The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) §214 allows special visas to be issued to foreign nationals who wish to travel to the United States to marry their U.S. citizen fiancés. After your arrival in the U.S., the marriage must occur within ninety (90) days of the foreign national’s arrival within the U.S.
Should the couple have a change of heart and decide to not get married at that point, the foreign national must then leave the country within this time period or accrue unlawful presence and be faced with a removal hearing.
Legal permanent residents (green card holders) may not file petitions for the fiancé visas, although they may petition for the immigration of their new spouse after the wedding.
It usually takes at least five to seven months (sometimes longer) to get a fiancé visa issued depending upon the state of residence of the U.S. citizen as well as the country of the foreign fiancé in question.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is required that the couple should have met at least once during the two years prior to filing the fiancé petition. If there were ways to get around this, then it would not be a “requirement.” For those couples who have never met, there is an exception.
However, the Immigration and Nationality Act does allow for an “extreme hardship exception”: “if it is established that compliance would result in extreme hardship to the petitioner or that compliance would violate strict and long-established customs of the K-1 beneficiary’s foreign culture or social practice, as where marriages are traditionally arranged by the parents of the contracting parties and the prospective bride and groom are prohibited from meeting subsequent to the arrangement and prior to the wedding day.” INA § 214.2(k)(2). Waivers such as these are rarely granted by the USCIS because so few couples have been able to meet the stringent requirement of extreme hardship. However, we use USCIS’ “case by case” determination to make a unique argument that rises to the level of “extreme hardship.”
You need to only prove U.S. citizenship, intention to marry within 90 days, eligibility to marry, that you met within the last 2 years (strict requirement), or a waiver of the same,
Legally, yes, but you will need to retain an attorney. Think about it; your U.S. citizen fiancé submitted a petition for you, then months later, more documents were filed with NVC, then you attended an interview during which you proved that you were going to marry this fiancé.
After all of this, the relationship broke (either before or subsequent to your entry into the U.S. but before the 90-day deadline to marry) and during this time, you already met someone new, and reached a serious point in the relationship that both of you want to get married and the U.S. citizen wants to file for your green card.
Yes. You need to do so ASAP since you are in the U.S. unlawfully and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have a right to initiate removal proceedings against you.
The Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) interprets INA 101(a)(15)(K) to mean that a foreign national fiancé can apply for and obtain a nonimmigrant visa under another classification, if the foreign national can meet the qualifications of that visa. So a foreign national fiancé who is traveling to the U.S. to marry a U.S. citizen can apply for and receive a B-2 visitor visa if he or she can prove that he or she will depart the U.S. after the marriage. Of course, practically speaking, consular officers and especially Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) may not be convinced that the foreign national intends to depart after the marriage.
The K-1 visa allows a fiance to enter the United States one time only. If you leave the United States after entering on a K-1 visa, you may not re-enter on the same visa. If you want to leave and re-enter the United States, you should apply with Form I-131 Application for Travel Document to the USCIS office that serves the area where you live for advance parole to return to the United States.
As a K-1 visa holder, you may file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live for a work permit (employment authorization document).
The child of a fiance may receive a derivative K-2 visa from his/her parent’s fiance petition. You, the American citizen petitioner, must make sure that you list the child in the I-129F petition. After the marriage of the child’s parent and the American citizen, the child will need a separate form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status. The child may travel with (accompany) the K-1 parent/fiance or travel later (follow-to-join) within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa to his/her parent. A separate petition is not required if the children accompany or follow the alien fiance within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa. If it is longer than one year from the date of visa issuance, a separate immigrant visa petition is required.
Remember that in immigration law a child must be unmarried and under 21. The stepparent/stepchild relationship must be created before the child reaches the age of 18.
You can instead give USCIS the following secondary evidence. However, USCIS may request in writing that you obtain a statement from the appropriate civil authority certifying that the needed document is not available. Any evidence submitted must contain enough information, such as a birth date, to establish the event you are trying to prove.
- Baptismal Certificate
A copy, front and back, of the certificate under the seal of the church, synagogue or other religious entity showing where the baptism, dedication or comparable rite occurred, as well as the date and place of the child’s birth, date of baptism and names of the child’s parents. The baptism must have occurred within two months after the birth of the child.
- School Record
A letter from the school authority (preferably from the first school attended), showing the date of admission to the school, child’s date or age at that time, place of birth and the names of the parents.
- Census Record
State or Federal census record showing the name(s), date(s) and place(s) of birth or age(s) of the person(s) listed.
Written statements sworn to or affirmed by two persons who were living at the time and who have personal knowledge of the event. For example, an event such as a birth, marriage or death. The persons making the affidavits may be relatives and do not have to be citizens of the United States. Each affidavit should contain the person’s full name and address, date and place of birth, and relationship to you and must fully describe the event and explain how he or she acquired knowledge of the event.