Immigrant Visa Section
A fiancé(e) of a United States citizen who will travel to the United States to marry and take up permanent residence after marriage. To qualify for a fiancé(e) visa, the following criteria must be met:
- one party is a U.S. citizen;
- both parties are legally free to marry;
- the marriage will take place within 90 days of the fiancé(e) entering the United States on the fiancé(e) visa.
Note: If you will return to your permanent place of residence outside the United States after the marriage ceremony, you should apply for a B-2 tourist visa or, if eligible, travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. If the marriage will take place outside the United States, you will require an immigrant visa to reside in the United States.
The first step in applying for a fiancé(e) visa is for the U.S. Citizen (petitioner) to file the Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) having jurisdiction over his/her place of residence in the U.S.
Note: The petition can be filed only with the USCIS in the U.S.; it cannot be filed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/USCIS at this Embassy. Inquiries concerning the processing time for the approval of the petition must also be addressed to USCIS. A petitioner may search for the status of a pending case online at the USCIS website.
The approved petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire for additional processing before being forwarded to the Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the fiancé(e) visa applicant's place of residence.
Children under the age of 21 are eligible to derive status from the fiancé(e) visa petition filed on behalf of their parent; their name(s) should be included in the petition. If the U.S. citizen is the natural parent of the child, the child may have a claim to U.S. citizenship, and therefore, may be eligible for a U.S. passport.
Upon receipt of the approved I-129F petition from NVC, the Immigrant Visa Unit at this Embassy will send the Packet of Instructions (concerning the application form DS-160 and the document checklist) to the applicant. Once the applicant has assembled all of the relevant documents required in support of the application and has returned the signed document checklist, the Immigrant Visa Unit will set appointment dates for the medical examination and the formal visa interview. The required documents must not be mailed to the Embassy. The applicant must submit the original of all documents and one copy on the day of the formal visa interview.
The average processing time for fiancé(e) visa cases is four to eight weeks upon receipt of the approved I-129F fiancé(e) visa petition from NVC. Fiancé(e) visa applicants are required to pay the non-immigrant visa application fee which is presently $ 265 or equivalent in local currency (to be paid either in cash U.S. dollars or Euros or by credit card at the U.S. Consulate on the day of the interview). If the Consular Officer finds the applicant eligible for a visa, the visa will be issued within a few days after the interview. The visa is valid for one entry within six months from the date of issuance of the visa.
Working on K-1 Status
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant permission for the fiancé(e) visa holder to take up employment in the U.S. before the marriage takes place. To obtain employment authorization the fiancé(e) will need to file Form I-765 with the USCIS Service Center which covers his/her place of residence in the U.S after the arrival there. Questions concerning employment should be directed to USCIS.
The marriage must be concluded within 90 days from the applicant's admission into the U.S. After the marriage the alien spouse has to apply for adjustment of status with the local USCIS office in the U.S. to change the status from non-immigrant to immigrant.