October 29th, 2009 by Eric J. Ramos
How do I apply for a fiance(e) visa?
If you are a US citizen, you can bring your foreign national fiance(e) to the US in order to get married. Your fiance(e) will need a K-1 visa, or fiance(e) visa. Your marriage must occur within ninety (90) days of your fiance(e)’s entry into the US. Your fiance(e)’s children can also enter the US if they are unmarried and under age twenty-one (21).
The first step in the K-1 fiance(e) visa application process is completed in the US by you. You must be a US citizen in order to be eligible to receive a K-1 visa for your fiance(e). You will need to complete Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e), and file it with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form is three (3) pages long and asks for information about you and your fiance(e). Additionally, you and your fiance(e) both need to complete Form G-325A, Biographic Information, to send with the fiancee visa application. Form I-129F and Form G-325A are the two (2) fiance(e) visa forms that need to be filed with the USCIS.
Next, you should gather all of the supporting documents required for the fiance(e) visa application. These documents will be filed along with the fiance(e) visa forms mentioned above. You will have to submit proof that you are a US citizen. You can submit a full copy of all pages of your US passport to prove your citizenship. If you do not have a passport, you can prove your citizenship with other documents as well, such as a copy of a birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship or Form FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of a US Citizen.
You must prove that both you and your fiance(e) can legally marry each other. If you or your fiance(e) have previously been married, you must submit proof that those marriages have been legally terminated. You must also show the USCIS that you have met your fiance(e) in person within the last two (2) years. You could prove this with travel itineraries, pictures of you and your fiance(e) together, and notarized affidavits given by you and your fiance(e), for example. There are limited exceptions to the requirement to meet in person. If you have never met your fiance(e) in person, you will have to prove that you have not met due to extreme hardship or that you have not met because it is against your custom, culture, or social practice.
In the fiance(e) visa application, you must prove that you truly intend to marry your fiance(e) within ninety (90) days after he or she enters the US. You should submit statements from both you and your fiance(e) declaring your intentions to marry. You may also submit any additional proof of this intent, such as wedding plans or invitations. You should file the fiance(e) visa application with a passport-style color photograph of yourself and a passport-style color photograph of your fiance(e). These photographs must be taken within thirty (30) days of the filing of the fiance(e) visa application.
If you’ve ever been convicted of certain violent crimes or certain crimes involving controlled substances, you need to submit a certified copy of all of your criminal records and police records with the fiance(e) visa forms. Please consult the list on page 3 of the instructions to Form I-129F if you are unsure whether you need to send your criminal record to USCIS. If your fiance(e) visa application is approved, a copy of your court and police records will be given to your fiance(e) at his or her visa interview.
If the USCIS approves your fiance(e) visa application, it will forward the approval to the National Visa Center for processing. Then the petition will be sent to the U.S. consulate located in your fiance(e)’s home country. Your fiance(e) must then complete the second stage of the fiance(e) visa application and appear at the consulate for an interview.
Before the visa interview, your fiance(e) will need to complete the required medical examination. Your fiance(e)e should contact the consulate in his or her home country to obtain a list of doctors that are qualified to provide the examination. Your fiance(e) will also need to obtain two (2) passport-style photographs to bring to the visa interview.
Your fiance(e) must complete two fiance(e) visa forms: Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application and Form DS-156K, Nonimmigrant Fiance(e) Visa Application. Your fiance(e) may also be required to provide Form I-134, Affidavit of Support. This form needs to completed by you and shows that you have enough financial resources to support your fiance(e) if you should need to do so. Your fiance(e) should come to the interview with a valid passport, birth certificate, and evidence of his or her relationship with you and intention to marry you within ninety (90) days of arriving in the US. This evidence can be similar to the evidence you provided to USCIS in the first stage of the fiance(e) visa application. Results of the required medical exam must be submitted at the time of the visa interview. Your fiance(e) will also need to pay various fees associated with issuing the visa. Check with the consulate before your fiance(e)’s interview because procedures vary slightly from consulate to consulate.
At the K-1 visa interview, a consular officer will determine if your fiance(e) is eligible for the K-1 visa. The officer will probably ask questions about how your fiance(e) met you and how you became engaged. If everything is in order, the consular officer will grant your fiance(e) a K-1 visa. If your fiance(e) has unmarried children under age twenty-one (21), these children may enter the U.S. with your fiance(e). These children must appear at the interview to obtain visa stamps in their passports.
You and your fiance(e) must marry within ninety (90) days of your fiance(e)’s entry into the United States. If for any reason you do not marry, your fiance(e) must leave the US before the ninety (90) days have passed. After the marriage, you may file with the USCIS to get permanent resident status for your new spouse.
Click here to prepare your K-1 fiance(e) visa at ImmigrationDirect.com.
Click here to prepare an application for permanent residency for your foreign spouse at ImmigrationDirect.com.