An immigration lawyer plays a variety of important roles in the life of a non-citizen. One of the most important roles that such an attorney can play is assisting you with your efforts to bring your fiancé and any dependents into this country so that you can marry and your fiancé can seek permanent residence or citizenship. If you are legitimately engaged to be married but your intended spouse lives in another country you will need to navigate the quite complicated immigration laws in order for this person to be allowed legal entry into the country as well as time in which you can marry. This is referred to as a fiancé visa and is an important, yet incredibly difficult to obtain, document.
The immigration attorney who will handle your case will help you through the process so that you keep to the strict schedule and submit the appropriate documentation so you have the best chances of your partner being allowed entrance. The first thing that you need to understand about the process of obtaining a fiancé visa for your intended spouse is that the proceedings can take several months to complete and the instances of delays and even rejections requiring the process to be begun again are not uncommon, so it is important that you seek the representation of a green card attorney as early possible. Once the process has been successfully completed and the fiancé visa has been issued, your fiancé has up to four months to use it to enter this country. After entry you have 90 days to legally marry. If the marriage has not been completed by the end of these 90 days your fiancé will be subject to removal.
The process of obtaining a fiancé visa begins in the United States when an application and documentation packet is completed. This packet is then submitted to the Consulate of the foreign country where your fiancé resides. Once this packet has been reviewed, the Consulate will contact your fiancé to begin the process of gathering documentation. Forms will be completed and an interview will be carried out prior to the fiancé visa being issued.
Your immigration attorney will tell you that the documentation requirements to obtain a fiancé visa are rather stringent. Not only must you provide valid identification with at least two photographs that are exactly two inches by two inches and be taken against a light background. Civil documents such as divorce or death certificates of prior spouses, police records and evidence of a thorough medical exam will also need to be presented. Perhaps the most critical evidence, however, is the proof that you and your fiancé are truly engaged. There are many cases of immigration fraud each year and it is critical that you are able to demonstrate that you and your fiancé truly have a relationship and are genuinely intending to marry. There are many different types of documentation that you can present, including:
- Photographs of the two of you together
- Letters written between the two of you
- Cultural documents linking the two of you
It should be noted that except under very specific situations, you must have met your fiancé in person within two years of applying for the fiancé visa. Your immigration attorney can help you determine if your case may allow this requirement to be waived.