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Bringing Your Foreign Fiancé or Fiancée to the United States

Love knows no boundaries in the current age of globalization and international travel, particularly if you are a citizen of the United States who wishes to bring your special someone to this country to get married. Although you have the option of getting married overseas and bringing your foreign husband or wife to the U.S., you may want to think about the K-1 visa process instead.

The K-1 visa is a non-immigrant entry permit issued by the State Department and managed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In general, non-immigrant visas that serve a specific purpose such as getting married are easier to obtain. The process begins with a petition that must be initiated by the U.S. citizen on behalf of his or her future spouse. Here are the steps you need to take if you’re seeking fiancé immigration service in San Diego.

File a Petition

Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), which can be filed with the assistance of an immigration law firm, must be submitted by the U.S. citizen. This form is 15 pages long and it can also be used to obtain visas for the foreign-born children of your future spouse. The goal is to notify USCIS of your relationship and intention to marry in the United States. Background checks will be conducted on all parties named in the petition, including yourself, your future spouse, and his or her children. The filing fee for this form as of August 2017 is $535.

Apply for a Visa

Approval of the I-129F is a green light for your foreign future spouse to apply for a K-1 visa and K-2 entry permits for his or her children. The application must be filed at the consulate or U.S. Embassy office indicated on the I-129F approval notice sent to you by the National Visa Center. State Department personnel stationed abroad will handle this stage of the process, which consists of a determination of admissibility. Documentation, fingerprinting, and background checks will also be conducted. 

Approvals of K-1 visas are given a six-month travel window, and a marriage ceremony must take place in the U.S. within 90 days of entry. Otherwise, your fiancé or fiancée must exit the country before the visa expires. A refusal of this application does not mean your relationship is doomed. You may want to check with a San Diego immigration attorney about waivers or the option of getting married overseas.

Adjust Marital Status

Once your fiancé or fiancée is processed at the airport, seaport, or border crossing point, you may want to move forward with the marriage within the first few weeks following arrival. The next step after the honeymoon is to submit Form I-485 to USCIS for adjustment of status, which will allow your wife or husband to start the process of obtaining a work permit and identification documents before getting a green card.

If your fiancé or fiancée is immigrating to the U.S. or you need other types of U.S. citizenship services in San Diego, reach out to the immigration law experts at KS Visa Law. Give us a call at 858-874-0711 to find out how we can help. We hope to hear from you soon.

May 2024