Romantic relationships are subjective. One couple could take years to decide they want to marry, while other people may know in an instant that they want to commit themselves to a new romantic interest. Regardless of whether you met your fiancé(e) while traveling abroad and have maintained a relationship since returning home or you fell in love online without ever meeting them, having them come into the country to marry you may be the logical next step for your relationship.
As a United States citizen, you have the right to ask for a visa for your fiancé(e), provided that you have a valid relationship and actually intend to marry the other person. How do you demonstrate that your engagement is legitimate and that your fiancé(e) deserves the visa? Is the length of your relationship the biggest consideration for proving your sincerity?
How does the government validate a romantic relationship?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sees dozens of thousands of K-1 fiancé(e) visa applications every year, and they approve tens of thousands of them. They have a process for vetting the relationships of the individuals seeking such a visa.
In most cases, the USCIS requires that the engaged parties have seen each other face-to-face at least once in the two years prior to applying for a K-1 visa. The only exception to this rule is if traveling would pose a financial hardship on the U.S. citizen or if there are religious rules that prevent them from meeting prior to marriage.
What makes a relationship valid to the USCIS?
In addition to having seen each other face-to-face, you will also need to show that you have not just a committed relationship but also a bona fide intention to spend your lives together. Proving this may require a combination of interviews and personal evidence, which you can gather to help show the seriousness of your relationship.
The way you speak to one another and your inclusion in each other’s daily lives can help show how committed you are to the relationship. Letters, digital communications and even social media posts can help show that you frequently interact and are open about your relationship with your family members and broader communities.
You will also need to have concrete plans to marry quickly, as a K-1 visa only gives you 90 days after entry into the United States to officialize your marriage. Getting support when applying for a K-1 visa or any other family visa can make it easier for you to navigate the complicated immigration process.