If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to bring your foreign national fiancee (male or female) to marry in the U.S., you may petition (apply) for a fiancee visa (K-1) for your fiancee. Both of you must be free to marry. This means that both of you are unmarried, or that any previous marriages have ended through divorce, annulment or death. You must also have met with your fiancee in person within the last two years before filing for the fiancee visa. This requirement can be waived only if meeting your fiancee in person would violate long-established customs or would create extreme hardship for you. You and your fiancee must marry within 90 days of your fiancee entering the United States.
You may also apply (on the same petition) to bring your fiancee’s unmarried children, who are under age 21, to the United States.
Legal permanent residents may not file petitions for fiancee visas, although they may petition for the immigration of their new spouse after the wedding .
After your petition is approved, your fiancee must obtain a visa issued at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad. Your fiancee must remain unmarried until the arrival of the fiancee in the U.S. The marriage must take place within 90 days of your fiancee entering the United States. If the marriage does not take place within 90 days or your fiancee marries someone other than you (the U.S. citizen filing the petition), your fiancee will be required to leave the United States. Until the marriage takes place, your fiancee is considered a nonimmigrant. A nonimmigrant is a foreign national seeking to temporarily enter the United States for a specific purpose. A fiancee may not obtain an extension of the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.
If your fiancee intends to live and work permanently in the United States, your fiancee should apply to become a permanent resident after your marriage. (If your fiancee does not intend to become a permanent resident after your marriage, your fiancee/new spouse must leave the country within the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.). Your new spouse will initially receiveconditional permanent residence status for two years. Conditional permanent residency is granted when the marriage creating the relationship is less than two years old at the time of adjustment to permanent residence status. .
Please note that your fiancee may enter the United States only one time with a fiancee visa. If your fiancee leaves the country before you are married, your fiancee may not be allowed back into the United States without a new visa.
If your new spouse will apply to become a legal permanent resident while in the U.S. but also plans to travel outside the U.S. while the application is pending.
After arriving in the United States, your fiancee will be eligible to apply for a work permit. (You should note that USCIS might not be able to process the work permit within the 90-day time limit for your marriage to take place.) Your fiancee should use Form I-765 to apply for a work permit. . If your fiancee applies for adjustment to permanent resident status after the wedding, your fiancee must re-apply for a new work permit.
How Can I Appeal a Denial of my Fiancee Visa?
If your petition for a fiancee visa is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal. Generally, you may appeal within 33 days of receiving the denial by mail. Your appeal must be filed on USCIS Form I-290B. The appeal must be filed with the office that made the original decision. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU) in Washington, DC. (Sending the appeal and fee directly to the AAU will delay the process.
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