Both you and your foreign-citizen fiancé will have to undergo a background check in order for your fiancé to get a green card.
In order to first bring your fiancé into the United States, you will need a K-1 visa. This type of visa is typically known as a Fiancé Visa, and allows a U.S. citizen to bring their foreign-citizen fiancé into the United States for the purpose of getting married.
Requirements for a Fiancé Visa
Prior to beginning the application process, you must meet the following requirements before you can file a petition to bring your foreign-citizen fiancée into the United States under a K1 visa:
- You must be a U.S. citizen
- You have met your fiancée within the last two years
- Both you and your fiancée are both legally able to marry (this means you are both unmarried, or that any previous marriages have ended in divorce, death, or annulment and that you can produce the relevant documents to prove it as well).
- Both you and your fiancée intend to get married within 90 after your fiancée arrives in the U.S
Process for Obtaining a Fiancé Visa
The first step in acquiring a fiancé visa requires the petitioner, which is the U.S. citizen, to file their application with the USCIS. This petition is called the I- 129F or the Petition for Alien Fiancé.
It is at this stage that the background check will be conducted on both you as the petitioner and your foreign-citizen fiancée.
If you pass this background check, your application will be forwarded to the relevant embassy or consulate that will have jurisdiction over your fiancée’s petition.
The next step will be for the embassy to schedule an interview date and your fiancée will have to submit to a medical examination.
If the K1 visa is approved, you will have six months to bring your fiancée into the United States.
After entering the United States, you will have 90 days to get married before your fiancée’s legal presence in the U.S. expires. Once you have married your fiancée, you should apply for an adjustment of status that would then make them a permanent resident.
For more details regarding what the background check consists of, read our article “Will My Fiancé Have to Pass a Background Check to Get a Green Card?”