If you are a U.S. citizen who met the love of your life while traveling abroad, you may be confused about what you must do to begin your new life in the United States with your fiancé or fiancée. Fortunately, this is a common problem, and there is a set process by which your prospective spouse can gain entry, residence and ultimately citizenship in the United States. What’s more, this program can also extend to certain relatives of your soon-to-be husband or wife.
The K visa program allows individuals who are engaged to be married to U.S. citizens to legally enter the United States to be married. The path from foreign fiancé or fiancée to U.S. citizen involves the following steps:
- A U.S. citizen can request a K-1 entry visa for the intended spouse and K-2 entry visas for any minor children of that spouse. These visas allow the holders to enter the United States for a period of 90 days for the marriage to take place.
- Once the marriage actually takes place, the citizen spouse can request adjustment for the noncitizen spouse and that spouse’s minor children to K-3 and K-4 status respectively. This allows them to remain in the country, subject to renewal every two years, while their green card applications are pending.
- Spouses of U.S. citizens can also request permanent legal resident status (a green card) that allows them to remain in the country indefinitely.
- Once a spouse of a U.S. citizen has held a green card for at least three years and has met other criteria, that spouse can become a U.S. citizen through naturalization.
Dealing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and fully understanding all the available options without legal help can be difficult. An experienced Florida immigration attorney can help you achieve your immigration goals in the most efficient manner possible.