It is not uncommon for individuals to fall in love while overseas on vacation or while studying or working abroad. In this day and age, it is also not uncommon for individuals to meet the love of their lives online, only to have those loves live thousands of miles away in a foreign country. If you have had the great fortune to find love overseas, you and your partner may decide that marriage is the next step. You may also decide that you want to build your life together here in the United States. While that is wonderful, you should be prepared to go to great lengths to make your visions of a happy union here in the U.S. a reality, beginning with obtaining a Fiancé Visa for your soon-to-be-spouse.
Many people operate under the assumption that once a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen, the foreign national automatically becomes a U.S. citizen, as well. That is simply not the case. The foreign national must still go through the visa process, though the process may be slightly easier for him or her because of his or her marital status. That said, the process will not become so easy as to not necessitate an attorney help. There are still a lot of legalities that the couple will have to navigate, and several mistakes the couple can make to jeopardize their future together. For help navigating the complex visa process and to avoid common fiancé visa pitfalls, reach out to the Chicago immigration lawyers at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, today.
It is not enough to become engaged to a U.S. citizen. Once engaged, and once a couple decides to live together in the United States, the international fiancé must obtain a K-1 visa. After obtaining said visa, the couple has 90 days to get married. Once married, the spouse who immigrated to the U.S. will be granted a two-year conditional green card. If the couple is still in a valid and stable marriage once the two-year time limit is up, the government will then grant him or her a 10-year green card. Once the international individual has the 10-year green card, he or she may begin the process of naturalization to become an official United States citizen.
Like most things these days, you can complete the K-1 visa application online. However, before one can start the application, the applicant’s sponsor (the U.S. citizen spouse) must first file a Form I-129F on behalf of his or her fiancé and Form I-134, which is an Affidavit of Support. Once both these documents are approved, the fiancé may continue with the K-1 visa application.
The applicant will be asked to complete the following forms:
Along with filing these applications, the foreign spouse will also be required to undergo medical tests, show a valid passport, and provide adequate proof that his or her relationship with the U.S. citizen is legitimate. The last step of the application process involves an interview with the local United States Consulate or Embassy, during which the foreign spouse must answer questions regarding his or her relationship with the sponsor, the couple’s decision to live in the United States, the couple’s wedding plans, and the individual’s plans for work.
The K-1 visa process may seem simple enough, but nothing about the U.S.’s immigration system is simple. You can avoid making crucial mistakes at any point throughout the process by working with an experienced and knowledgeable Chicago visa attorney. Contact Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, today to get started.
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