As immigration laws keep changing, the process can be challenging for working U.S. citizens who are trying to bring their fiancés to live in the United States. In some areas of the country that have a large immigrant community, such as Florida, the complexities of achieving residency and citizenship are frequent challenges. One in five residents of the Sunshine State is an immigrant, and 13% of the state’s population who are native-born Americans have at least one immigrant parent.
Florida residents in the Tampa area may wish to explore the process in more detail in order to have their questions answered concerning eligibility requirements, deadlines, the proper forms to complete as well as the proper documentation to file.
What are the requirements for a fiancé visa?
The K-1 visa, also known as the fiancé visa, allows a U.S. citizen to file for a foreign-born fiancé in order to enter the country as a nonimmigrant with the intention of marrying within 90 days. Once married, the visa-holder may then apply for an immigrant visa, and any accompanying minor children are then eligible for K2 visas. Eligibility requirements are:
- The filer must be a U.S. citizen
- The U.S. citizen and fiancé must intend to marry within 90 days after the fiancé’s admission on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa
- The U.S. citizen and fiancé must be legally able to marry
- The U.S. citizen and fiancé met each other at least once within 2 years prior to filing the petition
Failure to marry within 90 days can result in the fiancé’s deportation. Once admitted on the K-1 visa, the fiancé may apply for a green card, and may also apply for a work authorization at the same time.
What are the forms to file?
The form to file for the Petition for Alien Fiancé, which allows entry of the fiancé into the United States in order to marry, is Form I-129F. If the fiancé has an unmarried child under the age of 21, it is possible for the child to enter the United States with a K-2 visa, but their name must be listed along with the fiancé’s on the I-129 petition.
Once married, the new spouse may apply for permanent residence with Form I-485, and may also apply for permission to work within the United States with Form I-765. If the couple prefers to marry overseas, Form I-130 is the form to file to allow entry of a new spouse.