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What To Know About Bringing Your Fiancée

Separation from loved ones is painful. It could be the main reason you want to consult a Columbus immigration attorney. You have lived with them for some time and you feel that distance will affect the relationship negatively. If you have a chance, you will like to stay with them. Or more preferably, you will like to move them with you wherever you go.

If you are moving to America, you will have to go through some process. The process is quite complex, involving you to know some information and meet some criteria. A Columbus immigration attorney will help you in moving your loved ones to America. Ordinarily, if you are calling your kids to come over, the process is complicated. When it comes to moving your fiancé, it could be more complicated.

Have you heard about K1 visas? Do you know the work of The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?

What to do?

The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives a citizen of the country and their fiancés to file for a K1 visa. According to the terms, the fiancé and the U.S citizen must meet a minimum of once between the two years of filing proceedings. When the fiancé finally arrives, the two must arrange their marriage between ninety days or else they risk the k1 visa becoming invalid. In fact, a Columbus immigration attorney will advise you to prepare for the marriage beforehand to ease the process. The USCIS loves seeing people, especially lovers, planning ahead. Secondly, you will meet the deadline of 90 days before it slips away too fast.

After marriage, the wife or husband who comes from another country using the visa will need to change her status by seeking an adjustment of status. When this is done successfully, the two will live comfortably and lawfully as American permanent residents. Perhaps the fiancé from another country has children. The young ones can seek K2 visas if they are under or older than 21.

To see things as a flow, these are the steps to follow in bringing your fiancé to the U.S.

  • The sponsor in the U.S, through the USCIS, will file a form called the Form I-129F, it is known as the petition for alien fiancé. The process will start at the other country where the fiancé will have an interview with a U.S consulate.
  • When visiting the U.S consulate for an interview, the fiancé must come with important documents which include examination records, a passport, police certificates, a photograph, Form DS-160, and medical exam records, any form of proof to show that the person and her U.S sponsor (fiancé) are in a relationship.
  • Visa will be issued
  • The fiancé will travel to the united states
  • Within 90 days of arrival, they must marry legally
  • Apply for resident status, travel authorization and employment

Other things to know

If the fiancé who works in the United States only has a green and doesn’t have a passport, it is another case entirely. This means the U.S sponsor is not a citizen yet and he will need to apply for that if he or she wants. With the green card, it means he is a permanent resident of the country. S/he can apply for his or her fiancé to become a permanent resident too. But the quota is a bit complicated. It will be a very long process without a Columbus immigration attorney.

Perhaps, you have finally been offered permanent residency as a fiancé of the person in the U.S, you are allowed to come in and get married. Once you are in, you will apply for a non-immigrant visa for you to be able to stay for about five years. 

Also, some of the questions that will be asked during the interview at the USCIS will include financial requirements. This will come in the form of ‘can you support your spouse if s/he is given visa. S/he will be expected to show financial proof if she claims yes. This is not an attempt to make things difficult. Instead, it is an attempt to foster support between the two. The US immigration law as established in 1996, says that all people who are applying for a green card for the purpose of marriage should meet certain financial requirements. This requirement is that they should show that their income is at least 125% of the guidelines, federal poverty. To read more about this, you should see the USCIS website.

While in the U.S and waiting for a green card, you can only work if you have some documents. One of such documents is the permanent residency. Ensure you apply for work authorization when you are applying so as to fast track the process of approval.

However, if you want to work, you are married to a permanent resident in the U.S, and you aren’t qualified for the green card for the moment, you will need a non-immigrant status. Make it clear that you want work authorization.

Why you don’t need to be scared, worried or confused?

One of the items that would be required at an early stage is proof to show that the two people involved are partners and they actually know each other. When applying for the k1 visa, the consulate and the U.S consulate officer and USCIS will scrutinize the two partners. This is to verify the aim of getting married to a U.S sponsor. The same scrutiny applies after the K1 application is successful and the fiancé from another country is seeking the resident status. The U.S consulate officer and USCIS may deny approval. If this happens, you should consult a Columbus immigration attorney. The attorney is in the best position to help in many ways to make things easy for you.

For example, the Columbus immigration attorney might show you where you are making mistakes, showing you all the details of the immigration process completely. With such knowledge, a special kind of confidence will follow you when you are working into the office of U.S consulate officer or USCIS.

There a lot to learn and a lot of it might not be what you need personally. To slim down all the information you need to meet your specific questions, it is wise to talk to a Columbus immigration attorney. You will save a lot of time and make the process a lot easier.

Sham Marriages Do Not Qualify for Visas

bigstock-Passports-31148Only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States are allowed to sponsor foreign citizen spouses for visas. To begin the process of sponsoring the foreign citizen, the lawful resident or U.S. citizen will need to use Form I-130, which is a Petition for Alien Relative. If the foreign citizen spouse already holds a valid American visa and is already in the United States, then the U.S. citizen or lawful resident may file a request to adjust the foreign citizen’s status along with the Petition for Alien Relative.

Qualifying Marriage Relationship

In determining whether or not to issue a visa to a spouse, the United States will verify the status of the petitioner, which is the citizen or permanent resident filing the Form I-130, and establish that the wedding relationship is a qualifying wedding relationship. The validity of a wedding is determined based on the law of the country or jurisdiction where the wedding took place. However, when the wedding that was celebrated in another country offends American public policy, then the marriage may be deemed invalid for immigration purposes.

