I Love Her/Him But How Can We Be Together?
The Fiance(E) Visa, Adjustment Within The U.S., Consular Processing
In this age of the Internet and the globalization of the world economies and cultures, the rise in marriage among US citizens and individuals from other countries is rising. Whether you met your potential spouse through E-Harmony or some other social media site or through actual physical contact, you will need to navigate through the immigration labyrinth.
Problem is, the labyrinth is so complicated and expensive it seems impossible to understand. Indeed, it is. And, if you make a miss-step it can cost you money and, more importantly, it can prolong the time you are apart.
One of the reasons that the process is so complicated is that there are basically three different approaches to making it possible to bring your significant other to the U.S. In trying to work through the labyrinth, people confuse one approach with another and end up making bad mistakes. The following are the 3 main approaches to bringing a couple together. I work to help you decide which one of these approaches will work the quickest for you:
This is the slowest of the 3 approaches. Occasionally, a couple may not be able to make use of the K-1 fiance(e) visa or adjustment within the U.S. In this case, they will have to work through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the home country of their loved one. The U.S. citizen must first submit a petition for his loved one to the USCIS here in the U.S. The USCIS will take several months to approve the petition. Then the U.S. citizen has to work with the National Visa Center in New Hampshire to provide them with more documentation on the loved one. Only after the National Visa Center signifies that it has received all of the needed documents will they send the file onto the Embassy or Consulate in the fiance(e)’s home country. The Embassy or Consulate will then take another couple of months to schedule an interview and physical exam for the fiance(e). Only after the interview (if successful) will the fiance(e) be able to come to the U.S. to be with the U.S. citizen. This process can take well over a year or longer. It is complicated, expensive and inhuman because the couple is apart for what seems like eternity. If the fiance(e) has a job overseas or other commitments such as an ailing family member, there is no alternative. But, this is the least attractive approach.
K-1 Fiance(E) Visa
The fiance(e) visa, also known as a K-1 visa, is available for foreign nationals who are currently abroad and are committed to a US citizen. Unfortunately, desiring to marry a person from a foreign country does not grant you a fiancé(e) visa. Like the Consular Processing approach discussed above, the U.S. citizen starts the process by submitting a petition to USCIS here in the U.S. However, once the petition is approved, the fiance(e) will be able to come to the U.S. (after 5 or 6 months) to complete the adjustment of his/her status to the green card. This process is much faster in bringing the couple together in the United States than the Consular Processing method discussed earlier. Let me help you work through the K-1 FIANCE(E) VISA process.
Adjustment Within The U.S.
Under certain circumstances, it is possible to do all the paperwork from within the United States while the two of you are living here during the processing period. This approach brings you together much more quickly than the other two discussed on this page. However, the requirements for this approach are much too complicated to discuss here. I have worked with many couples to make this work. If you want my help, please arrange for an appointment.
My goal, when possible, is to use either the K-1 FIANCE(E) VISA or the ADJUSTMENT WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. Either of these approaches is quicker!
I can help you understand the process and work with you in making and submitting your application and the accompanying documentation. Often it is a stressful time for couples and my involvement can ease some of the worry. This area of the immigration law is one that brings me the most satisfaction. I enjoy helping couples who have found each other and are embarking on a new and rewarding aspect of their lives.