Falling in love is a beautiful thing; however, we cannot always control when, where and with whom we fall in love with. For some, this might mean falling in love and getting engaged to someone that lives abroad. Thus, if an individual in North Carolina and elsewhere seeks to marry an individual from another country and continue residing in the U.S., it is important to understand the immigration process to ensure one can enter the U.S. lawfully and obtain a lawful marriage.
Bringing a fiancé to the U.S.
This process can appear complex, as it includes several steps. This post will break it down into five steps. To begin, one must petition for a fiancé. This includes filing Form I-129F, which is the document that evidences one’s relationship with their fiancé. The next step it to apply for a visa. One can only apply for a K-1 visa after their Form I-129F for has been approved. If one qualifies and is approved for a K-1 visa, the visa will be valid for up to 6 months for a single entry into the U.S.
The third step is inspection and admittance at a port of entry into the U.S. When a fiancé obtains a K-1 visa and travels to the U.S., he or she must be approved for admittance. Obtaining a fiancé visa alone does not guarantee admissions, and a CBP officer will make the ultimate decision as to whether to admit someone into the country. The fourth step is to get married. This must occur within 90 days of the fiancé being admitted into the country on a K-1 visa. The final step is to file for an adjustment of status. After the couple has been married within the 90 days, one may apply for a Green Card by filing Form I-485.
Fiancé visa eligibility
There are certain requirements that must be met for one to bring their fiancé into the U.S. To begin, one must be a U.S. citizen. Next, they must have the intention to marry one another within 90 days of the finance being admitted into the U.S. Third, both parties need to be legally free to marry. This means that if they were previously married, it must have been lawfully terminated through divorce, death or annulment.
Finally, both parties must have met one another in person at least once in the two years prior to filing for a fiancé visa. It is possible, however, to file a waiver if meeting in person would violate the long-established customs of the fiancé’s culture or if it would result in extreme hardship to the U.S. petitioner.
Applying for a fiancé visa can be an overwhelming process. There are requirements and a specific timeframe that must be adhered to. Therefore, it is important to be aware of eligibility requirements, the deadlines included and other steps required in the future to obtain citizenship.