Obtaining a CR1 Marriage Visa starts with the submission of the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative form and all the required documents with USCIS. After receiving approval of your I-130 form, you will next be contacted by the National Visa Center who will send you a letter or email instructing you to pay your fees and to submit your Immigrant Visa Application Form and your I-864 Affidavit of Support, along with more documents. The National Via Center has updated their form and is now using an online form called the DS-260. This replaces the older DS 230 form.
To start working on the new online DS-260 Immigrant Visa Application form, you will need to go to: https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/ and then click on the link for the DS 260 form. Before you can login to complete your form, you will need your NVC case number your NVC ID number. You can find this on your NVC email or letter. As you proceed through the form, you will be asked a number of questions and then when each page is complete, you can proceed to the next page. You cannot proceed to the next page until every question is fully answered. If you need to exit the form to get the answer(s) to a question you cannot answer on the spot, I suggest you save the form and then return later with your answer(s) to continue.
You will need a copy of your USCIS I-797 Approval Notice and a copy of the beneficiaries passport bio page to complete the form.
What questions will I be asked at my K1 Fiance Visa Interview?
I get this question a lot. Understandably, my clients are always nervous for their interview and the first thing I tell them is that they have nothing to worry about. When your relationship is genuine and honest, all you really have to remember is to tell the truth. You are seeking a fiance visa because you are in love and want to get married. You can expect that most if not all of your questions will be about your fiance, how you met, what made you fall in love and what are your plans together. Most interviews take less than 20 minutes.
Some typical questions that you might get asked at your fiance visa interview are:
In order to qualify for a fiance visa, you must meet the following requirements:
1. You must be a US citizen
2. You must have met your fiance in person within the previous two years
3. You and your fiance are legally free to get married
4. You earn at least 125% above the Federal poverty guideline for your size family (or co-sponsor)
5. You and you fiance have the true intent to get married upon your fiances arrival in the US within 90 days.
Adjusting status to become a Legal Permanent Resident while in the United States on a Visa Waiver requires careful thought and analysis.
USCIS and the US State Department is particularly sensitive to matching a persons true intent when entering the United States with the appropriate type of visa or special entry permission, like a Visa Waiver. It is an absolute “no no” to use a Visa Waiver to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married and applying to become a Legal Permanent Resident (immigrant). To do so would likely constitute fraud. The visitors intent at the time of entry is the issue.
If a person enters the United States as a visitor under the Visa Waiver program and truly intends to visit with no agenda to get married and then after entering the United States, thereafter decides to get married and wishes to stay, applying for Legal Permanent Residency is a permissible option.
The K1 Fiance Visa requires the US Citizen and the foreign fiance seeking to obtain a fiance visa, to have met in person within a two year period immediately preceding the filing of the I-129 Fiance Visa application form. The best evidence of a personal meeting is a time stamped picture of the couple together, preferably in front of a well know landmark in the country your claiming to have met in. I recommend that the picture be taken by a camera that automatically time stamps the picture. In the absence of a time stamped picture, you must write the date of your meeting on the back of the picture.
Other good evidence of a personal meeting would be airline ticket stubs, boarding passes and receipts which include the passengers name, and flight information. A copy of your passport entry stamp would also be good evidence as well. When you enter another country, you will receive an entry stamp bearing the country name and date of entry. Make a copy of this to provide USCIS with your other proof. If you are in the Military, and living in the country where your fiance resides, or where at the time of your personal meeting, a copy of your Military orders or a letter from your commanding offer stating that you were present in a particular location and time of meeting would be good evidence in that case.
Other evidence like, movie, hotel, and restaurant receipts can be helpful as further support, but by themselves will not be sufficient to prove that you met in person.
A Fiance Visa, sometimes called a K1 Visa, is the type of visa that you need if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend living in a foreign country and you wish for them come to the US so you can get married. This visa requires you to have met one time in person within a 2 year period of time, preceding the filing of your paperwork. You must also show that you (the US Citizen) earns 125% above the US Federal Poverty line to qualify. If you don’t meet the income requirement, you may be able to still apply with the help of a co-sponsor. Getting a fiance visa takes about 8-9 months from start to finish and then once your fiance is in the United States, you have 90 days to get married. Once married, you will then need to apply for your spouse’s Legal Permanent Residency or Green Card as it is often referred to. Continue reading →
The Parents of a Fiance Visa beneficiary can obtain an Immigrant visa and their US legal permanent residency once their child becomes a US Citizen. This process takes about three years or more. Once the fiancee enters the United States using his or hers K1 Fiance Visa, and then gets married, the next step is to apply for Legal Permanent Residency. This process takes about 4-5 months. Then after three years as a Legal Permanent Resident, the foreign spouse can then apply for US Citizenship. Once the foreign born spouse becomes a US Citizen (the person who originally came into the US on a Fiance Visa), he or she can apply for an Immigrant visa for his or her parents.
Parents of US Citizens are considered immediate family and therefore are not subject to any of the limitations and caps on immigration. This means that the US Citizen child over the age of 18, may petition to bring his or her parents to the US at any time. The US Citizen child over the age of 18 starts the process by filing a petition to bring his/her foreign national parents to the US. The process differs depending on the location of the parents at the time of the petition filing. If the parent is in the US and had entered the US legally (inspected by an immigration officer at customs) the request for Adjustment of Status can be filed contemporaneously with the Petition for Alien Relative. If the relative is abroad, once the petition is approved, the process continues through the NVC (National Visa Center) and then on the consulate or embassy abroad.
Either way, the parents of a US Citizen child who is over the age of 18, can obtain an Immigrant visa to come to the United States as a Legal Permanent Resident.
Today, thousands of students from across the world study in the United States and fall in love with a US Citizen and get married. Understandably, the loving couple want to stay together. This can be accomplished.
Most students arrive on either a J1 or F1 Student visa. Depending on the type of visa originally granted to the foreign student, there are a few alternative procedures that apply to a student who wishes to gain Legal Permanent Residency or their Green Card after getting married to a US Citizen.
Students with J-1 Visa
J-1 Visas are issued to Exchange Visitors who are participating in an established J Exchange program pre-approved by the State Department.
Fiance Visas for same sex couples are now legal.
I recently wrote a piece on the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling against The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). There seems to be some confusion and for that reason, its worth repeating again.
The recent Supreme Court’s ruling against The Defense of Marriage Act gives married gay couples all the federal benefits and rights that straight married couples are entitled to, which includes the legal right to apply for a K1 Fiance Visa, a CR1/IR1 Marriage visa and Legal Permanent Residency for same sex spouses.