Are you in an international same-sex relationship? Many people think they can only bring their significant other to the United States by marrying them and applying for a green card.
But what if your country of origin doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages? What are your options?
The fiancé visa
The K-1 visa, also known as the Fiancé(e) Visa, allows a U.S. citizen to bring their foreign partner to the U.S. for the purpose of marriage. This visa was initially designed for heterosexual couples. Still, since the landmark Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor in 2013, which recognized the rights of same-sex couples, the K-1 visa has also been available to same-sex fiancé(e)s.
Once in the U.S., the couple must get married within 90 days of the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) ‘s arrival. After marriage, the foreign spouse can apply for an adjustment of status to a permanent resident (also known as applying for a Green Card).
In addition to getting married within 90 days, there are other requirements, such as:
- The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen. Permanent residents are not eligible to petition for a K-1 visa.
- Both parties must be legally free to marry. Any previous marriages must have been lawfully terminated through divorce, death, or annulment.
- Generally, the couple must prove they have met in person at least once within two years before filing their visa petition. Some exceptions to this rule are based on cultural practices or extreme hardship.
Navigating the path to a K-1 visa can be challenging, but achieving the goal of being together makes the journey worthwhile. Immigration laws are complex, so seeking assistance when navigating this process is always a good idea.