Foreign Marriage and Fiancée Visas

For the past few years, there has been a steady rise in requests for foreign fiancé visas. It seems that more and more Americans are finding love outside of the United States in today’s cosmopolitan world. In fact, since 1998, there have been three times as many foreign nationals granted fiancé visas in the US. It is not surprising that more people are meeting partners outside of their own nation as social media and internet matchmaking platforms now reach the farthest reaches of the globe. Due to the increase in marriages involving both citizens and immigrants, it is now more crucial than ever to review the complicated laws governing fiancée and Green Card spouse visas for United States immigrants.

The rising demand for fiance visas in the USA highlights the increasing prevalence of international relationships, emphasizing the need to navigate the complex legal framework surrounding fiance visa USA applications.

Is it required to travel before applying for a visa?

Green Card Spouse Visa and Fiancé Visa travel expenses are basically the same for the two visas. For both visas, the applicant must visit the US consulate in their country of residence to perform an interview. The couple must have at least one in-person meeting during the two years before they apply for the fiancé visa, even though there isn’t a formal requirement that the non-U.S. citizen partner travel to the country before immigration. Some couples might be eligible for an exception to this rule in cases of extreme circumstances.

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How long does it take to bring a spouse to the US in 2023?

The length of time it will take for spouses to move in permanently with American green card holders and citizens is a constant source of worry for the parties involved. The spouse may be outside the US at the time the application process is starting, or the spouse may be in the US but need to leave the nation to comply with regulations.

There is a substantial correlation between Covid-19’s impacts on society as a whole and on immigration processing delays when looking at the past three years historically. This has led to a large backlog with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and they are having trouble catching up.

Governmental organizations are aware of the backlog and have taken a number of actions to make things better. Yet, it will likely take until 2024 before any meaningful changes become apparent because bureaucracies take time to adjust. The processing times for 2022 and 2023 change depending on the type of application needed.

In 2023, varied processing timeframes for various applications need to be taken into account when estimating how long it will take to bring a spouse to the US. Application times are influenced by a few variables, such as:

  • Your current place of residence
  • The current address, immigration standing, and nationality of your spouse who was born abroad

No matter how carefully you prepare your application, bureaucracy or even things like file mismanagement that might occur in an administrative environment can have a detrimental impact on processing timelines. Consider the following scenarios;

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US citizen getting married to an immigrant

Depending on where they live, the procedure for a US citizen married to an immigrant differs. The following actions must be taken when a citizen marries an immigrant and they both reside outside of the US:

  1. The American citizen spouse must submit Form I-130. If this is accepted, the immigrant may subsequently apply for a visa online.
  2. The immigrant may then mail all of their paperwork to the National Visa Center (NVC). After the NVC has reviewed all of the paperwork and is satisfied, the file and all documentation are delivered to the immigrant’s country of residence for processing by the US consulate.
  3. The consulate will advise the immigrant on the best time to appear for the interview. The immigration officer will award a visa for immigration if the interview goes well. An official resident card will be supplied to the immigrant after they reach the US.

The full process will take between sixteen and twenty-seven months. Regrettably, there is no longer a K3 visa option, which was intended to expedite the procedure so that the spouses could be reunited sooner.

Getting married to an immigrant as a lawful permanent resident

When both the US lawful permanent resident and the immigrant spouse are outside of the country, it is important to take into account a number of intricate variables before determining whether the immigrant spouse can submit an application from the US.

Before making any decisions that could have an impact on your citizenship status, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced marriage visa attorney.

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A permanent resident must take the following actions when making an application for an immigrant spouse:

  • The US green card holder must file Form I-103 to USCIS on behalf of their spouse if the immigrant spouse resides abroad.
  • The immigrant spouse can apply for a visa using Form I-130 online. After completing this, individuals can deliver the necessary paperwork to the state’s National Visa Center (NVC). The immigrant must now wait for the priority date in the category of immigrant visas to become current. Typically, only a few of these visa categories are offered each year.

The Form I-130 approval process takes between 10 and 30 months, much like in the other aforementioned cases. For obvious reasons, it is significantly more challenging to predict how long the waiting list will be. After the interview, it will take between 5 and 10 months to receive the immigrant visa.

Due in part to the availability of visas, waiting times are impossible to anticipate with precision. Lastly, the duration of the green card application processing

Finally, the location from which the application may be submitted will affect how quickly it is processed. Once you’ve decided on a plan of action, your lawyer can offer you a better notion.

Changing government fees

Before submitting an application for any visa, it may be a good idea to keep an eye on the official USCIS list of filing fees, as requirements are continuously changing. Keep this in mind while thinking about the cost of government fees. Yet, costs beginning in early 2019 favor the Green Card spouse visa in terms of cost. The K-1 fiancé visa filing fees paid directly to the U.S. government were about $2,000, according to the USCIS. The government charges only $1,200 in total if you decide to get married before beginning the process and seeking an immigrant visa.

Remember that any eligible children will also need to apply, increasing the overall cost of the application.

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