Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Congratulations! Have you finally met “the one” for you and you are ready to spend the rest of your lives together? If your loved one is currently a citizen of another country, bringing your fiancé(e) to the U.S. is unfortunately not as simple as just saying “I Do”. In order to permanently join you in the United States, your fiancé(e) would most likely need to first obtain a K-1 visa to enter the U.S. Upon marriage (within 90 days of entry), the final step in the process would be for your fiancé(e) to file for adjustment of status and obtain his or her green card.
First Step: File the I-129F Petition with USCIS
The first step is to prepare and submit an I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé with USCIS. This step needs to be completed prior to applying for and receiving a K-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Some of the required documentation include:
Evidence of your U.S. citizenship;
Evidence you or your fiancé legally terminated any previous marriages (if applicable);
One color passport-style photograph of yourself and one for your fiancé(e) taken within 30 days of you filing this petition;
Evidence you and your fiancé(e) intend to marry within 90 days of admission into the United States on a K-1 visa;
Evidence you met your fiancé(e) in-person within two years of filing the Form I-129F. If you haven’t met within two years, you would need to submit evidence showing that meeting in-person would violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice or would be an extreme hardship on the petitioner.
Second Step: Submit the Visa Application to the National Visa Center / Attend an Interview to Obtain a K-1 Visa
Once the petition is approved (current processing time as of April 2019 is approximately 6-8 months), USCIS will forward the approval notice to the National Visa Center. At that time, your fiancé(e) will need to prepare and submit a visa application to the National Visa Center. Once an appointment date is set, your fiancé(e) will need to attend an interview at a nearby consulate or embassy to determine his or her eligibility to receive a K-1 visa.
Third Step: Applying for Green Card
If a K-1 visa is granted, upon your fiancé(e) entering the U.S., you will need to get married within 90 days. Once married, you will need to file an application for adjustment of status so that your fiancé(e) can receive his or her green card.
Marriage is one of the most important milestones in our lives. In order to avoid additional stress or delays, plan ahead and make sure that any required immigration related matters are taken care of in a timely manner!
*Please note that the information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an immigration attorney for advice specifically tailored to your case.*