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Should I file for my fiance or get married and file for my spouse?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | Family Immigration

When you love someone who lives in another country, you may be acutely aware of the distance between the two of you. The idea of reuniting and permanently living together may feel like a far-off fantasy. However, if the two of you make a lifetime commitment to one another, you will be in a good position to help them enter the United States legally.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers a K-1 visa to help your fiance enter the country and also green card programs for the spouses of United States citizens. Is it easier to get a fiance visa, or should you get married before applying?

Each approach has benefits and drawbacks

Those who work in immigration law frequently state that the USCIS tends to handle K-1 applications more quickly than spousal green card applications. It can be a quicker process to secure the actual visa and arrange for your fiance to enter the country than it will be to secure a green card for someone you recently married.

However, it will usually take longer to actually get a green card for your fiance after they enter the country and then marry you than it would to secure a green card for a spouse. Although the USCIS may take longer to process and respond to a green card request for a spouse, you may receive the actual green card more quickly than you would with a K-1 visa.

Obviously, A hurried wedding will likely result in significant scrutiny related to the relationship’s validity by the USCIS, just like fiances have to prove that they have a legitimate relationship. Additionally, marrying before applying for a green card would typically require that one of you travel to another country to become legally married, only to need to separate again after the marriage.

Your circumstances dictate the best solution

There is no black-and-white answer about whether securing immigration opportunities for a fiance or a spouse is the better solution. Your current financial, employment and family circumstances will have a major influence on which of these options may be best for you.

In either case, you will need to establish that you have a legitimate relationship, and your fiance or spouse will be subject to both a background check and a thorough evaluation of their medical records. Learning more about different family-based immigration opportunities can help those who want to make their International romantic relationship official.