How Do I Bring My Fiancé(e) to the United States?
If your fiancé(e) is not a
citizen of the United States
and you plan to get married in the United States, then you must file a
petition with USCIS on behalf of your fiancé(e). After the petition is
approved, your fiancé(e) must obtain a visa issued at a U.S. Embassy or
consulate abroad. The marriage must take place within 90 days of your fiancé(e)
entering the United States.
If the marriage does not take place within 90 days or your fiancé(e) marries
someone other than you (the U.S.
citizen filing USCIS Form I-129F - Petition for Alien Fiancé), your fiancé(e)
will be required to leave the United
States. Until the marriage takes place, your
fiancé(e) is considered a nonimmigrant. A nonimmigrant is a foreign national
seeking to temporarily enter the United States for a specific
purpose. A fiancé(e) may not obtain an extension of the 90-day original
If your fiancé(e) intends to
live and work permanently in the United States, your fiancé(e)
should apply to become a permanent resident after your marriage. (If your
fiancé(e) does not intend to become a permanent resident after your marriage,
your fiancé(e)/new spouse must leave the country within the 90-day original
nonimmigrant admission.) For more information, please see How Do I Become a
Legal Permanent Resident While in the United States?. Please note, your
fiancé(e) will initially receive conditional permanent residence status for two
years. Conditional permanent residency is granted when the marriage creating
the relationship is less than two years old at the time of adjustment to
permanent residence status. For more information, please see How Do I Remove
the Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage?.
Please note: Your
fiancé(e) may enter the United
States only one time with a fiancé(e) visa.
If your fiancé(e) leaves the country before you are married, your fiancé(e) may
not be allowed back into the United
States without a new visa. (Please see How
Can I Get a Travel Document? for additional travel information if your
fiancé(e) will apply to become a legal permanent resident after you are
For an excellent overview of
immigration issues, please see the chapters and tables on temporary admissions
and immigrants in the Immigration Statistical Yearbook.
Where Can I Find the Law?
The Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA) is a law that governs the admission of people into the United States.
For the part of the law concerning fiancé(e) (K-1) visas, please see INA § 214.
The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for the
fiancé(e) (K-1) classification are included in the Code of Federal Regulations
[CFR] at 8 CFR § 214.2(k).
Who is Eligible
citizens who will be getting married to a foreign national in the United States
may petition for a fiancé(e) classification (K-1) for their fiancé(e). You and
your fiancé(e) must be free to marry. This means that both of you are
unmarried, or that any previous marriages have ended through divorce, annulment
or death. You must also have met with your fiancé(e) in person within the last
two years before filing for the fiancé(e) visa. This requirement can be waived
only if meeting your fiancé(e) in person would violate long-established
customs, or if meeting your fiancé(e) would create extreme hardship for you.
You and your fiancé(e) must marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the
You may also apply to bring
your fiancé(e)'s unmarried children, who are under age 21, to the United
How Do I Apply?
To find out how you can apply
to bring your fiancé(e) to the United States, please see Application
Procedures, which will help you identify what you need to do. Fiancé(e)
petitions are filed at the USCIS Service Center serving your area of residence.
Will I Get a Work Permit?
After arriving in the United
States, your fiancé(e) will be eligible to apply for a work permit. (You should
note that USCIS might not be able to process the work permit within the 90-day
time limit for your marriage to take place.) Your fiancé(e) should use Form
I-765 to apply for a work permit. Please see How Do I Get a Work Permit? for
more information. If your fiancé(e) applies for adjustment to permanent
resident status, your fiancé(e) must re-apply for a new work permit after the
How Can I Check the Status of My Application?
Please contact the USCIS
office that received your application. You should be prepared to provide the
USCIS staff with specific information about your application. Please click here
for complete instructions on checking the status of your visa petition. Click
here for information on specific USCIS offices.
How Can I Appeal?
If your petition for a
fiancé(e) visa is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal.
Generally, you may appeal within 33 days of receiving the denial by mail. Your
appeal must be filed on USCIS Form I-290B. The appeal must be filed with the
office that made the original decision. After your appeal form and a required
fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Administrative Appeals
Unit (AAU) in Washington, DC. (Sending the appeal and fee directly to the AAU
will delay the process.) For more information, please see, How Do I Appeal the
Denial of My Petition or Application?.