Preparing for marriage may be one of the happiest moments of your life. What if, however, your spouse-to-be is not a U.S. citizen and is legally residing in another country? You could wait until you are married and then apply for a spouse visa to bring the new member of your family into the country, or you could have your fiance apply for a K-1 visa that will allow them entrance into the country prior to the marriage ceremony. 

Keep in mind that if you do apply for a fiance visa, you are not required to stay in the country. You may decide to move out of the country once the marriage is finalized. However, you do have the option of using your fiance visa to apply for a green card, or permanent residence in the country. 

Before your future spouse applies for a fiance visa, he or she must meet the requirements set by the government. First, they must be of legal age to marry. They must have met you in person within the last two years, unless otherwise approved for another time period. This prevents internet relationships, mail-order brides and sham marriages from occurring. Finally, the applicant for the fiance visa must intend to marry a United States citizen within 90 days of coming into the country. This includes a person who is either born in the U.S. or has become a citizen through the naturalization process. 

Whether you have dreamt of a wedding on the sunny beaches of California or you prefer a southern marriage, a K-1 visa can help make it happen. 

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.