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Welcome back to my blog series, "A Lawyer Explains," where I'll explain the different Immigration services we help our clients navigate. In this blog, we'll explore the Fiancé Visa process and the requirements to help you make an informed decision.
The Fiancé visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for the foreign fiancés of U.S. citizens to enter the U.S. for marriage. Same-sex partners can apply for a fiancé visa irrespective of whether their home country permits same-sex marriage. Securing this visa allows your foreign spouse to immigrate to the U.S. with a provisional period of 90 days to effectuate the marriage.
The first step on this exciting journey involves verifying whether the sponsor meets the prerequisites for the Fiancé visa. The criteria include the following:
● The sponsor must be a U.S. citizen,
● The couple must not be currently married to another partner (divorce decrees, annulments, or death certificates of former spouses must be submitted)
● A bona fide relationship must be proved with evidence (timeline of relationship, photos, travel itinerary, etc.)
● The couple needs to provide proof of having met in person at least once within the last two years of applying for the visa.
● The sponsor must be able to meet income requirements (affidavit of support)
The visa application journey is a carefully structured process to facilitate the acquisition of your Fiancé Visa.
Step 1: The sponsor initiates the process by filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition aims to authenticate the relationship between the couple.
Step 2: Upon approval of the I-129 petition, USCIS will assign your case to the U.S. Department of State, which will forward a notice from the U.S. Embassy of the fiancé's home country listing the location, date, and requisite documents for their visa interview.
Step 3: The U.S. citizen and the fiancé are required to furnish the State Department with several key documents, including but not limited to:
● Birth Certificates
● Unexpired passports
● Police clearance
● Passport-style photos
● Medical examination reports
● Affidavit of Support
● Tax Returns
● Proof of bonafide relationship
Step 4: The foreign spouse will participate in a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. A consular officer reviews the application and decides whether or not to grant the visa on the day of the interview or shortly after that.
Securing a Fiancé visa opens the beginning of an exciting new chapter of opportunities for you and your spouse, which includes:
Upon the arrival of the foreign fiancé to the U.S., the couple must marry within 90 days, or the fiancé will be required to leave the U.S. and return to their country.
The fiancé visa is more than just a gateway to life in America—it also lays the foundation for U.S. citizenship. After getting married, the sponsor can apply for a marriage-based green card paving the way to apply for citizenship after fulfilling the necessary residency requirements.
To secure the success of your child's immigration journey, I'd like to share the following recommendations to help facilitate the qualifications for the Fiancé Visa.
Engaging the expertise of an immigration attorney like myself can be invaluable in navigating the complexities and ensuring all documentation is comprehensive and accurate. We will help you craft a tailored visa plan for every process step, from preparing forms and submitting documents to the interview.
The Fiancé visa is the key to unlocking a world of extraordinary opportunities and a path to U.S. citizenship for your foreign fiancé. As your trusted immigration attorney, I'm committed to guiding you on this exciting journey.