If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must show that:
- You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry if any previous marriages must have already been legally terminated: by legal divorce, death, or an annulment.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within two years of filing your petition. The two exceptions that require a waiver:
1. If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
2. If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
After the Fiancé(e) Visa is Issued
Once issued, the fiancé(e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application. For additional information, see the “Green Card” section.
Treatment of I-129F petitions where the Department of State (DOS) refuses to issue the K-1 visa and returns the expired petition to USCIS.
Once USCIS receives a consular returned I-129F for K-1 classification from DOS and the petition has expired under 8 CFR214.2(k)(5), USCIS will allow the petition to remain expired and will not reaffirm or reopen the petition. Please note that this will not preclude the petitioner from filing another petition.
Children of Fiancé(e)s
If your fiancé(e) has a child (under 21 and unmarried), a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to him or her. Be sure to include the names of your fiancé(e)’s children on your Form I-129F petition.
Permission to Work
After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with the USCIS Service Center having jurisdiction over your place of residence. Any work authorization based on a nonimmigrant fiancé (e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry. However, your fiancé (e) would also be eligible to apply for extended work authorization at the same time as he or she files for permanent residence. In this case, your fiancé(e) would file Form I-765 together with Form I-485 as soon as you marry.
What happens if we do not marry within 90 days?
Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended. Your fiancé(e) should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If your fiancé(e) does not depart, he or she will violate U.S. immigration law. This law can result in removal (deportation) and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.
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