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Fiancé(e) Visa Attorney in Greenbelt, Maryland

If you are a U.S. citizen and wish to marry someone not legally in the United States, you can marry overseas and then file the appropriate United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) petition, or you can file for a petition for your loved one to come to the U.S. to get married. Both approaches have specific legal requirements.  

If you are someone with “Green Card” status, aka a person with lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, the requirements are more strict.  

In simplified terms, USCIS regulations and U.S. immigration laws allow for either a fiancé(e) visa – called a K-1 Visa -- or a marriage-based visa. Using either one, a U.S. citizen can marry a foreign national and pave the way for that person to apply for and ultimately enjoy legal permanent resident (LPR) status, otherwise known as “Green Card” status. Your spouse can then apply for citizenship as well.  

If you plan to marry a foreign national and you’re a lawful U.S. resident or citizen in or around Greenbelt, Maryland, contact The Anyere Law Firm, LLC, to help you navigate the legal process.   

While it may seem simple enough just to fill out applications available online and pay the necessary fees, the process can be long and challenging. Legal and administrative hurdles almost always appear, and for these, you will need experienced and knowledgeable legal assistance. Reach out immediately to our team at The Anyere Law Firm, LLC, and let us provide the hands-on help and guidance you need. We have the comprehensive skills and practice to assist you toward a bright future with your significant other. 

The immigration legal team at The Anyere Law Firm, LLC also proudly serves clients in the surrounding areas of Silver Spring, Columbia, Gaithersburg, and throughout Prince George’s County, Maryland.

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What Is a Fiancé(e) Visa?  

A K-1 or Fiancé(e) Visa grants a foreign national a nonimmigrant visa – aka a temporary visa – to come to the United States for a limited period. The K-1 Visa holder is allowed a period of six months to get to the United States. If the holder gets married within 90 days after arrival, then their status can be adjusted to that of a permanent legal resident by separate filing. Otherwise, the visa authorization expires, and the holder is expected to leave the country.  

Only a U.S. citizen, not someone with a Green Card, can apply for a K-1 Visa. To obtain a K-1 Visa for your fiancé(e), you must file Form I-129F, Petition for an Alien Fiancé(e). If USCIS approves the petition, it will be sent to the National Visa Center, which will be given to the U.S. Embassy or consulate near your fiancé(e). Your fiancé(e) will then have to complete the process by visiting the embassy or consulate to formally apply for the visa.   

K-1 Visas are available only for heterosexual marriages regardless of any laws in either person’s country allowing for same-sex unions. In addition, the partners must show that they are free to marry; in other words, neither is currently bound by a previous marriage. Any prior divorce decrees, annulments, or death certificates must be provided to show that any previous marriages have been terminated. You also must have met your fiancé(e) within two years of filing the petition. 

How Is a Marriage-Based Visa Different? 

Whether you’re a citizen or an immigrant with lawful permanent status, you can obtain a marriage-based spousal visa after getting married overseas. To do this, you need to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.    

The process can also be employed if you marry a foreign national in the states, but Form I-130 petitions for all but immediate relatives have waiting lists.   

A spouse of a U.S. citizen, fortunately, is considered an immediate relative, as are that person’s children under 18 years of age, so there will be no wait other than that involved in the petition process. Your spouse will be invited to apply for an immigrant visa as soon as your Form I-130 is approved.   

If you are a lawful permanent resident, your spouse will have to tolerate a waiting list before being allowed to apply for permanent status, as will any of that person’s children.   

When it comes to marrying someone who is in the country illegally, the USCIS warns: “If your fiancé(e) is in the United States and entered unlawfully, in most cases he or she will not be able to adjust status to that of a permanent resident while in the United States. In this situation, once you marry, you may file an I-130 relative petition for him or her as your spouse. If approved, he or she will have to pursue an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or consulate overseas.” 

Another Requirement: Proving You Can Support Your Spouse 

Immigration reform in 1996 requires that those who marry non-U.S. citizens submit proof that they can provide financial and other support to the spouse above the level of U.S. poverty guidelines. To do this, you must file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. In the petition, you must pledge to support the immigrant spouse for ten years, even after divorce.  

If you cannot provide the financial support, then you must find someone else, a family member or another, who is willing to make the commitment. The immigrant’s own assets can be counted in the calculation as well.

Fiancé(e) Visas Attorney Serving Greenbelt, Maryland 

If you’re planning to marry a foreign national and need a visa to do so and obtain lawful residency status for your spouse in Greenbelt, or Prince George's County, Maryland, contact The Anyere Law Firm, LLC. Our team understands the dreams and wishes of those seeking to obtain legal status in the United States. Reach out immediately to avoid the delays you may experience without the counsel and guidance of a comprehensive immigration attorney.