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When can someone obtain a visa for their fiancé?

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2024 | Family-Based Immigration |

There are many ways to legally enter the United States. Some people have parents, children or even siblings who can sponsor them for green cards. Others obtain job opportunities and apply for work visas. Some people legally enter the United States due to marriage. Those who have established a marital relationship with a United States citizen or a permanent resident can frequently qualify for visas and possibly green cards.

However, not everyone has an opportunity to marry their romantic partner quickly. Some people fall in love with a co-worker from another country. Others might meet online or through family members and decide that marriage is their best option.

Fiancé visas are available to citizens only

Visa holders and lawful permanent residents can sometimes offer opportunities to their closest family members. However, someone with a green card or a work visa likely cannot assist a fiancé who wants to enter the United States. Fiancé or K-1 visas are available to those who have a romantic relationship with a United States citizen.

A foreign national fiancé hoping to enter the country is subject to the same background check and medical requirements as any other immigrant. Therefore, being able to pass a background check and submit adequate medical records is crucial to the success of a K-1 visa application.

People must be ready to marry quickly

A fiancé or K-1 visa is effective for a relatively short amount of time. A foreign national who enters the United States to marry a citizen only has 90 days to solemnize their relationship.

The fiancé-turned-spouse then submits a green card application with USCIS and requests employment and travel authorization while the green card application is pending.  If the green card is approved before the couple has been married for two years, a conditional green card will be issued. They can then apply to remove the conditions from their green card within 90 days of the green card’s expiration and obtain a 10-year green card. Eventually, a foreign national spouse with a green card could naturalize and become a citizen.

Understanding the rules that apply to some of the more popular family immigration options may benefit those with loved ones in another country.