country.

I Don’t Live In California, Can You Still Help Me?

Yes. Immigration is federal law and we are immigration document specialists serving Americans in all 50 states. With our Website Interface, we can see all of your required information as soon as you enter it. We use this and other technologies to speed up the process and make it easy on both you and your spouse. Of course, Call Us Anytime to discuss your case.