Different kinds of business, personal and familial relationships can qualify an individual to seek a visa for entry into the United States of America. Visa programs allow people living in another country with a direct relative who is either a citizen or a permanent, legal resident to seek entry into the United States.

It is also possible for those with a non-biological tie to a citizen to request a visa. Fiance visas, also known as K-1 nonimmigrant visas, allow someone engaged to an American citizen to enter the United States and eventually become a citizen after their marriage. Unlike many other forms of familial visas, K-1 nonimmigrant visas are subject to significant scrutiny.

What are some of the conditions for an engagement-related visa?

Seeking a K-1 Visa isn’t the best option if you intend to have a long engagement or if you must finalize a divorce before marrying again. The terms of the visa specifically state that you will marry your fiance within 90 days of their entry into the United States. If you must wait, you should delay your application or your fiance’s entry date until you can comply with that important requirement.

Once you actually get married, you can assist your new spouse in applying for a Green Card. That Green Card remains valid for two years from the date of your marriage. After those two years are up, your spouse may be able to request an adjustment to their status within the last 90 days before the Green Card expires.

If your fiance has children from a previous relationship, their unmarried children under the age of 21 may also be able to come to the United States through the same visa application process and a K-2 nonimmigrant visa. The process for Green Cards for K-2 visas mirrors that of K-1 visas, meaning your family can handle both simultaneously.

You may need to demonstrate the authenticity of your relationship

While the vast majority of individuals who use fiance visas to bring a loved one into the country have a valid relationship, there are those who use the K-1 visa program inappropriately. They may stage a marriage with someone that they have a friendly relationship with while never intending to remain married once they secure citizenship or a Green Card.

To prevent abuses of the system, particularly if you got engaged quickly, you may be subject to interviews and scrutiny regarding the nature and sincerity of your relationship. Documentation, ranging from love letters or social media posts to statements from family and friends who know about the length of the relationship and how much you mean to one another, can help you overcome challenges regarding the nature of your relationship during the K-1 visa application process.