A common family-based immigrant visa for permanent residence is the fiancée visa process. A US citizen can petition for a fiancée visa. The process involves three stages.
First, the US citizen petitions USCIS for fiancée status. In order to petition for a fiancée visa the US citizen, generally, must establish to USCIS that s/he has physically met with the foreign national fiancée within the past 2 years.
Second, if USCIS approves the Fiancée petition, then the Department of State handles processing for the fiancée visa (known as a K-1 visa), which includes an interview for the foreign national fiancée at the US consulate. If the US consulate issues the fiancée visa, then the foreign national fiancée can enter the US on the fiancée visa. A fiancée visa is valid for only a 90-day period of authorized stay. During this 90-day period of stay the fiancées need to marry, or not. If the foreign national fiancée decides not to marry, then s/he must depart the US by the end of the 90-day period.
Third, If the fiancées marry in the US within the 90-day period, then the foreign national spouse applies to adjust status to permanent resident.
An important part of the fiancée visa process is the intending immigrant’s inadmissibility. Often the required Affidavit of Support is a source of problems in the consulate’s decision to grant a Fiancée Visa. The Affidavit of Support requires either the petitioner or a joint-sponsor to establish sufficient income to overcome the public charge inadmissibility.
Gerald Goulder is an experienced North Carolina immigration lawyer helping families and individuals in North Carolina and throughout the United States and around the world with fiancée visas, including the fiancée petition process and the fiancée adjustment of status to permanent resident process. US immigration law is federal law. This enables Goulder Immigration Law Firm to assist individuals and companies throughout the U.S. and around the world.