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» How Do I Bring My Fiancé(e) to the United States?
How Do I Bring My Fiancé(e) to the United States

How Do I Bring My Fiancé(e) to the United States?

Background

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 nonimmigrant admission.

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 married.)

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

U.S. 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 United States.

You may also apply to bring your fiancé(e)'s unmarried children, who are under age 21, to the United States.


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 marriage.


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?.

 

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