Fiancé Visa Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey
If you intend to marry a foreign national as a U.S. citizen, or you have already married a foreign national as a citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) with a green card, then you have options to consider to help your spouse or spouse-to-be enjoy all the benefits of legal immigration, including a green card and the right to work.
The two situations—hoping to bring your fiancé(e) here in order to get married, or hoping to enable your spouse to enjoy LPR status—pose different requirements under visa application and filing guidelines established by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If you are a U.S. citizen who wishes to bring a foreign national here to the U.S. to get married, you will need to file for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa using USCIS Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). Note that you must be a U.S. citizen to bring a foreign national here to get married. If you have already married a foreign national who is living abroad, then you must file Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative.
The question then arises: If you wish to marry a foreign national, might it be better to do so in his or her homeland and then apply for a visa? The K-1 visa process is often quicker, but it is a non-immigrant visa, meaning your spouse-to-be will still have to apply for adjustment of status after marrying you. The marriage visa results in immediate immigrant status, and a conditional green card will be issued upon arrival.
If you are seeking a K-1 fiancé(e) visa or a marriage-based visa in or around Hackensack, New Jersey, contact Wiliam J. Quirk, Esq., LLC. William Quirk is an immigration attorney who will help you navigate all the challenges of the visa system so that you can be reunited with your partner, whether to get married here in the States or to help your spouse achieve LPR status. He also proudly serves clients in Clifton, Paterson, and West New York areas.
How Does the K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Work?
As mentioned above, a U.S. citizen seeking to bring a fiancé(e) here to get married must file the appropriate Form I-129F. The USCIS will then review the petition, which can take anywhere from a few months to a year and a half. If approved, it is then forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC), and from there, to the embassy or consulate nearest your fiancé(e). This can take many more months.
Your fiancé(e) will then likely be scheduled for an interview at the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate, which is largely a process to determine whether the relationship and proposed marriage are legitimate or just a scheme to obtain entry rights for a foreigner. If everything checks out and your fiancé(e) arrives in the U.S.—remember he or she is still considered a non-immigrant—the two of you have 90 days in which to get married.
The K-1 visa does not result in a green card or a work visa. You will then have to apply for adjustment of status for your spouse, and this can take up to another 18 months.
How Does the Marriage-Based Visa Work?
If you are already married to a foreign national and you file Form I-130, petition for an alien relative, USCIS will also take its time in reviewing the petition and supporting documents. In fact, the process can drag on for up to three years before the U.S. State Department finally issues a visa.
Your spouse will still have to undergo an interview at an embassy or consulate to verify the legitimacy of the marriage. After that, a visa may be issued.
In the case of the spouse of a U.S. citizen, that person is considered an immediate relative, and the visa will be issued immediately. If the U.S. spouse is a lawful permanent resident, the visa issuance may hinge on a quota system.
The major difference between a K-1 visa and a spouse visa is that the latter confers immediate lawful permanent resident status and a green card, either conditional (if the marriage is fewer than two years old) or the 10-year version for more established marriages.
Financial Considerations for the Petitioner
For the K-1 visa, the person submitting Form I-129F must show an income level above 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For a marriage-based visa, the sponsor must show an income that is 125 percent above those guidelines.
If you’re seeking to obtain a K-1 visa for your fiancé(e) who lives overseas, the steps in the process can be lengthy and challenging, even more so if you’re seeking a marriage-based visa. You should seek the help of an experienced immigration attorney to make sure you follow all the steps precisely and provide the USCIS with everything they need to expedite the process.
Fiancé(e) Visa Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey
If you’re in or around the Hackensack, New Jersey, area, contact William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC. William Quirk will guide you through the process so you can be reunited with your loved one in the U.S.