According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, American citizens must complete and apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, commonly known as fiancé(e) visa if they wish to bring their loved one to the United States and get married in Illinois.
You can sponsor your fiancé(e) to come to the U.S. if the intention is to wed within 90 days of his/her arrival here. There are some requirements that you and your loved one must meet before the government approves the visa.
Fiancé(e) visa eligibility requirements
- Both of you must meet the eligibility requirements. This means that you must be eligible to marry. If there was a previous marriage to someone else, you need the documentation that shows the marriage was officially terminated.
- You must provide evidence that establishes the legitimacy of the relations, such as flight itineraries, hotel reservations, photos, emails and other documentation. Except in the cases of extreme hardship, you must also show that you have met in person at least once in the last two years.
- As a U.S. citizen, the adjusted gross income must meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Differences from a marriage green card
There are two main options for a fiancé of a U.S. citizen. If you want a wedding in the U.S., your future spouse needs a K-1 visa. However, if you get married outside the country, you can sponsor your spouse for a green card. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option.
An experienced immigration law attorney can help clients determine whether a K-1 visa or green card fits the situation best and gather detailed documentation for a successful outcome.