It is not unusual for U.S. citizens who reside in San Diego to meet someone from another country, get engaged and decide that they want to live together in the U.S. However, there are frequently questions about how to get a visa for a fiancé(e), especially in today’s difficult and fluid political climate. There are certain requirements to bright a fiancé or fiancée into the U.S. legally and it is imperative to adhere to them.
A person who is petitioning for a prospective spouse to come to the U.S. must show that the petitioner is a citizen of the U.S. There must be an intention to get married within 90 days of the person entering the U.S. The couple must both be free to marry with any prior marriage terminated via divorce, annulment or death. The couple must have met in person a minimum of one time within two years of filing. With this there are two exceptions for which a waiver must be received: if the requirement to meet is a violation of customs for either person; or if it is proven that the requirement would cause extreme hardship to the petitioner.
After the visa or the K-1 nonimmigrant visa has been issued, the person can enter the U.S. for 90 days so the couple can marry. After they have been married, the spouse can seek permanent residence and stay in the U.S. as the U.S. Citizenship and immigrantion Services processes the application. If the person coming to the U.S. to marry has a child who is under age 21 and unmarried, it might be possible for the child to be granted a nonimmigrant visa to come to the U.S. as well. If the couple does not get married within those 90 days, there is no option to extend the deadline. After 90 days and no marriage, the person must leave the U.S. A failure to do so would be a violation of the law and could lead to deportation and hinder a future opportunity to enter the U.S. as a legal immigrant.
For people who are trying to bring a fiancé(e) to the U.S., it is vital to understand the entire process. If there is confusion or assistance is needed with any aspect of the situation, having legal advice is key. Speaking to an attorney who is experienced in family immigrantion is the first call that should be made to move forward with this process.
Source: uscis.gov, “Fiance(e) Visas,” accessed on July 13, 2017