Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
This is the alternative to waiting outside the United States for nearly a year to be with your spouse. Rather than getting married outside the United States, you can have a Fiancée Visa issued in a very short time. In fact, it usually takes only thirty to forty-five days to get an approval from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Once the visa is issued, your fiancée will come to the United States and you will get married within ninety days in the United States. Afterwards, your spouse will be with you in the United States while awaiting issuance of the Green Card. Your spouse can also leave the United States without any problem of returning.
Any children that your fiancée has can also come to the United States once the visa is issued. This visa automatically allows your fiancée to work upon entry to the United States.
After entering the U.S., there will be 90 days where you will have to get married. Once married, then your spouse will be able to file the adjustment of status petition for lawful permanent residency. If you do not get married within the 90 days, then it is possible that the K-1 will be invalidated and there will be issues with being able to adjust status through an adjustment application.
If the foreign national has been deported previously and the requisite number of years has not been accumulated outside the U.S., then you can still file the K-1 Fiance Petition, but you must then file a Permission to Reenter as well.
Likewise, if the foreign national has committed a crime, been deemed to have committed fraud, or is inadmissible in any of the numerous ways that people are not permitted in the U.S., then it would be necessary to file a Waiver of Inadmissibility. Sometimes in this case, it might be better to marry outside the U.S. and come in on a spousal visa.
The K-1 does take time. In fact, it takes between 6 months and 1 year to be able to be adjudicated and ruled upon and for you to be at the interview at the U.S. Consulate.
At the interview, one of the most important items to prove is that the pending marriage is bona-fide and that the foreign national is not just coming to the U.S. to marry to get the Green Card.
Proving the bona fides of the pending marriage can be difficult. This is especially true if you have a large age difference, or you just recently met, or if you only met in person 1 or 2 times. Be prepared in those instances to provide an extra amount of evidence to show that the pending marriage is because of love and not to get the Green Card.
Once you get the hopeful approval of the Fiance Petition, the U.S. Consulate should issue the K-1 Visa for 4 months. You would need to get to the U.S. before the expiration of this in order to proceed forward, marry and then apply for the Green Card.
One thing you should be aware of is that if you come into the U.S. on a Fiance K-1 Visa, you can only adjust status through the person who petitioned you. You cannot decide to not marry, find another spouse, get married to that other spouse and then adjust status at that time. That will not work.
Therefore, make sure the marriage is real and you love the person, not just trying to comply with immigration laws.