Love Knows No Borders: Navigating the Fiancé Visa

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we celebrate the love stories that transcend borders and bring couples together. For many, finding love in the United States opens the door to a world of possibilities. If you’ve found love abroad, the fiancé visa offers a path to beginning your life together. In this blog post, we explore the fiancé visa process, who is eligible, and how to embark on this heartwarming journey together.

If you’ve already tied the knot through love in the U.S., check out our recent post about marriage-based adjustment of status to explore your immigration options further.

What is a Fiancé Visa?

A fiancé visa (or K-1 visa) is a special immigration pathway that allows the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States in order to get married. It’s the legal pathway for couples to start their life together in the United States before making that final commitment to one another in marriage. 

The K-1 visa has been made famous by the show “90-Day Fiance,” but that show is more about production and drama, rather than reality (and not the reality TV show kind). The K-1 visa is for people who are already in a relationship, are committed to one another, and know they will get married once they’re together in the United States. It’s not meant to be a “let’s try this out and see if we’re compatible” visa.

Who is Eligible?

To qualify for a fiancé visa, you must meet the following criteria:

U.S. Citizenship of Petitioner

The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen, either by birth or naturalization, and provide evidence of their citizenship status.

Legitimate Relationship 

You and your fiancé(e) must have a genuine relationship with supporting evidence, such as photographs together, communication records, shared travel records, and affidavits from friends and family.

Marriage Eligibility

You and your fiancé(e) must be legally eligible to marry under U.S. law, with no legal barriers such as previous marriages that have not been legally terminated through divorce or annulment or death of the prior spouse.

Meeting in Person

You and your fiancé(e) must have met in person at least once within two years before the filing of the petition unless meeting in person would violate cultural or religious customs or result in extreme hardship.

Financial Support

The U.S. citizen petitioner must demonstrate the ability to financially support the foreign fiancé(e) and prevent them from becoming a public charge in the United States.

Intent to Marry in the United States

The couple must genuinely intend to marry in the United States within 90 days of the foreign fiancé(e)’s arrival and establish their marital residence there.

What’s the Process?

Filing Form I-129F

The US citizen petitioner files Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) with USCIS. This establishes the legitimacy of the relationship and the intention to marry.

Required Documentation

When submitting the I-129F, the couple must include supporting documentation, including proof of meeting in person within the two years preceding the petition, evidence of a genuine relationship, and a valid passport copy for the foreign fiancé(e).

USCIS Processing

USCIS reviews the petition and, once approved, it is forwarded to the U.S. consulate or embassy in the foreign fiancé(e)’s home country.

Consular Processing

Documents are gathered, including the financial information, for submission to the U.S. consulate or embassy. Once everything is complete, an interview will be scheduled.

Medical Examination

The foreign fiancé(e) must have a medical examination by an approved panel physician to ensure they meet health requirements for entry into the US.

Approval and Visa Issuance

The consular officer approves the K-1 visa, which is typically valid for six months. This allows the foreign fiancé(e) to travel to the US.

Marrying Within 90 Days

Once in the US, the couple must marry within 90 days. This fulfills the initial intention stated in the petition.

Adjustment of Status

Once married, the foreign spouse can apply for Adjustment of Status (green card) to become a lawful permanent resident. Read more about that process here.

Why Choose the Fiance Visa?

Love is a powerful force that knows no boundaries. If you’re ready to take the next step with your beloved, the fiancé visa process offers a pathway to uniting your hearts and lives in the United States. At Hope Immigration, we’re here to guide you through every step of the journey, ensuring that love conquers all. Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️🌟


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