As a Miami immigration lawyer, one of the services that I offer is helping clients obtain their fiancé visas. A fiance visa will get you into the United States to get married. Regarding eligibility for the fiance visa, below are some frequently asked questions.
What are the legal requirements for eligibility for a fiance visa?
In order to be eligible for a fiancé visa, the law requires you must meet the following requirements, including but not limited to:
- intent to marry a U.S. citizen
- meeting your intended spouse in person within the last two years (this can be waived based on cultural customs or extreme hardship), and
- ability to marry legally
What is “intent to marry?”
Meeting the first requirements of intent to marry is very important. The U.S. government wants proof that you have made actual plans, such as a place, a type of ceremony or proceedings (even if the proceedings are only in front of a judge). If you have any questions in regard to “intent to marry”, you should speak with a Miami immigration lawyer to discuss your options.
Your intended spouse must be a U.S. Citizen
In order for you to be eligible for a fiancé visa, the person that you plan to marry must be a U.S. citizen, not a permanent resident (a green card holder). A U.S. citizen is someone who is/was:
- born in the United States or its territories
- became a citizen through application and testing (i.e. naturalization), or
- acquired or derived citizenship through a family member.
In order to prove your spouse’s status as a U.S. citizen, he/she will have to produce his/her birth certificate, a U.S. passport, or a naturalization certificate. If you have any additional questions in regard to this, I would suggest that you consult with a Miami immigration lawyer.
My fiance is only a permanent resident, not a citizen. What now?
If your fiance is only a permanent resident, he or she can petition to obtain permanent residency for you only after your marriage has taken place. A fiancé visa is not available to you at this time. Again, you should speak with a Miami immigration attorney to make sure that you are apprised of all available options.
You must have met your intended spouse within the last two years.
To protect against sham marriages, U.S. immigration law requires that fiance visa applicants have met in person within the last two years. Given how many couples fall in love over the Internet, such a meeting may not always have happened between fiances. Couples who have not yet met, however, will need to make sure they do so at least once in the two years before applying for the fiancé visa. Even a brief meeting may be sufficient. Again, you should speak with a Miami immigration lawyer for more information.
You must be legally able to marry.
To be eligible for a fiancé visa, you must be legally able to marry. This requirement is mostly directed at couples in which:
- one person is under the age of consent
- one person has been previously married and needs to prove that that marriage was legally ended
- the two members of the couple are related by blood
In a huge leap forward for civil rights, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that same-sex marriages would be recognized throughout the United States. As such same-sex marriages throughout the United States are recognized for immigration purposes.
If you would like more information on the types of marriages obtaining a fiance visa, please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.