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Video - Fiance Visa

Should you File for a Fiancé Visa or Marriage Visa?

By November 15, 2022April 26th, 2024No Comments

Transcript: Should you file for a Fiancé(e) Visa or a Marriage Visa?

Hi, everyone. I’m attorney Hashim Jeelani, principal at Jeelani Law Firm. Over the last 10 years, Jeelani Law Firm has successfully filed thousands of immigration cases with agencies throughout the United States and overseas.

The topic covered in this video assumes you are not yet married to your significant other. If you are married watch our video titled “How do you bring your spouse to the U.S.?”

So which route is better? A fiancé(e) visa or a marriage visa? The answer becomes very clear once you understand both processes. Let’s start with the fiancé(e) visa process. The fiancé(e) visa is available to those who are intending to marry their U.S. citizen’s significant other. If you are already married, then this option is not available to you. The marriage visa route on the other hand is a process that is available only to those that are already married at the time of filing. So if you choose this route, you will have to get married before you start the filing process.

Both the fiancé(e) visa and marriage visa start off in a very similar path. They both start with the filing of a visa petition and supporting documents with USCIS. Assuming it is approved, the case is then forwarded over to the NBC. The NBC will provide the immigrant fiancé(e) or spouse with instructions for next steps, such as making a visa application on the approved petition, and submitting financial and other evidentiary documents. Once the NBC processing is completed, the case will then be scheduled for an interview by the U.S. embassy or Consulate abroad for the immigrant fiancé(e) or spouse to attend. You, as the petitioner, are not required to be there for the interview. Prior to going to the interview, your fiancé(e) or spouse will need to schedule a medical examination that is required of all immigrants before they come to the U.S. The physician conducting the exam will then send the medical results directly to the Embassy.

Assuming all goes well at the interview, your fiancé(e) or spouse will be issued a visa and can enter the U.S. Once the fiancé(e)e or spouse enters, this is where the cases go drastically different paths. The significant other that entered on your marriage visa becomes a permanent resident upon entry. This is also known as being a green card holder. They will be mailed a green card and will have it temporary Green Card stamp on their passport at the time of entry. They can start working and traveling in and out of the U.S. immediately.

Now this is quite different from the case of the fiancé(e) visa entrant. Once the immigrant fiancé(e) enters, they must get married to the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days and thereafter apply with USCIS for adjustment of status to a permanent resident. Additionally, the fiancé(e) cannot work until they apply for and receive employment authorization. Also, they will not be able to travel outside of the U.S until they receive travel authorization. At the time of this video, both of these documents are taking roughly about six to eight months for USCIS to process.

Which is quicker, a fiancé(e) visa or a marriage visa? In the past, the fiancé(e) visa petition and application could have the immigrant fiancé(e) in the U.S within five months. This was much quicker than the marriage visa at that time. However, post-covid, this is not the case. Now, cases are taking around 12 to 16 months, which is how long the marriage visa is also taking currently. So for now, there’s very little time benefit in applying for a fiancé(e) visa versus a marriage visa. Time may speed up in the future. However, this depends entirely on the government and their processing numbers.

Who was the fiancé(e) visa a good option for? Given at the current time fiancé(e) visas are taking just as long as the marriage visas for the government to process, and that the fiancé(e) visa requires more steps to be taken even after entering the U.S., the fiancé(e) visa is usually not the preferred option for most people. However, if you are unable to travel to your fiancé(e) to marry them, or your fiancé(e) is unable to travel to you to marry, then the fiancé(e) visa may be the only viable route.

If you have any questions specific to your case or need more information, call our office to schedule a phone consultation with a senior attorney at Jeelani Law Firm. Thanks for watching this video. I’m attorney Hashim Jeelani. Don’t forget to click the like, subscribe and bell buttons to be notified every time I upload a new video.

Jeelani Law Firm, PLC

JEELANI LAW FIRM, PLC is regarded as one of the top immigration law firms in the industry. We handle all immigration matters including family based adjustment of status/green card cases, citizenship filings, representation of businesses and employees when filing L1A/B Petitions, H1B petitions, and Permanent Labor petitions. Our firm also litigates immigration cases dealing with delayed adjudications as well as appellate matters before the U.S. Federal Courts, U.S. Immigration Courts, USCIS and the BIA. Given the complex nature of immigration law, inexperience can lead to many mistakes which may result in delays, denials, and loss of filing fees and valuable time. Contact our office and we will take care of the rest.