With the advent of online dating, it has become more common than ever to fall in love with somebody who lives in another country. After traveling across the world to get to know each other better, you might reach the point of deciding that you want to spend the rest of your life with this individual and that you want to spend that shared life here in the United States. To make this scenario a reality, your partner needs to be legally authorized to enter the United States with a Fiancee Visa.
You might have heard disparaging stories about “mail order brides” and people getting married “just for the green card.” Although there is some truth to these stories, they are far from representative of all international couples. If you intend to marry an individual who currently resides in another country and you want him or her to eventually become a citizen of the United States, you need to go through the necessary steps of obtaining a Fiancee/Fiance Visa so he or she can legally enter and remain in this country. To ensure that you complete each step correctly and prevent legal difficulties with this process, work with an experienced immigration attorney.
Coming to the United States to Marry
Once an individual enters the United States using a K-1 visa, he or she must marry his or her sponsor within 90 days. Once the couple is married, the spouse who came on the K-1 visa is granted a two-year conditional green card. If he or she is still in a stable marriage with his or her sponsor spouse once these two years pass, he or she is eligible for a 10-year green card, at which point he or she may begin the naturalization process to become a United States citizen.
How to Complete the Process
Applying for a K-1 visa can be done online through the following steps. It can also be completed by completing physical copies of the necessary forms and mailing them to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- The sponsor must file Form I-129F on behalf of his or her foreign partner. This is done in conjunction with Form I-134, an Affidavit of Support;
- Once this is approved, the fiance may apply for a K-1 visa through the United States Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. To do this, he or she must work with his or her local United States Embassy office;
- The applicant must then complete the following forms:
- DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application;
- DS-156K, Nonimmigrant Fiance Visa Application; and
- DS-230, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration.
These forms must also be filed with the United States Department of State. Along with these forms, the applicant must then undergo a medical examination and provide a valid passport, two passport photos, and documentation showing his or her relationship with his or her sponsor;
- Once all of the above forms are submitted, the applicant must complete an interview with his or her local United States Consulate or Embassy. Typical interview questions he or she may be required to answer include:
- How did you meet your fiance?
- When, if ever, have you met your fiance in person?
- What type of work does your fiance do? The applicant may also be asked other questions about his or her fiance’s job, such as the city where his or her job is located and his or her position at the company.
- Have you been to the United States in the past?
- When are you going to have your wedding?
- Does your fiance have children? Like with the question above about his or her fiance’s career, an applicant may be required to answer questions about his or her fiance’s children’s names and ages.
- Why are you getting married in the United States rather than in your home country?
Work with a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer
If you plan to have your partner come to the United States to marry you and begin your shared life here together, familiarize yourself with the process of obtaining a K-1 visa and determining what you need to do to move forward with this process. Speak with an experienced Los Angeles K-1 lawyer to minimize your chance of facing legal difficulties with this process. Contact The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C. to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm today.