• Overview
  • Procedure
  • Permanent Residence
  • Employment Authorization
  • Reminder


Whether you met that special someone on a trip overseas or while she/he was visiting the United States or even in an online chat-room, if youre ready to join as husband and wife, or at least fiances, you may be eligible to bring your fiance(e) to the U.S. to finalize your union in marriage.

If you are a U.S. citizen and your fiance(e) lives abroad, the Fiance Visa may be just what youve been looking for. The Fiance Visa is a relatively fast process that allows your fiance to enter the U.S. to marry you and then adjust his/her status to lawful permanent resident based on the marriage (without having to leave the U.S.). Compared to other types of permanent status visas like the Family Based Petition, Employment Based Petition, or the Diversity Lottery program, the Fiance Visa has a relatively fast processing time and when done properly, can reunite you and your fiance(e) in the United States.


The first step is to file the Fiance Visa Petition with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), with supporting documents. It is very important to submit the necessary supporting documents; failure to do so can result in long delays or even denial of the petition.

Once the petition is approved, the USCIS will forward the petition to the U.S. Embassy or consulate where your fiance(e) resides. Your fiance(e) would then be contacted by the embassy or consulate for an interview. Some of the documents that your fiance(e) may need to present at the interview include: a valid passport, evidence of support, birth certificate, medical examination report, divorce decree or death certificate of any previous spouse, police certificates from all places lived since age sixteen (16), evidence of the validity of your relationship; and passports and medical examinations for any accompanying children.

Upon issuance of the visa, your fiance(e) would be allowed into the U.S. to marry you; however, the marriage must take place within 90 days of your fiance(e) entering the United States. If you do not marry your fiance(e) within 90 days or your fiance(e) marries someone other than you (the U.S. citizen filing the Petition for Alien Fiance), your fiance(e) will be required to leave the United States. In addition, your fiance(e) may not obtain an extension of the 90-day original admission. Therefore, it is very important to marry during the 90 admission period. If your fiance(e) does not marry you and stays beyond the 90 days, he/she will be subject to deportation as well as possible bars from returning to the United States for specified periods of time.

Permanent Residence (Green Card)

After you marry, your fiance(e) may apply to become a permanent resident (Green Card). Your fiance(e), now spouse, will receive conditional permanent residence status because the status is based on a marriage that was less than two years old on the day he/she was given permanent residence. The status is conditional because you and your new spouse must prove that you did not get married to evade the immigration laws of the United States. The conditional status will last for two years, at which point you must apply for removal of the conditions on the status.

Employment Authorization

Although it may take months or longer for approval of the green card, your new spouse may apply for employment authorization while the green card application is pending. Employment authorization would allow your new spouse to work legally while waiting for permanent residence.


An important reminder is that only U.S. citizens may take advantage of the Fiance Petition. Presently, there is no provision that allows lawful permanent residents to use the Fiance Petition.

If there is someone special in your life whom you are considering to be your husband or wife, we have been very successful in assisting our clients with Fiance(e) Visas and would gladly assist you with yours.

For more information see:

K-1 Fiance and K-3 Spouse Visas

Spouse and Fiance(e) of an American Citizen

Maury D. Beaulier is a lawyer with 17 years experience in U.S. immigration law.
You may visit his immigration website at:
He can be reached at (952) 746-2153 or e-mail: