In Texas, if you are a U.S. citizen and want to bring your foreign fiancé(e) over to the United States to get married, you must understand the process of obtaining a visa. The fiancé(e) visa, more formally known as the K-1 nonimmigrant visa, lets you sponsor your future spouse’s entry to the U.S. so that you can get married. The following provides detail on this special visa and its specific requirements.
Starting the process
To obtain a fiancé(e) visa, you must first file Form I-129F, a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). You must be a U.S. citizen to file the form. This initial step serves as a notification of your intent to bring a foreign fiancé(e) into the U.S. You and your fiancé(e) will need to provide copies of certain documents with the form, such as proof that you are a U.S. citizen and evidence that both you and your fiancé(e) have legally terminated previous marriages.
Each of you may need to supply additional information, such as passport photos, evidence of any legal name changes and sworn statements about the nature and duration of your relationship and your intent to marry.
Intent and timelines
You and your fiancé(e) must show a genuine intent to marry each other within 90 days of the individual arriving in the U.S. This step ensures the marriage is taking place because you have both committed to establishing a life together and not marrying solely for immigration benefits.
Once your marriage takes place within the 90-day time window, your spouse becomes eligible to apply for a green card. This step, also known as applying for lawful permanent resident status, allows your spouse to comply with immigration law and legally live and work in the U.S. as a permanent resident.
If you have already married your spouse, plan to marry out of the country or if your fiancé(e) already legally resides in the U.S., the K-1 visa may not be appropriate. In such cases, your spouse can consider alternatives, such as applying for a green card.
Understanding the process to obtain a fiancé(e) visa is essential to bringing your foreign partner to the U.S. Fulfilling the requirements can provide your fiancé(e) with the means to live in the U.S. legally so you can begin your married life together.