Visas into the United States of America: Fiancé Visas

There are two primary types of visas that can be obtained for entry into the United States of America:  (1) immigration visas, and (2) temporary/visitor visas.

Temporary/visitor visas are for people who are not seeking to permanently reside in the U.S.  Tourists, those seeking medical treatment, business travelers, foreign exchange students, temporary workers, and foreign press media all commonly receive temporary visas.  Temporary visas are significantly easier to obtain than immigration visas.

Immigration visas are for people who want to stay or reside in the U.S. long term.  There are many different immigration visa options available, some of which include:  employment-based, inter-country adoption, special immigrant, diversity, and family-based visas.

The Fiancé Visa

Dahman Law is particularly experienced in helping clients obtain a fiancé (K1) visa, a family-based immigration visa.  Fiancé visas have a quicker turnaround rate than spousal visas.  Spousal visas can take significantly longer, require more paperwork, and have more expensive filing fees.  Additionally, while waiting for the spousal visa to go through, which can take up to 2 years, your husband/wife would not be allowed to live or travel to the U.S.  Fiancé visas, on the other hand, only take five to seven months and would allow him/her to live and work here before you are married.

There are four main requirements that must be met to obtain a fiancé visa:

  1. The petitioner must be a United States citizen (Legal Permanent Residents are not eligible for K1 visas).
  2. Both the petitioner and his/her fiancé(e) must be free to marry.  If there were previous marriages, they must now be divorced, annulled, or widowed.
  3. Both parties must have the intent to marry within 90 days of fiancé(e)’s arrival in the U.S.
  4. The petitioner and the fiancé(e) must have met in person within two years prior to applying for the visa.  It is possible to obtain a hardship waiver for this requirement, but it is very rare.  Typically, the waivers are only granted if a medical condition prevents the U.S. citizen from international travel.
  5. The U.S. citizen must meet the minimum income requirement (poverty level), which is set by Congress every February.

Applying for a fiancé visa can be a complicated process; therefore, we recommend that individuals use an attorney to assist them, even if it is not us.  It is not uncommon for citizens to make some mistakes when completing the necessary requirements without any professional help, which could result in a denial of the visa or at least a delay in the process.

If you would like more information on K1 visas, feel you meet the above requirements and are seeking to apply for a fiancé visa, or have another immigration related issue, please do not hesitate to contact Dahman Law.