An engagement is an exciting time in someone’s life. They have found someone with whom they have a legitimate connection and want to begin planning for a shared future. Wedding planning is almost always expensive and stressful, but the process may be much more of a challenge than usual for people in certain circumstances.
For example, when one fiancé is a United States citizen and the other is a foreign national, an engagement might be the beginning of a complicated immigration process. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does have a special visa program that provides a fiance or K-1 visa to those entering the country to marry a citizen. However, there are special rules governing the K-1 visa program, and compliance is crucial to someone’s success when bringing a fiancé to the United States.
Submission of certain paperwork
The USCIS requires a submission of a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) when someone wants a K-1 visa. The foreign national seeking to marry a United States citizen will also need to provide medical records and undergo a thorough background check. Being able to meet the USCIS immigration standards and fulfill all of the filing requirements are key elements of a K-1 visa application.
A legitimate relationship
Typically, someone applying for a fiancé visa will need clear documentation of a pre-existing romantic relationship. Letters and emails exchanged between the fiancés can help prove the relationship is sincere. Social media posts, travel records and even statements from the family members of the fiancés could also help demonstrate the validity of their relationship. Visas for those who have not met before because of cultural traditions although documentation will be necessary in those cases as well.
Advance planning for the ceremony
Weddings often take people a year or more to plan, but a fiancé relocating to the United States will not be able to leisurely put together their dream wedding. They will typically need to have plans already underway so that they can marry within 60 days of their entry. Engaged couples may need to plan for family members’ travel and a religious officiant’s availability before the foreign fiancé enters the country.
Those who can comply with the unique rules for a K-1 visa can potentially bring their loved one to the United States and marry them. This is just one of the ways that learning about and following the rules for specific visa programs can help people reunite with a loved one living abroad.