With wedding season fast approaching, some couples have an extra item on their wedding “to do” list: a visa that allows a non-citizen partner to legally be in the United States prior to marriage.
A United States citizen can apply for a visa that allows them to bring their fiancé into the country prior to the wedding. But, obtaining a fiancé visa requires close attention to several details and deadlines. Keep reading for answers to common questions about this type of immigration.
What form do we need?
You need to file a Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
When do we need to apply for a fiancé visa?
The application requires evidence that you and your finance intend to marry within 90 days of them entering the United States as a K-1 non-immigrant.
What documents do we need?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requires a series of documents, including:
- The non-citizen fiancé’s passport
- Both fiancés birth certificates
- Records of a medical exam showing applicant doesn’t have communicable diseases
- Police certificates from everywhere you have lived since age 16
You also must provide photographs of you and your fiancé together, taken in the last month.
What if we are getting married in my fiancé’s home country?
If you plan to marry somewhere other than the U.S., the fiancé visa does not apply.
What happens after the wedding?
If the marriage takes place within the 90-day window, your new spouse can apply for a green card – which will grant them status as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
Be prepared to defend your relationship
Remember: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement takes marriage fraud very seriously. They look for specific evidence that a marriage is happening because you and your partner truly intend to start a life together. Anything you can use to show your relationship is real will help your case.