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What you should know about fiancé visas

People from all over the world are meeting and falling in love thanks to dating websites and social media. Though falling in love is an exciting time, couples may struggle to come together in the United States and get married.

If you want to marry a foreign fiancé in the United States, you will need to obtain a fiancé visa. To obtain a K-1 fiancé visa, you must intend to marry them within 90 days of entry into the country as a K-1 non-immigrant. This marriage must be valid with the intent to begin a life together.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to apply for the fiancé visa, you must meet certain requirements. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Intend to wed within 90 days of entry into the U.S.
  • Are both legally free to marry - any previous marriages have been ended legally
  • Have met each other in person at least once within two years before filing; a request to waiver this requirement must show that meeting in person would violate customs of the foreign culture, or may result in extreme hardship to you

USCIS will also be looking at the criminal background of the U.S. citizen. You must not have been convicted of certain crimes - domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, dating violence, stalking, controlled substance violations and homicide. If you have any crime in your past, you may want to consult with an attorney to review the matter prior to you filing the petition.

How long does it take to get a fiancé visa?

Although there is no cut and dry answer to how long the process will take, it usually takes six to nine months to obtain a fiancé visa. If there are unforeseen complications, it may be a longer process.

It's important to remember that every situation is unique, and that the wait will be worth it.

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