The U.S. allows citizens and green card holders to minimize the physical distance between them and their spouses or fiance by providing avenues for them to move to the U.S. However, these are under strict conditions which you both must understand. First, a spouse and a fiance are treated differently in this situation.
How do I sponsor my spouse to the U.S?
You can bring your foreign spouse (husband or wife) to live in the United States in one of two ways if you are a citizen of the United States. These are:
- IR1 or CR1 immigrant visa for a spouse of a U.S. citizen
- Nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K3 Visa)
A spouse visa attorney can help make the process easy for you and your spouse as this can be very technical matters that almost always require professional assistance.
Who exactly is a spouse?
A spouse is a husband or wife who has been lawfully wed. Simply cohabiting does not make a couple eligible for immigration. Depending on the regulations of the nation where the common-law marriage takes place, common-law spouses may be considered spouses for immigration purposes. Take note that in polygamous situations, only the first spouse may be eligible for immigration as a spouse.
The first step – submitting a petition
For your spouse (husband or wife) to come to the United States, the first step is to file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Visit the USCIS website for details on how to file a petition, including where to send it.
A U.S. citizen residing overseas may in some cases submit an application for an immigrant visa outside of the country.
Minimum age requirement for US sponsors
A U.S. sponsor (petitioner) may submit a petition for a spouse at any age. However, before you may sign the Affidavit of Support, you must be at least 18 years old and have a residency in the United States (Form I-864 or I-864EZ). This form is necessary in order to apply for an immigrant visa for the spouse and other family members of U.S. sponsors.
How do I bring my fiancé to the U.S?
You can file a petition to have your fiancé immigrate to the country so you can marry him or her if you’re a citizen of the US. The American government is aware that a citizen of the United States and a fiancé may live in other nations, prefer to avoid needless travel, or just desire to wed in the country. To enable a US citizen and their fiancé to live together, the K-1 visa was developed.
The petitioner, a U.S. citizen, and the beneficiary, who is a foreign national, must have personally met during the previous two years, be of legal age to marry, and intend to get married within 90 days of the beneficiary’s entry into the United States.
What Does “Fiancé(e)” Mean?
According to American immigration law, a foreign citizen who is engaged to a citizen of the United States must have an approved Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F, and be in possession of a nonimmigrant K-1 visa in order to enter the country to wed their American partner (e). The U.S. citizen and the K-1 visa applicant must have been lawfully able to get married both at the time the petition was filed and during the entire application process. The marriage must be legitimately permissible under the laws of the U.S. state where it will take place.
Generally, the foreign citizen fiancé(e) and the American citizen sponsor must have personally interacted within the previous two years.
First, submit a petition
You, the sponsor who is a citizen of the United States, must submit Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), to the USCIS office.
The package must include the necessary paperwork, passport photos, proof of their relationship, and personal declarations of their intention to wed. The I-129F package will be reviewed by USCIS in three to five months. On the USCIS website, click Fiancé(e) Visas for further details. You should be aware that you cannot submit Form I-129F at a US Embassy, Consulate, or USCIS office abroad.
The petition is transmitted to the National Visa Center after USCIS accepts it (NVC). Your petition will be sent to the American Embassy or Consulate in the country where your fiancé(e) resides when the NVC assigns you a case number. The item is delivered to the U.S. embassy in your fiancé’s country after three to five months. The U.S. Consulate will provide your fiancé with a list of needed paperwork, which may include original birth certificates, police reports, and proof of the right to wed.
Your fiancé’s interview will be scheduled after the U.S. Consulate has examined the package. The medical examination results and the fiancé’s passport must be brought in a sealed envelope. In order to make sure that the connection is not false and to interview your fiancé, the officer will evaluate the paperwork. The documentation needed for the fiancé’s child should be submitted as well if the fiancé has a child and wants to bring that child with them to the United States.
Following the interview, the consular representative will let your fiancé know whether the visa was approved. Your fiancé’s passport will be taken by the officer to imprint the new visa if the K-1 visa is authorized. Within five business days, your fiancé’s passport will be ready for pick up. A K-2 visa allowing entry into the US will be granted to the fiancé’s child.
A six-month visa or a visa that lasts till your fiancé’s passport expires will be issued to him or her. When your fiancee arrives.
You and your fiancé will have 90 days to get married when he or she enters the country. To become a permanent resident of the United States, your fiancé must submit a petition for adjustment of status.
USCIS may provide an exception to this rule if it would be extremely difficult for the U.S. citizen sponsor to meet the foreign citizen fiancé(e), or if it would be against the culture of either the sponsor or the fiancé(e) for a man and woman to meet before marriage.
Should my American fiancé (e) file separate petitions for my children?
No. Your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) must include the children on the Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), in order for your eligible children to apply for K-2 visas based on the approval of the petition. Each K-2 visa applicant is required to submit a unique visa application and pay the K visa application cost.
Your children will have to apply for an adjustment of status separately from you after your marriage. They are not permitted to be listed on your application for a status adjustment.
A child must not be married in order to be eligible for immigration to the United States. The stepchild relationship between your child and your spouse must be established before the child becomes 18 in order to qualify for an adjustment of status after your marriage to a U.S. citizen.