Fiance Visa Attorney
A United States citizen can sponsor their foreign fiancé(e) to get a nonimmigrant Visa so that the fiancés can come to the United States and get married. But they have to get married within 90 days of the arrival of the foreign fiancé. After they are married, the foreign spouse must apply for an adjustment of status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR).
To prevent fraudulent marriages, the USCIS thoroughly examines the K-1 nonimmigrant visa application filed by the sponsoring fiancé (e). The USCIS wants to ensure that the couple is actually interested in entering a real and lasting marriage.
Should You File For A K-1 Visa?
A K-1 Visa is only necessary if the engaged parties involved want to get married in the United States. They could as well get married first then go ahead and apply for a spousal Visa. Generally, a K-1 visa is the fastest way to get to get to the United States.
But the adjustment status process can take up to 18 months or longer and the foreign spouse has to wait about 3 months to get a work permit. The State Department will give the foreign fiancé(e) a two year conditional green card. But the foreign spouse will have to apply for LPR status before the conditional visa expires.
Getting a Green Card is quicker if you get married first and then apply for a spousal visa. It is also much cheaper to take this option, but you have to remember that it may take longer for your foreign spouse to be able to enter the United States.
When There Are Children Involved
If there are children, the type of visa they get will be determined by their age and when you get married. So, when you are applying for a fiancé(e) visa, an unmarried child under the age of 21 can apply as a derivative on your K-1 application. The child has to apply at a U.S. consulate within one year of you applying for a fiancé(e).
Just like your fiancé, the child can adjust their status once they arrive in the United States. But for this to happen, you and your fiancé(e) will have to get married within 90 days, and your child must be under the age of 21 by the time you get married.
But if you decide to get married first then apply for a marriage visa, the U.S. citizen spouse will have to file a separate I-130 petition on behalf of the child. It is called a Petition for Alien Relative. If your marriage is less than two years old, the child will receive a conditional green card and will have to file to remove conditions as the two years expire.
Talk to your immigration lawyer for more information on how your step-child can get U.S. citizenship. Your immigration lawyer can guide you through the immigration application process so that you avoid any errors. This includes helping you prove the legitimacy of your relationship with the foreign fiancé(e).