When your fiancée is abroad and you wish for the wedding and green card application to occur in the United States, the fiancée visa (K-3 visa) is the perfect (and only) option. I have handled many fiancée cases from around the globe, and would be happy to assist you. My cases have included complex issues such as criminal arrests and/or convictions, prostitution, unlawful presence in the United States, affidavit of support requirements, language issues and three or ten year bars. For all cases, I work very hard with my clients to ensure they can fully document the realities and legitimacies of their relationship and to minimize delay and stress while increasing the chance of approval up front.
My fiancée lives abroad. How do we apply for a green card?
In order to file for a green card, the fiancée must first enter the United States on a fiancee visa. He or she then files for a green card application after the marriage is finalized. This second step is completed in the United States and called adjustment of status.
My fiancée is abroad. How do we apply for a fiancée visa?
When the engaged applicant is outside of the United States, he or she will obtain the K-3 visa via Consular Processing. This is a three step process that involves two federal agencies and a consular interview. I recommend working with a competent immigration attorney on all fiancée cases. Procedures are as follows:
- The sponsoring US citizen files the fiancée petition (I-129F) with DHS and requests consular processing for the foreign applicant. This process currently takes about 5-6 months but processing times can alter at any time without warning.
- DHS forwards the petition to the National Visa Center for security checks and other processing. For most cases, the NVC will only register the file and then forward to the US consulate for final processing and interview.li>
- The NVC forwards the petition to the U.S. Consulate in the applicant's home country. Processing times vary by consulate. The interview normally happens within 1-4 months after file transfer but can be shorter or longer, depending upon the US consulate.
- The US consulate gives last minute instructions (medical exam, photos, etc.) The spouse goes to interview and normally within two weeks, is given an fiancée visa. After entry to the United States, he or she must marry within 90 days and then file for a green card via the Adjustment of Status process.
I have a same sex partner. Are there different procedures for obtaining a K-3 fiancée visa?
No! The process for obtaining a fiancée visa is the same for heterosexual and same sex couples.
Why would we hire an attorney to handle our case?
In my professional opinion, every couple should hire a competent immigration attorney to handle the fiancée visa and green card process. (And I do not say this for every visa category.)
Your immigration attorney will analyze the applicant's eligibility for the benefit, fully vet the case for any issues or potential problems (both with the fiancée visa and the green card application), and ensure that the green card application may be filed once in the United States. There are many important factors DHS will consider, including arrest/conviction records, past immigration history, prior marriages and green card sponsorship, the length and validity of the relationship, language/communication barriers and the US citizen's financial realities, among others.
Failure to analyze your case fully up front can result in denial of the fiancée visa or removal of the foreign spouse from the United States at a later date. For this reason, I highly recommend that the couple has a full consultation with a competent immigration attorney before embarking on this application process.
I have handled numerous fiancee sponsorship cases, using both the consular processing and adjustment of status methods. Many cases have been for complex cases, with all the issues listed above. Additionally, I work carefully with clients to ensure that the case is processed as quickly as possible, all questions are answered and all issues addressed in a clear, concise manner. Via these efforts, many of my clients, particularly in consular processing cases, are able to save months of valuable time and to be reunited with their US partner much sooner than anticipated.