Fiancee Visas Frequently Asked Questions
Why a Fiancee Visa?
For most couples, the fiancee visa, commonly referred to as a K1 Fiancee Visa, is the best because the success rate is almost 100%. Tourist visa applications generally have a 5% success rate but are possible if the lady can show that she has ample reason to return to her country, e.g. a child not traveling with her, assets, prior experience traveling to first world countries, a good job, and/or money in a bank in her country. Tourist visas are granted on the spot but the lady must not indicate in any way that she might get married on the trip. If you do get married, the lady must return to her home country and apply as an immigrant and this process takes 10 to 12 months. Very few ladies, however, meet the above criteria. Student visa applications have about a 50% success rate. Student visas usually take much longer because the lady must take an English test in her home country and then apply for admission to and be accepted by a U.S. university prior to applying for a student visa. In short, the fiancee visa provides the best combination of high success rate, short processing time and simplicity, and is the only visa that provides status for marriage.
What are the requirements?
You must be a US citizen. Both you and your fiancee must be free to marry. This means that if either of you has been married previously, you must be either divorced, widowed, or the marriage annulled. You must have met your fiancee in person (and have photos to prove it) within the previous two years and demonstrate your intention to marry the lady. Since she cannot obtain a visitor visa to visit the US, this means that you must go to her country or another country to meet her. Also, you, the sponsor, must have an income in excess of $20,000.00 a year.
What are my chances of success?
Both the USCIS* and the respective US Embassies rarely deny a properly prepared fiancee visa petition if both parties are eligible. Our attorneys have a 100% success rate.
How long will it take?
If you use one of our attorneys, about 4-5 months from the date of filing. This also depends on the Embassy and your state of residence. It takes about 4 weeks to 6 months for you to be approved and another 6 weeks for your fiancee's interview where she will immediately receive her visa if approved. If you do it yourself - 8 months to 1 year.
Within what time frame must the lady use the fiancee visa?
Within six months after the issue date she must arrive in the U.S. You then have 90 days after her arrival to either marry her or send her back to her home country.
Are extensions possible?
No, but the lady can return to her home country and obtain another fiancee visa. To sponsor another fiancee visa you must file another petition.
What are my responsibilities?
You must provide for her welfare while in the U.S. and her round-trip flight. By the way, a one-way ticket is the same price as a round-trip ticket.
If unsuccessful, may I sponsor another fiancee visa?
Yes, you and the lady can obtain future fiancee visas.
Do I need an immigration attorney?
If your last tax return was a joint return, if you are self-employed, if you are retired or your tax returns show uneven income over the past few years, or if you live in Hawaii or Alaska, if you or your lady have obtained a fiancee visa previously, or you just don't have time and want to have your fiancee over as soon as possible, you really need an attorney.
Should I find an immigration attorney in my home city?
Probably not. Geography is immaterial since the application goes to a regional service center for processing. You need to use an experienced attorney who specializes in fiancee visas. You don't want your application to be on-the-job training for an inexperienced attorney. Fax and FedEx and the telephone are all you need to work with the attorney.
Why use a European Connections Immigration attorney?
By using a European Connections recommended attorney, you have the assurance that we stand with you. We direct a large volume of business to these attorneys and have the leverage to guarantee performance.
Most immigration attorneys who specialize in fiancee visas charge $1,500.00 to 2,000.00. European Connections, however, has negotiated a special rate with a few of the best attorneys in the USA. This allows you to obtain a fiancee visa for your lady at the lowest rate, $1,300.00. If you purchase our Fiancee Visa Preparation Kit ($49.95), you will receive a $49.95 credit toward the $1,300.00 fee. If a child is included in the visa, the special attorney fee is $1,400.00. Additionally, our selected attorneys can speed up the process by 6 to 8 weeks. Both of our attorneys have a Russian translator on staff to communicate directly with your fiancee through the entire process.
What are the costs associated with sponsoring a fiancee visa?
If you have not already sent the necessary forms to your fiancee for completion (i.e. G-325A - Biographical Data Form), the attorney may charge a fee for secured shipment and return of these forms (approximately $90.00). Other costs are the USCIS application fee ($455.00**), your fiancee's medical exam ($100.00), the fiancee visa fee to the U.S. Embassy ($100.00), a round-trip flight to the U.S. ($500-$900 depending on the season and airline), and your fiancee's living expenses here in the U.S. $100.00 for each child's medical exam & $100.00 for each child's visa issuance fee.
Can the lady work while in the U.S. on a fiancee visa?
Yes, if at the port of entry she receives a work authorization stamp in her passport. This is up to the discretion of the immigration officer and the stamp is only valid for 90 days.
**United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly I.N.S. - The Immigration and Naturalization Service)