You met your girlfriend in college, when you attended New York University in Manhattan. However, after graduation, your girlfriend returned to her home country to take a job in her family business. But this last year, being separated because of travel restrictions during the pandemic has been difficult for you both. You are ready to propose, to bring your fiancée to the United States and to build your married life here.
Yet, you know the immigration process can be complicated. What do you need to know to help your fiancée immigrate to the United States?
Fiancée visa options
You have two main options if you want to bring your fiancée to the United States and have her eventually obtain a permanent resident visa (a Green Card):
- You apply for a fiancée visa, also known as a K-1 visa, and then marry your fiancée within 90 days of her arrival in the United States.
- You marry your fiancée overseas and then apply to obtain a Green Card for your new spouse.
For a fiancée visa, you likely will have to prove you have the intention of marrying once your fiancée arrives. You may need to show documentation you have a wedding or reception venue booked. You may need to show proof that you have had a relationship with your fiancée for a while – that you have visited her in her home country and had regular communication with her.
If you choose to marry your fiancée overseas and then apply to bring your new spouse to the United States, you will have to show that you are not married to anyone else and nor is your spouse. Even if you aren’t a U.S. citizen yourself, but have a Green Card or have served in the military, you may be able to secure a long-term visa for your new spouse to immigrate here. However, it can take up to two years to get a Green Card for your new spouse – even if you are a U.S. citizen living here.
Getting help with the immigration process
You should consult an immigration attorney if you want to help your fiancée immigrate or secure a Green Card for your new spouse who is still living overseas. The visa process can be complicated and confusing and you want to avoid having a mistake lead to an unexpected delay.
With an attorney’s help, you can ensure you take the right steps to help your fiancée or new spouse immigrate to the United States for and help them become a naturalized citizen when they are eligible. Then, you both can enjoy living the American dream together for many years to come.