Fiance Visa Laws

A Maria Jones Law Firm our legal experts specialize in Immigration Law. One area we are able to help with is K-1 Fiancé Visa’s. People from other countries who plan to marry a United States citizen are eligible to apply for this type of Visa. It is important in the beginning of the process to state whether or not you plan to continue living in the U.S. after the wedding ceremony. The other main requirements for eligibility are knowing your intended spouse within a two year period and that you are legally able to marry them. The Maria Jones Law Firm would like to share some more information on Fiancé Visa’s and if you need further legal advice in this area of immigration law please contact us for more details.

You Must Intend to Marry

The requirement that you intend to marry might seem obvious — you wouldn’t be applying for a fiancé visa if your plan was not to get married in the United States. But the U.S. government wants more than your assurance that a marriage is somewhere in your future. It will want proof that you’ve made actual plans, such as a place, a type of ceremony or proceedings (even if the proceedings are only in front of a judge), and more.

If possible, make your wedding plans flexible. You can’t know exactly how long it will take to get the fiancé visa, but you’ll have to hold your wedding within 90 days of entering the United States. Before you sign any contracts for catering, photographic, or other services, discuss the situation with the service providers and build some flexibility into your contracts or agreements in case the date needs to change.

Your Intended Spouse Must Be a U.S. Citizen

In order for you to be eligible for a fiancé visa, the person that you plan to marry must be a U.S. citizen, not a permanent resident (a green card holder). A U.S. citizen is someone who either was:

• born in the United States or its territories

• became a citizen through application and testing (called naturalization), or

• acquired or derived citizenship through a family member. (Acquisition and derivation of citizenship are complex areas of the law. In general, however, people may acquire citizenship by being born abroad to one or two U.S. citizen parents; they may derive citizenship if they are lawful permanent residents first and one of their parents is or becomes a U.S. citizen.) See “U.S. Citizenship by Birth or Through Parents” for who exactly qualifies.

Unlike some other countries, the United States does not require that its citizens carry any sort of national identity card. People who are U.S. citizens may have different types of documents that prove their status, such as a birth certificate, a U.S. passport, or a naturalization certificate. .

If your fiance is only a permanent resident, he or she can petition to obtain permanent residency for you only after your marriage has taken place. A fiancé visa is not available to you at this time.

You Must Have Met in Person Within the Last Two Years

To protect against sham marriages, U.S. immigration law requires that fiance visa applicants have met in person within the last two years. Given how many couples fall in love over the Internet, or even through old-fashioned letter writing or arranged marriages, such a meeting may not always have happened between fiances. Couples who have not yet met, however, will need to make sure they do so at least once in the two years before applying for the fiancé visa. Even a brief meeting may be sufficient.

In some countries, prospective husbands and wives customarily do not meet before their wedding. If one or both of you come from a country where such a meeting would not be acceptable, you may find the meeting requirement a bit of a hurdle. Fortunately, if you provide documentation of the prevailing customs in your country, USCIS may overlook this requirement.

You Must Be Legally Able to Marry

Last but not least, to be eligible for a fiancé visa there must not be any legal barrier to your getting married. You may not have to provide anything at all to satisfy this requirement if you are an adult who has never been married before and you are not a blood relative of your fiancé. This requirement is mostly directed at couples in which:

• one person is under the age of consent

• one person has been previously married and needs to prove that that marriage was legally ended, or

• the two members of the couple are related by blood.

If one of you is under the age of 18, you are likely to be considered underage in the United States. Your legal ability to marry will depend on the laws of the state where you plan to get married. Each of the 50 U.S. states sets its own rules, and you will need to research them. For example, you may find that in one state you must be 18 years of age to marry, while in another you can marry younger if you can show the consent of your parents.

If you or your fiancé have been previously married, you will not be given a fiancé visa until you prove that that marriage was legally ended, perhaps by death, divorce, or annulment. This is usually easy to prove, by obtaining copies of records from the court or local civic records office. If your divorce or annulment took place overseas, the U.S. government will recognize it as long as it is recognized in the country where it took place, and as long as at least one of the divorcing parties had a residence in the place where the divorce took place.

If you and your fiancé are blood relations, your legal ability to marry will depend on the laws of the state where you plan to get married. You will need to research these rules. You’ll find that all states prohibit marrying your sister or brother (sibling), half sibling, parent, grandparent, great grandparent, child, grandchild, great grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew. But some states have additional prohibitions, such as marrying your first cousin.

To read the full article click here: Legal Requirements for K-1 Fiance Visa

Comments are closed.