So you genuinely fell in love overseas, outside of the bar and bedroom, and want to bring your new soulmate back to the States. There used to be a time when you could bring your new boo by the embassy and hop on the next day’s plane, hand in hand.
Today the process of getting a visa for a spouse has grown into a monster of a long and costly process that can make you reconsider your determination to bring your partner across borders. Beware, but don’t be discouraged if you think this person is worth it.
Before You Start
Seek counsel: the process can be exhausting due to all the forms and amount of proof that you have to provide. Don’t go at it alone, you aren’t the first one to fall in love overseas so seek what others have done before you. There are many low-cost experts that specialize in visa document preparation. Easyfiancevisa.com & easymarriagevisa.com get good reviews in simplifying the process and providing experienced support. For more complex cases, where a lawyer is needed, check out the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association.
Do your research: there are two main courses for bringing a partner back to the States; the CR1 Spousal Visa and the K1 Fiancé Visa. Look into their pros and cons and see which works out best for you. The petition process goes through many hoops. Your application goes from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which then passes through the National Visa Center, and ends with an interview of the foreigner at a US Embassy abroad.
The K1 Fiancé visa takes approximately 4 to 8 months from the time of filing. The costs can add up to around US$1,000 in government fees. Once in the States, the foreign fiancé must file for an Adjustment of Status to receive a “green card” (another 3 to 6+ months waiting time and US$1,070 fee).
The CR1 Spousal visa can take 6 to 12 months (if everything goes well) and costs approximately US$1,200 in government fees. Once in the US, the foreign spouse does not need to file for the “green card,” saving some hassle and money.
Sources: easyfiancevisa.com & eturbonews.com