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Eligibility requirements for obtaining a fiancé visa

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2020 | naturalization & citizenship

As a U.S. citizen who wishes to bring your foreign-born fiancé to the United States for the two of you to marry, you are going to need to take certain steps before moving forward. Typically, the first step you need to take is to attempt to secure a fiancé via, which is also known as a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. 

Before you obtain a fiancé visa, you need to demonstrate that you are actually eligible for one, and this involves meeting certain strict eligibility requirements. 

Assessing eligibility 

How do you know if you are eligible to bring your fiancé into the United States on a fiancé visa? To meet eligibility requirements, you must be a U.S. citizen, and you must intend to marry your fiancé within 90 days of the date that he or she arrives in the United States. 

Additionally, you must demonstrate that each of you is free to marry, meaning that you are not currently married to someone else. You must also show that you two met each other at least once within the two years preceding the filing of your petition. There are, however, several exceptions to this requirement. 

Notable exceptions 

You may be able to bypass the requirement that dictates that you and your fiancé must meet in person at least once within the two-year span preceding your petition if your situation meets one of two distinct circumstances. If your fiancé has long-established customs or beliefs that prevent such a meeting, you may be able to request a requirement waiver. Similarly, if you are able to demonstrate that the in-person meeting requirement would result in extreme hardship to you, the petitioner, you may also be able to request a waiver of this particular requirement. 

If you obtain a fiancé visa, it is important that you recognize that it is going to expire within 90 days. If you do not marry and your fiancé does not depart the country within that timeframe, you would be in violation of immigration laws.