If you’ve arrived at this website, it’s likely that either you and your partner are not a citizen of the United States but wish to start a family in the U.S. Which U.S. immigration option is most ideal for you and your fiancé(e)? Pride Immigration can assist you in determining the best path for you!
What Is The Definition Of A Fiancé Visa?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issues a fiancé visa, also known as a K-1 visa. A couple must have visited one another in person during the past two years before submitting for a fiancé visa.
The foreign partner filing for a fiancé visa needs to marry their American citizen spouse within 90 days of arrival or else leave the country. The fiancé visa is not accessible if you are already married or if your future spouse is a current resident of the United States. For additional details concerning the spousal visa application process, see our explanation below.
What Is The Difference Between A Fiancé Visa And A Marriage Green Card?
In order to immigrate to the United States, fiancés of United States citizens have two main options:
The prospective spouse may enter the United States on a fiancé visa (also known as a “K-1 visa”), implying that the marriage will take place in the U.S. Alternatively, you could marry outside of the United States and then have the US citizen spouse sponsor the foreign spouse for their green card (the “I-130 petition,” also known as the “IR1 / CR1 process”).
Both options come with pros and cons for engaged couples. The best option for your future family will be determined by criteria including where you want to have your wedding, how fast your foreign fiancé seeks to travel to America and how expense-conscious you plan to be. Continue reading for a detailed comparison between the two procedures.
Fiancée Visa Eligibility
The K-1 fiancé visa is for fiancés of United States residents who are residing outside of the U.S. and plan to marry within 90 days of reaching the U.S.. The following are the conditions for a K-1 fiancé visa:
You and your fiancé have to be single and then legally married in the United States. (This means that regardless of whether the foreign spouse’s home country accepts same-sex marriages, same-sex couples are qualified for the K-1 fiancé visa).
You’ll also need to present divorce or death documents for any past spouses if you or your fiancé have ever been married before. The sponsoring partner has to be a citizen of the United States. Fiancé visas are not available to green card holders in the United States.
Through images, email, and written testimonies from people that know you as a pair, you and your fiancé must demonstrate that your engagement is genuine. In the United States, it’s usually best to have firm wedding arrangements.
You can demonstrate this with invites, facility reservations or other evidence that the wedding is a real, planned event rather than a vague dream. Alternatively, within 90 days of your arrival, you can offer a signed document of your intention to marry.
In the last two years, you need to have met in person at least once. This criterion can be waived in circumstances of hardship to the United States citizen partner, such as religious activities.
When filing for the fiancé visa, the United States citizen partner must earn roughly 100% of the federal poverty limits, while the foreign partner must earn 125 percent of these guidelines when applying for his or her green card.
Green Card For Married Couples
Spouses of US citizens and green card holders can apply for a green card through the marriage green card process (which begins with an I-130 petition) (permanent residents). The following are some of the requirements:
You and your spouse should have a legal and legitimate marriage, evidenced by a marriage certificate that includes both spouses’ names, the location of the ceremony and the date of the marriage. (Marriages between same-sex partners and heterosexual couples are both legal in the United States.)
You must also demonstrate that both couples’ prior marriages were annulled or otherwise dissolved (usually with a death or divorce certificate). You and your spouse must use evidence such as a shared lease, shared bank account statements and photographs of the two of you together in order to demonstrate that your marriage is authentic.
Have Questions? Let Our Immigration Attorneys Help!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the process of obtaining a fiance visa or a marriage green card, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Pride Immigration’s team of highly trained professionals for more details and information. We are happy to guide you or your partner through the process of determining which immigration option is best for your specific situation.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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