If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can apply for a visa on behalf of your foreign national husband or wife so you live together in Phoenix. But what if the two of you are planning to get married but have not done so yet? There is an option for you — if you are willing to get married soon.
The K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant, short-term visa. To get one, both you and your future spouse must agree to get married within 90 days of their arrival, among other requirements. Thus, the person you are sponsoring must be your fiancé(e) under U.S. immigration law. The law defines a fiancé(e) as someone who is legally free to marry (i.e., is not already legally married), capable of getting married under the laws of the sponsor’s state, and (usually) has met the sponsor in person at least once within the past two years.
Overview of the process
Once your fiancé(e) qualifies, you file a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) with your local USCIS office, which will pass it along to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will, in turn, send it to the U.S. embassy or consulate that serves your fiancé(e)’s area. When it does this, the NVC will send you a letter to let you know, so you can tell your fiancé(e) to apply for the K-1 visa.
Your future spouse will undergo an interview at their local embassy or consulate. They will need to bring several documents, including:
- Birth certificate
- A passport that lets them travel to the U.S.
- If they were previously married, a death certificate or divorce decree showing they are not currently married
- The results of a medical exam
- Evidence of their relationship with you
- Evidence that they are financially self-supporting and unlikely to end up needing public assistance
You will also have to submit to an interview at your local consulate. The purpose is to prove that your relationship is genuine. If you have all the necessary documentation and money for fees, you and your fiancé(e) have a good chance of getting approved for a visa. Then all you have to do is plan your wedding.