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What’s Faster: An 1-30 on Marriage via the Embassy or a Fiancé Visa?

If you are engaged and considering how to pursue your immigration case so that you and your fiancé can be together, you generally have two options available under family immigration law. The first is to file an I-130 petition via the Department of Homeland Security and the Embassy where your foreign spouse resides. The second is to request a fiancé visa. While a fiancé visa may be a faster option, you should be aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of this particular option.


The fiancé visa, or K-1 petition, permits you as a United States citizen to petition for your fiancé to enter the United States for the purpose of marrying you. This classification is not considered an immigrant petition. You must get married within 90 days of your fiancé being permitted to enter the country. As part of your petition, you must also be able to show that you have met your fiancé in person within the last two years, you intend to marry him or her, and that you and your spouse are able to legally marry. The other option, an I-130 involves getting married abroad and then getting permission for your spouse to enter the United States.


Usually, filing for a fiancé visa is much quicker than filing an I-130 via the embassy. The latter option usually takes about one year. A fiancé visa can be obtained as early as a few months from the petition date, however the time frame could be longer and will depend on a case-by-case basis.


While cost of legal immigration services will vary among San Diego Immigration attorneys and will also depend on the complexity of the case, filing for a fiancé visa is usually a more expensive process than petitioning for an I-130 via the embassy. It is also important to note that filing a fiancé visa is only the first step. For your fiancé to remain in the country, you and he or she must get legally married within 90 days of his or her arrival. If you do not get married within 90 days, your fiancé can be removed from the United States. After your marriage, you will petition for your spouse to Adjust his or her status. This increases the fees and costs to their case.

If you would like more information about which option is better for you and your fiancé, contact Kazmi and Sakata Immigration law firm today at 858-874-0711. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your particular immigration case, and we also offer complimentary immigration consultations.


April 2024