If you’re a US citizen, you’re probably aware of the fact that you can bring your foreign spouse or partner to the United States as a permanent resident of the country. However, what many people don’t realize is that even an engagement for marriage already qualifies your fiancé to enter the US long enough for both of you to marry. At this point, they can join you by sponsoring her or him for permanent residence. While possible, this is much preferable for individuals facing particular circumstances regarding their immigration.
If such is your situation, you will need to apply for a visa for fiancés. On this note, it’s best if you hire a US lawyer for immigration so that they can help guide you with the types of visa you’re eligible to apply for and which one works for you best. Besides that, immigration attorneys can also help ensure that you have a hassle-free experience of immigration so that you can immediately be reunited with your partner without going through unnecessary stress.
Here’s a comprehensive guide about everything you need to know about fiancé visas, their qualifications, requirements, and some things you ought to consider along the way.
Difference between a Marriage Green Card and a Fiance Visa
You need to understand the difference between a fiancé visa and a marriage green card if you’re still trying to decide which one is best for your case. It’s worth noting that the differences between these two options are significant – a choice whose effects you might still be feeling the effects of even after many years down the road.
The simplest difference between the two is that a marriage green card petition is for married couples, while a fiancé(e) visa is for couples who aren’t married yet. Other differences also include cost and the length of which you may be granted permanent residence. It’s best that you do your research about these things before making a final decision.
What is a Fiancé Visa?
You need a fiancé visa if you want to come to another country to join your proposed civil partner or fiancé(e). This is a visa category that is specifically intended for individuals who are already engaged to an eligible person based in the foreign country you’re moving to and must be someone who either has a person with settled status.
The standard requirements for a fiancé visa typically include proof of the relationship between you and your partner, as well as your English language level. You may also have to meet some financial requirements to be successfully granted the Fiancé Visa.
Once granted, you will be permitted to enter the country for a period of six months. The fiancé visa requires that you marry your partner within this duration. Moreover, you must also be able to apply for a new visa form or switch your visa category before the expiry date if you prefer to stay with your spouse. Many people opt to apply for a Spouse visa in such cases, which involves a significant amount of preparation and documentation.
If you’re granted a Spouse Visa, you will be bestowed with the ability to resume living in the country for up to 30 months. It also allows applicants to extend their stay for an additional 30 months.
Processing Time and Costs
Costs usually vary from case to case and country to country. However, you can expect to pay a fee of around $850-$1010 for the medical exam, visa application, and petition. If you include costs for adjusting your status into permanent residence, the fees may be closer to $2,300 overall.
Moreover, your visa application may be processed within three months upon your submission. If you still haven’t provided all the information needed by the application, you may need to submit additional evidence.
Who are eligible to apply for a Fiancé Visa?
Similar to all visa categories, you must adhere to strict conditions which are necessary for your application process. The primary conditions involved in a Fiancé Visa are that neither partner should be in an existing marriage and that all previous civil partnerships or marriages have already been forfeited or concluded. Besides this, you must also show intent to marry or enter into a civil partnership within a time period of six months upon setting foot in the country.
Further qualifications also include:
- You and your fiancé are over 18 years old.
- You and your partner have plans to live permanently together.
- Your partner is based in the US and has a settled status.
- You can provide proof of your ability to meet the minimum financial requirement without needing to access public funds, as well as the sufficient requirement for accommodation.
- You meet the required English level.
- You can prove that your relationship is genuine and subsisting.
This list of qualifications must be shown through documentation in your application. As this process can be time-consuming and quite complex, you might need the help of a trained US lawyer for immigration.