Getting a Fiancé visa!

Recently got engaged and want your spouse to immigrate to the U.S. so that you can start building your life together as a married couple? Here is how you do it!

What is a Fiancé Visa?

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 does the filing process entail?

You need to file the following with the USCIS:

  • Duly completed Form I-129;
  • Proof that you and your fiancé(e) intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé(e); entering the U.S. as a K-1 non-immigrant;
  • Bona-fides of the relationship/engagement period to show its not for an immigration benefit.

After the paperwork is filed with the USCIS, the following steps follow:

  • Once the petition is approved, the National Visa Center (NVC), which is run by the U.S. State Department, assigns a case number and forwards your paperwork to the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to where the foreign fiancé lives.
  • The foreign fiancé completes a visa application (Form DS-160), submits it online (or according to the local consulate’s instructions), and pays the visa fee.
  • The foreign fiancé goes to an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate, and presents any requested documents during the interview.
  • The foreign fiancé gets a visa stamp in his or her passport and uses it to enter the United States within six months.
  • The couple gets married within 90 days and files a green card application.

Fiancé visa can also be applied for a spouse of a U.S. Citizen. This is the first step for your spouse and his or her children to obtain a visa to come to the United States while you wait for USCIS to make a decision on the Form I-130. This is also known as K3 visa. To know more please visit us at our website.

Applying for a Legal Permanent Residency/ Green Card for a spouse of a U.S. Citizen

If you just got married to a non-U.S. citizen who is currently staying or living in the U.S., your marriage may qualify your spouse for a green card/ legal permanent residency immediately if you’re a U.S Citizen.

Initial process requires a filling of Petition for Alien Relative (I-130) along with supporting evidence. The end process is called Adjustment of Status (I-485). These processes can be divided into three major steps.

Step 1: Is your spouse eligible to apply?

Marriage to a U.S. citizen makes your spouse what is known as an “immediate relative,” and eligible for a U.S. green card just as soon as you can get through the application process. Additionally, you must prove that your relationship is “bona fide,” that is, that the relationship is real and not just entered into for immigration purposes. To prove the bona fide nature of the marriage, several factors are taken into consideration including but not limited to relationship ties, family and friends, children, cohabitation, joint accounts etc. The following evidence is needed while filing a I-130.

Step 2: Could the spouse adjust within the U.S. or would need a consular process?

Depending upon your current status, the process can go either way.

If you entered the United States illegally, you will need to do waiver for your unlawful presence or other inadmissibility (if any), depending on your situation and apply for consular process. The consular process involves your spouse going outside the United States and coming back in with an immigrant visa.

On the other hand, if you entered the United States legally on a visa or entered on a visa then overstayed on your visa, you will still be able to apply for adjustment within the U.S provided you do not have any inadmissibility issues.

Step 3: The interview, when you apply for adjustment within the U.S.

After your application is processed by USCIS and the immigrating spouse has attended a fingerprinting appointment, you will both have to attend an AOS interview. You can also hire an attorney to represent you during this interview.

USCIS will send instructions on what to bring to this interview. Be sure to bring a well-chosen selection of documents (copies and originals) proving that your marriage is the real thing and that you are sharing a life together. For example, joint bank statements, a mortgage or apartment lease in both your names, wedding photos, and children’s birth certificates are all good forms of evidence.

The USCIS officer will ask about basic information in your application, and ask various questions about your marriage. If the officer is satisfied with your application and answers, he will approve your petition.

Adjustment of Status is a complex process, so be sure to talk to an immigration attorney before you apply.

Becoming a U.S. Citizen or as we call it …. Naturalization!

The Process.

A person seeking naturalization files an application (Form N-400) with supporting evidence. He or she waits for an interview to be scheduled. The interview consists of USCIS officer going through your application while conducting a basic English and Civics test. If the application is approved at the time of the interview, then the applicant is sworn in as a U.S. citizen shortly thereafter. If the application is denied, then the applicant can file an administrative appeal.

Are you eligible to apply?

A person applying should:

  • Be 18 years old or older at the time of filing.
  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you claim residence
  • Show that you have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and are able to show that you have been physically present in the United States for 30 months; OR
  • If you are married to a U.S. Citizen, then you have been a permanent resident for 3 years and are able to show that you have been physically present in the United States for 18 months. OR
  • You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements. OR
  • Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met. This process in itself is called derived or acquired citizenship. This process requires filing a different form. (N-600)

Other things to keep in mind while thinking about applying

  • Can you speak, read and write basic English or do you qualify for an age-based waiver to take the test in your native language.
  • You may qualify to waive the civics test, if you have a mental disability that prevents you from demonstrating knowledge for English or civics.
  • If you have travelled outside the United States since becoming permanent resident, make to sure to keep catalog of all the days you travelled and the travel documents for the last 5 or 3 years, depending on your situation.
  • If you have ever been arrested, detained, or cited by the police or other law enforcement officer, or have any other issues that might prove to be a bar to your good moral character requirement, then talk to you attorney before you apply.

Naturalization is a complex and document-oriented process. We highly recommend hiring an immigration attorney while applying for it. For more information, please visit us at our website.