Bringing Your Future Bride to the USA

As an American citizen, you can bring your fiancé(e) to the United States to marry and live here. If you want your foreign fiancé(e) to travel to the US to marry you and live with you in the US, you must file, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) in the United States. Who qualifies as a fiancé(e)? He/she is a person who is engaged or contracted to be married. Per the laws of the state in the United States, the marriage must be legally possible where the marriage will take place.

To go through the US fiance visa process,generally, the two people who have decided to get married, should have met in person within the past two years. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will grants some exceptions to this requirement. In certain cases, it may be contrary in some traditions for a man and woman to meet before marriage.

Petition form I-129 F:

As the first step, the American Citizen must file Form I-129 F; Petition for Alien Fiancé (e) and the required supporting documents with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (USCIS) Office that has jurisdiction over the petitioner’s (U.S. Citizen’s) place of residence.

After the USCIS approves Form I-129 F petition, it will send the petition to National Visa Center for processing, before sending it to the embassy or consulate where your fiancé(e) will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for a fiancé(e). Once the USCIS approves the I-129F petition, it is valid for four months. In certain case, officers at the Consulate can extend the validity period of the petition if it expires before the processing of the visa application is completed.

After the initial process is complete,which involves checking all the submitted documents, the consular officer will notify the alien fiancé (e) of a scheduled interview. If eligible, the alien fiancé (e) will be issued a visa that will be valid for 3 months (90 days), permitting one entry into the U.S.

Another important rule in the US fiance visa process is that the couple should get married within 90 days of the alien’s admission into the U.S. Once married, the alien spouse must apply to the USCIS for adjustment of status to conditional permanent residence status. After completing two years of marriage, a joint petition to Remove the Conditions on the residence must be filed using form I-751.

As far as the supporting documents are concerned, It is not necessary to send original supporting documents. Copies of the originals will suffice. Once you are married and your spouse’s adjustment of status interview takes place, you may be required to bring in your original documents for the USCIS Officer to review. If the immigration officer wants to see original documentation at the time of the interview, it is usually your original marriage/divorce certificate and/or original birth certificate.

It is impossible to determine how long the US fiance visa process would take. Each immigration office has different processing times depending on the number of applications they are processing. You can call your local USCIS office and ask for an estimated completion date. Once approved by the USCIS, the application will be sent to the American Consular Office closest to the residence of the Alien Fiancé (e).