You can acquire citizenship for an individual through marriage either by using a fiancé(e) visa or a spousal visa, depending on which program is right for you. Although both types of visas require a showing of a bona fide relationship, there are pros and cons to both visas. As a result, you should take some time to educate yourself about those options prior to deciding which visa to pursue.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you can use the K-1 visa to bring a fiancé(e) to the U.S. with the intent to marry and live with him or her. The K-1 visa allows the fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S. and marry the U.S. citizen within a 90-day window. This tends to be quicker than obtaining a spousal visa, since it typically only takes about six to seven months to obtain the K-1 visa and then another ten to 11 months for the newly married spouse to become a conditional permanent resident. However, the cost to obtain a K-1 visa is significantly higher than that to obtain a spousal visa.
Should I Apply for a Fiance(e) or Spousal Visa?
There are some requirements that you must meet in order to obtain a fiancé(e) visa. Typically, you must have seen your fiancé(e) in person within the last two years prior to seeking a fiancé(e) visa, although this requirement may be waived in cases of extreme hardship or religious practices. Both of you must be single and eligible for marriage. If either of you have previously been married, you must provide proof of your divorce or a death certificate for your former spouse. The U.S. citizen must have income that is at least 100% of the federal poverty guidelines, and in order to later apply for a green card for the spouse, the U.S. citizen must have income that is at least 125% of the federal poverty guidelines.
If you are a U.S. citizen who already married an immigrant outside of the U.S., and you now wish to bring your spouse to the U.S., you may be able to do so by filing the I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This process allows you to sponsor your spouse for a green card. It is cheaper to obtain a spousal visa than a fiancé(e) visa, but the process is lengthier. It often takes ten to 13 months or longer to get a spousal visa.
When you or a loved one is facing an immigration law dilemma, you need legal advice and counsel from experienced Texas immigration attorneys. At Peek & Toland, we are here to help you with your immigration case. We will devote all our efforts to representing your interests, answering your questions, and calming your concerns. Don’t hesitate to contact Peek & Toland and schedule a time to meet with us today. We can help protect your rights and get you the relief that you need.