The U.S. government makes it relatively easy for U.S. citizens to bring their foreign-born fiancé(e)s to the United States. A fiancé(e) visa, or K-visa, is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the holder to enter the United States temporarily with the intention of marrying his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival.
Eligibility for a fiancé(e) visa
First, the petitioner or sponsoring family member must be a U.S. citizen, and the fiancé(e) must be living in a foreign country. Second, the couple must have met in person within the last two years.
However, there are exceptions for family members who have a long and close family relationship, those living in cultures where meeting before marriage is not permitted, or if the meeting will create an extreme hardship on either party.
In addition, the couple must intend to marry within 90 days of admission into the U.S., then apply for adjustment of status after they are married. Finally, per family immigration laws, the couple must be legally able to marry and both parties must be free to do so.
The family immigration process for fiancé(e) visas
First, the U.S. citizen family member files a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F with USCIS. Then, once the petition is approved, the foreign-born fiancé(e) beneficiary applies for a K-visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence. Finally, after entering the United States on a K-visa, the couple has 90 days to get married and then apply for adjustment of status.
After receiving an approval of the adjustment of status application (Form I-485) from USCIS, you need to go to the USCIS office for a fingerprint appointment, and finally, in about 8 to 14 months after the family-based adjustment of status interview at your local USCIS field office, you will receive your green card.
There are many benefits to obtaining a fiancé(e) visa. Besides allowing the foreign fiancé(e) to enter the United States for the specific purpose of marrying his or her U.S. citizen sponsor, the visa allows the foreign fiancé(e) to bypass the often lengthy and expensive process of applying for a marriage visa. Granted, the fiancé(e) visa process can be relatively easy and straightforward, as long as you meet all the eligibility requirements.