Many immigrants in the United States want to marry someone from their own homeland, i.e. a person who shares their inborn culture, ethnicity, and/or religious beliefs. Several individuals are committed to get married to a local love interest even before they gain entry into the U.S. Moreover, a large number of modern relationships started online through social media platforms; many of these couples have formed a strong bond, despite living in different countries or continents.
Nowadays, it is not out of the ordinary to engage in a long distance relationship – a lot of people are willing to overcome the challenges to be with their soul mate. They are ready to travel across the seas, leave their old life behind, and settle in an unfamiliar territory for the sake of love. If you are a U.S citizen or green card holder who wants to bring your foreign fiancé(e) to the U.S for getting married, Immigration Attorney in Diamond Bar, CA, can make it happen.
What is a Fiancé(e) Visa, and how to get it?
The first step to bringing your foreign fiancé(e) to the U.S is filing the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), i.e. Form l-129F; this will lead to the procurement of the K-1 nonimmigrant visa for your fiancé(e), which is generally referred to as the ‘fiancé(e) visa’. Bear in mind that you and your partner will be obligated to get married within 90 days, starting from the day they arrive in the U.S. You two must genuinely intend to marry each other and establish a life together, in order to obtain the K-1 fiancé(e) visa. The other irrefutable condition is that you and your fiancé(e) must have physically seen or met each other within the last two years.
It is illegal to apply for this visa for the sole purpose of obtaining permanent residency in the U.S. If your engagement is discovered to be a sham, the non-immigrant shall be subject to deportation charges and the U.S citizen or permanent resident will also face legal consequences. If the couple successfully institutes a marital relationship within the given time limit (90 days), the foreign fiancé(e) may submit a green card application to obtain lawful permanent residency.
The U.S citizen/green card holder will complete the designated immigration form and submit it to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), along with the filing fee (that is about $535 at the moment). When the petition is approved by the USCIS, the NVC (National Visa Center) will assign a case number and forward your paperwork to the U.S consulate or embassy nearest to your foreign fiancé(e)’s location. The fiancé(e) shall fill out the form DS-160 for their visa application via online submission; currently, a $265 visa fee applies.
The U.S embassy or consulate will then call in the foreign fiancé(e) for an interview, where he/she will need to present all necessary documents. Once your fiancé(e) gets a visa stamp on their passport, they will become eligible to enter the country within six months. The entire process starting from submission of the l-129F form to obtaining the visa stamp takes about 7 months.
After the foreign fiancé(e) lands in the U.S and gets married to you within 90 days, the next step is to file the petition for a Green Card (form l-485). The Form l-485, also known as the ‘Adjustment of Status’ application, bears a fee of $1,225 for filing and biometrics. In case your foreign partner wishes to work in the U.S or travel abroad before becoming a green card holder, they must apply for a work permit and/or travel permit.
The overall process from applying for the K-1 immigrant visa to your fiancé(e) attaining a green card stretches over approximately 13 months. The total fees sum up to $2,025; this figure does not include costs of travel, medical exams, document translations, and other miscellaneous requirements.