’90 Day Fiancé’ – Explained (aka How to Get your Fiancé on a Path to Immigration)
Congratulations, felicidades, and baie geluk!
If you’re reading this you have likely just gotten engaged, or are expecting to be engaged soon. Or perhaps you’ve watched the television show “90-Day Fiancé” and are curious about how the process actually works.
Regardless of the reason, below are three things to keep in mind when preparing to bring your fiancé to the United States:
Yes, a Fiancé Visa Really Does Last Only 90 Days.
The official name for the fiancé visa is a K-1 visa. It is a nonimmigrant visa for a foreign citizen fiancé of an American citizen who is planning on marrying within the United States. The fiancé and American citizen must marry within 90 days of the fiancé’s arrival to the United States, and then apply for adjustment of status (a Lawful Permanent Resident application). This process becomes much more complicated and extended if you don’t marry within the 90 day timeframe, so hurry up and get hitched!
Start Saving Everything.
When applying for any type of immigrant visa in the United States, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) wants proof that you are who you say you are, and you’ve done what you say you’ve done. This requires evidence of a bona fide relationship between you and your fiancé. Things that you would ordinarily throw out become extremely important during this application process. Of course there are easy things you will need to include as part of the application- like photographs with one another, emails, perhaps even text messages, but there are other things USCIS finds very important- such as bills, proof of travel, past addresses, taxes, receipts, bank account statements, and club memberships- pieces of mail that you might not ordinarily save. USCIS will not only want to know things about your fiancé, but they will want to know about both of your families, your parents, types of jobs your fiancé has had, and a myriad of other personal details. When anticipating an application for immigration to the United States, one of the most important pieces of advice is to start saving and organizing documents right away.
Getting a Green Card may Take Longer than You Think.
Once you get married, you and your new spouse need to apply for an adjustment of status so that your spouse can be a Lawful Permanent Resident in the United States. This will take more evidence (all those saved documents!) to prove that your marriage is real, and two applications- the I-485 for permanent residency, and the I-765 for employment authorization (provided your spouse is planning on working). During this application and waiting process, which could be up to a year and a half, your spouse cannot travel out of the country, so make sure to honeymoon inside the 50 states! Our firm is happy to help with this process- reach out to us to schedule a consultation, and best of luck in wedding planning!