Fiancé (K-1) visas allow foreign nationals to enter the U.S., so long as they are engaged and/or intending to marry a U.S. citizen.  It should be understood that a fiancé visa doesn’t grant the alien a green card or permanent legal residency.  Rather, the foreign national can enter the U.S. for a period of six months. 

Once they enter the U.S. under the K-1 visa, they have 90 days in which they can marry their U.S. citizen partner.  However, they must leave the country after their initial 6-month period time is up. 

What are Some Issues That Might Delay a Fiance Visa or Green Card Application?

Among the various types of visa categories, fiancé visa applications tend to be the most heavily scrutinized.   This is because there is a long history of persons abusing the fiancé visa category simply to gain entry to into the U.S. 

A common example of this is a sham marriage arrangement, where the couple enters into a fraudulent marriage simply for the purposes of obtaining a visa.  Thus, immigration laws always require evidence that the couple is in a valid relationship, and not seeking to deceive immigration authorities.  This aspect can often cause delays in the fiancé green card or visa application and change the green card priority date.

Other issues that might delay a fiancé visa or green card application may include:

  • Expiration Dates:  The applicant should be aware of various dates related to filing.  These may include filing deadlines, expiration date on the visa, the time period when the marriage must occur (usually 90 days after entry), and other dates
  • Financial Requirements:  Both the foreign applicant and the U.S. sponsor must provide evidence of a certain degree of financial stability and independence.  The U.S. sponsor usually must be able to provide for their spouse, although in some cases a different sponsor may be able to make the petition
  • Quota Limitations:  There are no restrictions on how many fiancé visas can be issued each year.  However, processing times may slow down if there are many visas being handled in a given time period

Also, any errors or missed deadlines in an application will definitely slow down the process.  In addition, if the immigration authorities discover any suspicious information in the application, the couple may be required to appear at additional interviews or hearings.  This too can cause delays in the overall processing time.

Should I Speak With a Lawyer for Assistance With Fiance Visas or Green Card Applications?

Immigration laws can sometimes be complicated, and they are often subject to change every year.  Any questions, concerns or legal inquires should be directed to an experienced immigration lawyer.  Your attorney can help review your application for accuracy, in order to prevent unnecessary delays along the way.  Also, your lawyer can provide you assistance if you need to attend any hearings or interviews.