Whether you have been dating your fiancé/e for a long time, or your family has arranged a marriage for you, you are very excited to begin the next chapter of your life. And then the immigration process steps in and you realize that it may take months, sometimes, over a year, to bring your fiancé to the US, and even longer, to get married. You are unable to set a date for the wedding, which is already complicated because you have friends and family in 2 countries. We understand your pain! You want to explore every avenue available to shorten the timeline, or at least have some certainty so you can plan your wedding.
If your fiancé is already in the US on a different visa, you need to decide the timing of the wedding and if/when to change to a family-based green card filing. When you fiancé can travel overseas after the marriage and her ability to work are extremely important considerations.
We understand your concerns. As first generation Americans, some of our team has lived the process you are now going through. As Immigration Attorneys, we have advised clients on timelines and to choose the right path forward numerous times over the decades we have been practicing.
If you decide to file for a temporary visa for your overseas fiancé to enter the US to marry you,
US law does not differentiate between different gender and same-gender marriages and numerous same-sex couples approach us to discuss their visa options.
If you decide to file for a fiancé visa and your fiancé is overseas, your fiancé can enter the US to marry you. You will first file a petition with the USCIS, submitting proof of your relationship. This process can take anything between 3 months and up to 18 months. Once the petition is approved, the consulate will schedule an interview with your fiancé. At the interview the consulate will once again go over your relationship to ensure you are in a relationship and will then issue a K-1 visa. Your fiancé has 4 months to enter the US, and once in the US, you will have 90 days to get married, and then must file for adjustment of status once you are married.
Your fiancé can also bring their children, if under 21. She will also qualify to file for a work permit.
If your fiancé is already here in the US, your immigration timeline and visa choices are different, but the immigration process will figure prominently in any decisions you make.
After you and your fiancé get married, you will also need to file for her adjustment of status.
As your attorney, it is our responsibility to walk you through the different options – whether you should apply for a fiancé visa, or just get married and file for a green card, or if there is another visa option on the table that might suit you better. As you go through this emotion-intense journey, it would be our honor to take a little bit of stress off the table and to make the steps a little easier, the process a little smoother for you.