How easy is it to bring a woman to the US on a fiancée visa & why do I have to go to her country prior to inviting her?
THE FIANCEE VISA PROCESS
Meeting and marrying someone from a foreign country is definitely different from what most people have or will experience. As our world becomes smaller due to technology advances such as the Internet, as well as political changes, more and more people are finding their special someone abroad. However, if you do decide to marry someone from a foreign country you will find it a bit more involved than the “usual” marriage. One major difference is that the government must be petitioned in order for your spouse to be able to live with you in the United States.
It is possible to marry in the country of the foreign national, however there are laws and regulations in the foreign country that will determine how the marriage is to proceed. In many cases, a foreign residency will be required; the length of the residency will vary from country to country. Once the marriage has occurred you must still petition the United States government for your spouse to be granted entrance to the United States. This process can be as involved and take as long or longer than if you would have petitioned for a Fiancee Visa and married your special someone in the United States. Another problem with marrying abroad is that your fiancee does not have the opportunity to visit the United States, and experience how life will be before the marriage.
The Fiancee visa, or K1 visa, is a tool available to citizens of the United States. This is a wonderful tool which allows for the fiancee to enter the United states for a period of 90 days, during which time either the two are married or, in the absence of a marriage to the petitioner, the fiancee is required to depart the United States prior to the expiration of the 90 day visa. Unlike marrying abroad, this allows the couple to live together in the United States and the fiancee to experience what life will really be like before the marriage.
The fiancee visa process is not difficult, yet it is important that all the paperwork and supporting documents are carefully completed and compiled. Any mistakes on your part may result in your case being “kicked out” of the process and starting all over again. The time it takes to process a fiancee visa will vary depending on what district you reside in, taking anywhere from a month or two to several months for you to obtain approval. In order to be eligible for the Fiancee Visa process you must be able to prove that you are a US citizen, that the two of you are ready willing and legally able to marry, and that you have met face to face at some point within the last two years. The “proof” of the meeting can consist of photos together, passport stamps, hotel vouchers, phone log records from the petitioner’s hotel to the fiancee’s phone. If the petitioner can prove a severe hardship, such as a severe medical condition preventing travel, it is possible to have the personal meeting condition waived. The petitioner must also meet certain income requirements, normally 125 percent of the current poverty level. The fiancee must also meet certain standards such as no previous immigration law violations and lack of a criminal record.
Once the petitioner has decided that the fiancee process is the desired course, he will file the required forms with the appropriate district office of the USCIS. The forms consist of the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancee, and two G-325 biographic data sheets, one for the petitioner and one for the fiancee. The petitioner will also have to submit certain supporting documents (all foreign documents must be translated into English) such as proof of divorce, photographs, and the affidavit of support. The Affidavit of support is a pledge on behalf or the petitioner stating that he will provide support for the fiancee if she is allowed entrance to the United States. The affidavit of support itself requires supporting documentation such as letters from your employer, banks, and a list of certain assets. It also requires the submission of the last 3 years tax returns in order to show that the petitioner meets the financial standards set by the government.
The fiancee visa allows for children of the Fiancee to come along with the fiancee to the United States using a K2 visa. The children must be unmarried and under the age of 18. The child or children can accompany the fiancee or follow within one year of the initial approval. In order for the child to gain residency along with the mother the marriage must occur before the child’s 18th birthday.
Once all the paperwork is filled out it is compiled and filed with the appropriate district office. Approval of the petition can take anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on the current caseload of the center. Once the petition has been approved, it is sent to the appropriate US consulate. In Russia all petitions are sent to Moscow, in Ukraine they are all sent to Kiev. Once the consulate has received the approved petition they will notify the fiancee and schedule an appointment. They will also send her a packet of information and the necessary forms she will have to complete for her interview. She will be given directions as to what supporting documents she will need for the interview including a police report stating that she has no criminal history, and a medical examination performed by an approved facility.
The interview process is normally very short and direct. The consulate will determine at that point whether or not they will grant the visa. Grounds for denial include but are not limited to; prior criminal history, terrorist affiliations, health problems such as tuberculosis or insanity. The consultant will also be looking for signs of a potential ‘sham” marriage, or visa fraud. The consulate takes visa fraud very seriously. Once granted the physical visa will be placed in the fiancees passport and she will have up to six months from the issue date to enter the United States.
Once the fiancee has arrived the 90 day clock starts. During that 90-day period the fiance must either marry the petitioner or leave the United States at the end of the 90 day period, there are no extensions. The fiancee will have the opportunity to work during the visa period and will be given that authorization upon her arrival.
If all goes well the marriage occurs and a petition to adjust status to permanent resident is filed. The spouse may not leave and return to the United States during the adjustment period without first obtaining an advance parole.
This article is intended for general purposed only. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied on as such. There are many factors to take into consideration when processing a K1 or fiancee visa, legal assistance from an attorney experienced and competent in immigration law is advised.
Attorney Maria V. Jone’s law firm is an excellent choice for all your visa needs, especially the Fiancee or K1 visas for a variety of reasons. Maria was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, she is fluent in Russian and has gone through the visa process herself. She graduated from the Moscow State Academy of Law with highest honors and is licensed to practice law in Russia. Mrs. Jones also obtained her Masters in Law in the U.S. and is licensed to practice immigration law in all 50 states. Because Maria has gone through the visa process herself, she can relate and empathize with the women who are embarking on the process. Immigration law is Maria’s specialty, and the only law she practices. She is the vice chairperson of the immigration section of the State Bar of Arizona. She has never had a Fiancee visa case denied!
Take the worry, work, and pressure out of the fiancee visa process for both you and your fiancee and put the experience and expertise of Maria V. Jones to work for you today! Call (602) 553-8178 or E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Fiancee or any other type of visa.