As you prepare for your marriage as engaged partners, it’s important to have your fiancé green card all sorted so that your arrival to the U.S. and your marriage go smoothly. There are a few steps you need to take to prepare for your K-1 green card, fiancé visa. During this process, we often get the question “can a green card holder invite a fiancé to the U.S.?” The short answer is no, yet we can discuss options for you are your fiancé. We can also guide you through the fiancé visa green card process as one of you is a U.S. citizen and the other is a foreign national.
A fiancé green card also called a fiancé visa or legally a K-1 visa, is for a foreign national fiancé of a U.S. citizen. The visa itself is temporary and has a few guidelines that need to be followed before and after you become a green card holder, fiancé visa. Coming to the U.S. as a fiancé is more of a two-step process: first, you need to obtain the k-1 visa, then apply for adjustment of status for your conditional permanent residence status green card.
Starting with the fiancé green card, the k-1 fiancé visa is only given to fiancés who are currently living outside the United States. When you come to the U.S. with your visa, you must get married within 90 days.
In addition to one of you being a U.S. Citizen and getting married within the first 90 days of arriving in the U.S., the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has other eligibility requirements for the K-1 visa. For sake of clarity, we will list the requirements from the viewpoint of the U.S. citizen petitioning for their foreign national fiancé:
You will also need to prove that your relationship and engagement is bona fide, which translates to “good faith.” To prove your relationship is authentic and that you will get married in the first 90 days of arrival, you can present documents such as:
Not all these documents are required, but they may help strengthen your petition when sending in evidence to the USCIS.
To get a K-1 green card, you need to file Form I-129F. The petition will allow you to marry your fiancé and obtain the official fiancé visa green card. The costs of the process are as follows:
A marriage-based visa would only cost roughly $1,200, yet there is a longer wait time. Depending on your circumstances, preference, and financial position, speak with an immigration attorney about the best option for you and your fiancé.
The only way to petition for a fiancé visa is if one partner in the relationship is a U.S. citizen and the other is a foreign national. You need to be a U.S. citizen and not a U.S. permanent resident. If, however, your fiancé is a green card holder who is currently petitioning for citizenship, then you have more options. You will have to wait until the lawful permanent resident partner obtains their citizenship before moving forward with the fiancé visa.
There are currently no visas that allow a foreign national engaged to a lawful permanent resident to petition for a fiancé visa.
If neither you nor your fiancé are U.S. citizens, but one of you is a permanent resident, you may be wondering how can a green card holder invite a fiancé here in U.S? As stated previously, there is no visa for a permanent resident to bring their foreign national fiancé to the U.S., but you may have some options moving forward. Though your options may be more difficult to as a green card holder, fiancé visa options are possible.
The first option is to wait to apply for the fiancé visa until the partner who is a lawful permanent resident becomes a U.S. Citizen. Once one fiancé is a citizen, you can begin the permanent resident fiancé visa process.
The second option is to marry your fiancé who is a permanent resident. You will become an eligible relative after filing Form I-130, which is a petition for relatives. Once you are married and have filed Form I-130, you will need to wait for visas to become available. In the waiting period, you are still not allowed to live in the United States.
The third option is the trickiest. If you absolutely find it necessary to get married in the United States, you can do so on a tourist visa. However, you need to return to your home country as soon as your tourist visa expires. The USCIS could potentially see this act as falsifiable. If there is any doubt you will return to your home country, you risk gaining future visas to come to the United States.
The experienced immigration attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. are here to support you through your journey of obtaining your fiancé visa. Engagement and marriage are exciting times in life, and we want to make your transition to the United States as seamless as possible. Contact us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online form today.