FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2011-11-18
A United States citizen who is about to marry can bring his or her fiancé(e) into America for the marriage ceremony and eventually obtain permanent residency status.
The U.S. citizen must petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to bring the fiancé(e). Once this petition is approved, the fiancé(e) will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa. During this process, a medical examination is required as well as an interview. A number of completed forms will also be required at the visa interview.
Your fiancé(e) is encouraged but not required to get various vaccinations. These vaccinations will be required later if you wish to adjust the status to permanent resident.
During the visa interview, you will need to provide evidence that your fiancé(e) will be supported financially. Requirements include:
- An approved fiancé visa petition;
- Proof that the petitioner is a U.S. citizen;
- Completing a visa application along with all of the required forms;
- A medical exam for the fiancé;
- Proof that your fiancé will be supported financially;
- The marriage must occur within 90 days of your fiancé arriving in the U.S;
- Evidence that you and your fiancé are free to marry and that any previous marriages have been formally terminated;
- Evidence that you met your fiancé, in person, at least once within two years of filing your petition;
- That the marriage is legal in the U.S. state where it will take place.
Once the application process has been completed and your visa has been granted, your fiancé(e) will be allowed to enter the U.S. for 90 days so that the marriage ceremony can occur. After the marriage has taken place, your spouse will be able to apply for an Adjustment of Status in order to remain in the U.S. permanently. He or she can remain in the country while the USCIS processes the application for permanent residency. A spouse who does not wish to become a resident of the U.S. must leave within the original 90-day period granted after the visa was approved.
If you have questions regarding a K-1 Visa, contact an experienced immigration attorney who can provide guidance on eligibility requirements and each step in the process. A mistake on the petition or visa request can prove costly and delay entry into the U.S. — not something you or your fiancé(e) want to contemplate right before a wedding ceremony.