APVisa - fiancee

& Marriage Visas

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q1    Why should I apply for a fiancée visa instead of a tourist or other type of visa?
Q2    Why shouldn't I just marry my fiancée in the foreign country then bring her here?
Q3    What are the requirements for a fiancée visa?
Q4    What does the fiancées visa do for me / us?
Q5    Why shouldn't I just do the paperwork for the fiancée visa myself?
Q6    Why is the INS against fiancée visas and what is their strategy to prevent them?
Q7    How long does the fiancées visa process take?


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Q1    Why should I apply for a fiancée visa instead of a tourist or other type of visa?
A1    If your fiancée is under 40 years old and has never previously been to the United States or Western Europe, there is most likely only one US visa for which she will qualify, a fiancee VISA. Her chances of obtaining any other type of visa are very small. We have observed attempts at many different avenues for individuals to obtain other types of visas for their fiancées. All have failed, including business visas, educational visas, medical visas and a host of others. Not only were they unsuccessful in their efforts, but they greatly increased the time it took to get their fiancées to the US and they made it much more difficult for their fiancée's to obtain the fiancée visas.
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Q2    Why shouldn't I just marry my fiancée in the foreign country then bring her here?
A2    This can work, but it is much slower than getting the fiancée visa first. First, you would have to be physically present in you fiancée's country a minimum of one month before the wedding. Then you would have to file her visa petition in the US and it would take at least twice as long to obtain her visa as the fiancée visa process takes. If you are not sure which visa is right for you, use our quick K-1 Fiancee or K-3 marriage visa selector tool.
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Q3    What are the requirements for a fiancée visa?
A3    The requirements for a fiancée visa are simple. You must be a US citizen. Permanent residents of the US are not allowed to obtain fiancée visas. Both you and your fiancée must be free to marry. This means that if either has been married previously, you are either divorced, widowed or the marriage was annulled. You must have met your fiancée in person within the previous two years. Since she cannot obtain a visitor's visa to visit the US, this means that you must go to her country to meet her. She must also be free of AIDS.
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Q4    What does the fiancées visa do for me / us?
A4    When your fiancées receives her fiancée visa, she has six months to enter the US. After her arrival in the US, you have 90 days to marry her or you must send her back to her home country. There is no legal way to extend the 90-day time limit. While she is in the US you are completely responsible for her financially. If for any reason you do not marry and she departs the US within the 90 days, she will not be precluded from coming to the US in the future on another fiancées visa and you will not be precluded from again bringing her or another fiancée to the US on a fiancée visa.
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Q5    Why shouldn't I just do the paperwork for the fiancée visa myself?
A5    The good news is that the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the US Consulates rarely turn down a fiancée visa petition request if the requirements mentioned above are met. The general feeling toward fiancée visas inside the INS is however, quite negative. Rather than turn down visas, the INS' ploy is to find some minor error or omission in the completion of the paperwork submitted to them, hold the petition for a month or so, and then return the entire package to you with a cover-sheet telling you what you did wrong. Very often, when you resubmit the petition package with the proper correction, they will again hold it for a month. They then again return it to you with another cover-sheet informing you of a second minor error or omission of which they were obviously aware when they returned your petition the first time! Since we have seen all the errors and omissions, we can avoid this problem for you.
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Q6    Why is the INS against fiancée visas and what is their strategy to prevent them?
A6    INS officials are inclined to think in terms of sham relationships, created to get around the system. However, neither the INS nor the US consular officers want to risk taking the political heat that could and probably would result from their turn down of a fiancée visa petitions. However, if they can find an excuse to return it for correction or investigation, they are perfectly within their rights and not subject to criticism. Keep in mind that their goal in all of this is apparently not to turn down the fiancee petitions, rather it is to stall and delay the approval long enough so that one or both of you will give-up. Unfortunately, the usual result of their actions is that the fiancée becomes convinced that her American fiancée is not serious about marrying her and she ends the engagement. This is what the INS is hoping for.
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Q7    How long does the fiancée visa process take?
A7    You may have heard that the normal length of time from the filing of the fiancée visa petition with the INS, until the issuance of the visa by the US Consulate, is six months to one year. This is true, however, our normal processing time from date of filing until receipt of visa is 40 to 90 days.
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