What Is the Difference Between a Fiancé Visa & Marriage Visa?

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Fiancé Visa Vs. Marriage Visa

Couples often have difficulty understanding the difference between a fiancé(e) visa and a marriage visa. If you plan to build your life as a married couple in the United States, but you or your partner isn’t a U.S. citizen, you will need to know which visa to apply for.

The primary difference between a fiancé(e) visa and a marriage visa is that with a fiancé(e) visa, the couple can marry in the United States. In contrast, a marriage visa requires the couple to marry outside of the U.S.

Call Panteva Law Group LLC (312) 471-0014 or contact us online to get started on your fiancé(e) or marriage-based green card process. Our firm provides Chinese, Bulgarian, and Spanish-speaking services.

What Is a Fiancé Visa?

A fiancé visa (also known as a K-1 visa) allows a foreign fiancé(e) to marry and live in the United States. The foreign partner would be able to travel to the United States with a K-1 visa and marry their sponsor within 90 days.

What Are the Requirements for a K-1 Visa?

The partner who is a U.S. citizen can sponsor the other to obtain a visa. U.S. green card holders are not eligible to apply for fiancé visas.

You and your fiancé(e) must prove that your relationship is authentic—through:

  • Photos
  • Correspondence
  • And written statements from people who know you as a couple

You must also prove that you have met in person at least once in the past two years; however, this requirement can be waived for religious practices.

What Is a Marriage Visa?

A marriage visa is a visa that allows the foreign spouse to live and work in the United States as a permanent resident. It is the first step toward becoming a U.S. citizen. 

The marriage green card process is initiated with an I-130 petition. Only U.S. citizens and U.S. green card holders can file an I-130 petition.

To qualify, you and your spouse must:

  • Have a legally valid marriage
  • Typically proven with a marriage certificate showing both spouses’ names and marriage dates

You must also prove that any previous marriages have been terminated and that your marriage is not fraudulent.

You can verify this by providing evidence like:

  • Joint leases
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Pictures of you together
  • And more

If you need legal guidance with your fiancé(e) or marriage-based green card, contact our Chicago immigration attorneys today at (312) 471-0014!