This page provides information for U.S. citizens wishing to bring a foreign national fiancé(e) living abroad to the United States to marry, as per conditions set forth by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency.
If you plan to marry a foreign national outside the United States or your fiancé(e) is already residing legally in the United States, you do not need to file for a fiancé(e) visa.
If this is the case, you may be ready to enter the green card process.
If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, per USCIS regulations, you must show that:
- You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death or annulment.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within two years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
- If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice
- If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you
After The Fiancé(e) Visa Is Issued
Once issued, the fiancé(e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application. For additional information, see the “Green Card” link to the right.
Children of Fiancé(e)s
If your fiancé(e) has a child (under 21 and unmarried), a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to him or her.
Permission to Work
After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work by filing an Application for Employment Authorization.
What happens if we do not marry within 90 days?
Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended. Your fiancé(e) should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If your fiancé(e) does not depart, he or she will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal (deportation) and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.
The time that it takes to process a fiancé(e) visa is currently about five months. Because processing times are determined by caseload and often fluctuate throughout the year, it is important to check current processing times to get an accurate idea of how long it will take to process your visa petition.