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Bringing your foreign national fiancé to the United States

Being in a long-distance relationship with your fiancé can be particularly challenging if you both live in different countries. Communicating regularly across time zones can be hard, and traveling internationally to see each other can quickly become financially straining.

If you are a U.S. citizen, however, you may consider bringing your fiancé over on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, otherwise known as the fiancé visa. The K-1 visa status would allow your fiancé of foreign nationality to come into the country as your partner and would recognize his or her right to live with you in the United States. To find out if you are eligible to petition for the K-1 visa, consider the following guidelines:

  • Marrying within 90 days: Although you may be keen on putting an end to the physical distance between you and your fiancé, the K-1 visa is granted with the understanding that you both intend to marry each other. This means that you will need to get married within 90 days of your fiancé's entry to the United States.
  • Both you and your fiancé are single: Both you and your fiancé should be legally single at the time of your application. This means that any previous marriages that either you or your fiancé may have had should officially terminated in divorce or annulment by the time you petition for the K-1 visa.
  • You have recently seen your fiancé in person: It is also a requirement that you and your fiancé have seen each other in person at least once during the two-year period leading up to your application. You could be exempted from this requirement under unique circumstances that would have prevented your meeting, such as if traveling would have been financially impossible for you or if doing so would have interfered with any traditional customs your fiancé may be part of.

Every situation is different

In addition to meeting these general guidelines, it is important to consider your own unique circumstances. Perhaps your fiancé has children that you are thinking about including in your visa petition. Maybe your fiancé is interested in obtaining employment upon coming to the United States. An experienced immigration attorney can guide you through the law and help you develop a plan that suits your needs.

It is also worth noting that the total processing time for K-1 visa petitions can take as long as nine months to one year. Even if you and your fiancé have not discussed any immediate wedding plans, it may be worth planning ahead.

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Chong Immigration Law PLLC
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Washington, DC 20006

Phone: 202-798-7328
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