If you are planning to marry someone who does not currently have the right to live in the U.S., you need a legal way to get them in the country. If you are engaged to be married, you can apply for a K1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa.
Once engaged, you can apply for a specific visa available for fiancé(e)s, known officially as a K-1 visa. Here are some of the steps you’ll need to follow to get that:
Can you prove the nature of your relationship?
Immigration officials can be suspicious of a couple’s intentions because they will have seen some people marrying purely for a green card. The more proof you have that you are marrying for love the better. If you lived together in another country, any bills or rental contracts with both your names on them can help. Photos, videos, letters and emails between you can reinforce that your relationship is genuine.
Can you support your future spouse? Or can they support themselves?
The authorities want to be sure your fiancé(e) won’t be a burden on the state. Gather any financial documents you can to show how you will support them or how they will support themselves. For example, proof of salary, savings or investments.
Are you legally able to marry?
The K1 visa only allows you 90 days to marry your fiancé(e), counted from the day they land on U.S. soil. So you should ensure you have all the relevant paperwork before applying for the visa. Something as simple as outstanding paperwork from a previous divorce could ruin your plans, and lead to your future spouse being forced to leave the country again.
Visa applications can be complex, so it is wise to get legal help to complete them and increase your chance of success.