A Good Faith Requirement

The law also requires that marriages be entered into “in good faith.”  This means that the sole reason for entering into a wedding may not be simply for the purpose of receiving certain immigration benefits. When immigration benefits are the only reason for entering into a marriage, then the wedding is deemed a “sham marriage,” which is another way of saying that it is a fraudulent marriage.

Red Flags

Sometimes, certain facts will trigger red flags for the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), which investigates and approves visa petitions for foreign citizens. While these red flags may not automatically lead to a denial, they will make petition review authorities review the petition with much more scrutiny. Some of those red flags include major differences in age, a communication barrier between the couple, vast cultural and ethnic background differences, when a wedding is arranged, when a wedding is entered into immediately after the foreign citizen was apprehended for reasons which could result in deportation or after a notice of deportation was received, when there are discrepancies in answers to questions which both spouses should be aware of, when the couple has not lived together since the marriage, and when the U.S. citizen or lawful resident has filed petitions on behalf of foreign citizens in the past. Only the federal government is allowed to determine the validity of a marriage for the purposes of immigration.

Penalties for Fraudulent Marriages

In addition to being denied immigration benefits, those who enter into sham marriages also face the risk of several years in prison, fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, or both. The foreign citizen spouse faces deportation and the inability to obtain any immigration benefits from the United States in the future. Additional jail time and imprisonment may be faced if any false documentation is provided with an application or if the petitioner conceals a material fact regarding the marriage.

Generally, a lawful permanent resident must wait five years from the date that he or she became a lawful permanent resident to sponsor a foreign citizen spouse, if the lawful permanent resident status was obtained by wedding to a U.S. citizen or other lawful permanent resident. An exemption to this waiting period can be granted if the petitioner can prove that the original marriage was a good faith marriage, or that the original marriage ended with the death of the other spouse.

What to Expect in a Fiancé or Marriage Visa Interview at the Embassy

bigstock-Passports-31148For Fiancé and Marriage visa applicants, the interview at the Embassy can be the most stressful part of the process. The interview is also, arguably, the most important part of the process and, thus, it is important for applicants to be prepared. Though one might expect the application process to be somewhat standardized, each U.S. Embassy has different policies and procedures governing how validation applications are processed. Therefore, it is imperative for the visa applicant to research the Embassy they will be visiting in order to adequately prepare for the interview. It is highly advisable for any validation applicant to review the website of the Embassy they will be visiting for information on the specific policies and procedures of that Embassy. A Fiancé or Marriage validation applicant’s interview will be scheduled at the Embassy with jurisdiction over their residence abroad.

Visa interviews are conducted by appointment only and it is vital that the applicant be on time for the interview. There is usually some form of security screening at the Embassy and applicants should allow time for security when planning their visit. Generally, after entering the Embassy, the applicant will check-in with a Consular Official and may be required to provide their validation application(s)/documentation for review. Upon checking-in, the visa applicant will usually be told to remain in the waiting area until their name/number is called. At some point, the validation applicant will be asked to complete a digital fingerprint scan. The applicant’s documents , if previously collected, will be returned prior to meeting with the Consular Officer.

Once the applicant’s name/number has been called, they will proceed to their interview with the Consular Officer. The Consular Officer’s primary purpose is to determine the validity of the relationship underlying the Fiancé or Marriage validation application. Therefore, the Consular Officer will review the documentation provided by the applicant and ask questions pertaining to the applicant’s relationship with their U.S. Fiancé or spouse. Depending upon the Embassy and the type of validation application, the U.S. fiancé/spouse’s presence may or may not be requested at the interview. The questions asked during a Fiancé or Marriage visa interview are are selected at the discretion of the Consular Officer and usually not the same during each interview. Most of the questions, though, will be geared towards ascertaining the validity of the foreign national and U.S. Citizen/permanent resident’s relationship. A few examples of the types of questions an interviewee may be asked include:

  • What is your fiancé/spouse’s favorite hobby?
  • Where are (or did) you get married?
  • When and where did you meet your fiancé/spouse?
  • Do you and your fiancé/spouse currently live together?
  • What time does your fiancé/spouse get up each morning and what time does he/she return home each night?

The amount of time an interview will last can vary greatly. As most Embassies conduct hundreds of visa application interviews each day, the length of the interview may be just a few minutes. However, some interviews will last longer than others for a variety of reasons. Once the actual interview has concluded, the visa applicant will be notified if they are eligible for a visa. If the applicant has qualified for a visa, they will leave their passport at the Embassy in order for the visa to be affixed. The passport is then returned to the applicant via courier or mail.

The Fiancé or Marriage visa interview at the U.S. Embassy can be intimidating, especially for foreign nationals who do not know what to expect. The fact that each Embassy has unique processes and procedures for processing visa applications does not help matters. However, a Fiancé or Marriage visa applicant can research the Embassy which they will be visiting and commonly obtain a plethora of Embassy-specific information just by visiting the Embassy’s website. Knowing the particular policies, procedures and documents required by the Embassy designated for the interview can go a long way towards calming one’s nerves prior to a Fiancé or Marriage visa interview