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What if your fiancé doesn’t speak English fluently?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2023 | Fiancé/fiancée visas

Falling in love with someone from another country can be exciting, if a bit nerve-racking. Technically, there are immigration programs available for United States citizens that allow them to bring their fiancés into the country. However, applicants can expect their requests to face significant scrutiny by workers employed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Anyone hoping to enter the country with a fiancé visa will need to meet certain medical standards and also pass a very thorough background check. They will also need to establish the legitimacy of their relationship. Numerous personal factors can complicate a family-based immigration request. A language barrier could easily be a concern. Will a fiancé need to be fluent in English to enter the country for family-related immigration purposes?

No, a K-1 visa does not require English proficiency

Although there are certain immigration opportunities that typically require English fluency, securing a K-1 visa as the fiancé of a United States citizen is not one of them. If a citizen falls in love with someone who does not speak English, their fiancé is still eligible for a visa. A K-1 visa can eventually convert to a green card that turns the applicant into a permanent resident.

The challenge might arise when someone’s new spouse who entered the country with a fiancé visa wants to become a citizen. The fastest citizenship opportunities are only available for those who speak English. Those who do not master the English language can only naturalize and become citizens if they are over a certain age and have been in the country for long enough to exempt themselves from the English language test requirements.

The biggest challenge will likely be the potential language barrier between the applicant and their fiancé. Proving that the two people have a bona fide relationship could be a bit more difficult if there is a language barrier.

Many rules govern K-1 visas

From the paperwork required to apply to the very brief timeline to finalize the marriage after entering the country, there are many obligations associated with a fiancé visa that people may find difficult to fulfill without professional support.

Partnering with an immigration attorney is often a smart decision when someone has a fiancé whom they want to help enter the country through a family-based immigration program or via a K-1 fiancé visa. Legal guidance can help to make the immigration process as smooth as possible.