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Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process

Below you will find a very painstakingly and carefully compiled list of the top 10 things you need to know to be successful with a fiance visa application process.  As a licensed and fully insured immigration office with almost 25 years of experience in filing hundreds of successful Fiance or K-1 visas, we assure you that this informative post was written with a sincere intention to help you attempt filing on your own.

While there is nothing wrong with self-filing, it would be irresponsible for us not to point out the risks related to self filing.  The simplest of mistakes with an application can result in disastrous delays that can prolong your Fiance Visa application by several years.  Even worse, your case can be denied altogether.

If you absolutely do not want to take any chances with the Fiance Visa process or are not convinced about self application after reading this informative guide, we welcome you to call our immigration attorney office at 888-801-6558.


Top Ten Things you should know about the fiancé visa process.

Bonus Tips: Read our Top 10 reasons why Fiance Visas are denied, at the end of this post!

Please understand that this article is general in nature and does not substitute for legal advice on your particular case.

1.    You are required to be a United States Citizen.  You, as the one filing the petition with USCIS ,  must be a US Citizen.  A person who is only a green card holder only cannot successfully file a Fiancé Visa Petition.  Therefore, if you only have a green card and you are eligible to apply for Citizenship you should seriously consider applying to become a U.S. Citizen.yesss

However, keep in mind, that a green card holder who applies for citizenship does put his or her green card on the line.  This means that you can lose your green card if your citizenship case does not go well.  The most likely reason is that the US Citizenship applicant has criminal issues which have come up since he or she obtained a green card.  Many times USCIS is not aware of    any criminal issues you have had since obtaining your green card until you apply for Naturalization.  Once they find out about these problems they may take your green card from you.  Not all past criminal problems would cause you problems if you were to apply for U.S. Citizenship.  We can let you know if you will have a problem applying for U.S. Citizenship.

You will prove that you are a U.S. Citizen by supplying USCIS a copy of your U.S. birth certificate (this is the preferred method).  If this is not available you may supply a copy of your U.S. Passport of your Certificate of Naturalization.

2.  Happy Marriage ProposalYou must intend to marry each other. You must be able to show USCIS that you and your fiancé intend to marry each other.  If this is not your intent then this is not the right type of non-immigrant visa to use.  USCIS will require both you and your fiance to sign affidavits under oath.  These affidavits will state that you intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé entering the United States.  In addition, you will also be explaining  how you met each other and how your relationship has developed over the time you have known each other.

You will also need to prove that you have a bona fide fiancé relationship with each other.  (This is generally shown through email correspondence, evidence of gifts, receipts and photos of the engagement ring(s), evidence of trips you have taken together, affidavits from family members and friends etc.

In addition, you can help prove the bona fides of your relationship by showing  Facebook posts from friends and family congratulating you on your engagement. (Yes, USCIS does know how to use Facebook and they do use it, and other social media sites and other sites (think Google, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) at times, when investigating cases.)  Therefore, as an aside, be very careful about what you post on Facebook and other social media sites.  USCIS can use these sites to help make a determination in your case (without you being aware that they are doing this).  USCIS believes that these sites give it an excellent vantage point to observe your marital relationship.

You must also show USCIS that you are treating your engagement like a typical engagement in your fiancée’s home country.  If, for example, in your fiancée’s home country it is typical to have a formal engagement party then you should have one.  You need to make sure you comply with the cultural customs of your fiancée’s home country.  If this is not done then your case can be denied at the fiancé visa interview level.

Did you know that a Fiance Visa application’s success primarily depends on evidence you can provide about your relationship?  Leave nothing to chance and let our law office with almost 25 years of experience handling these cases, compile your evidence to file, to give you the best chance at obtaining the fiance visa.  Call 888-801-6558 for an eye-opening consultation now. We use all our expertise, know how and experience to file a very strong case to support your fiance visa application.  We have low flat fees and affordable monthly payment options.

3.  happy couple outdoorsMeeting Requirement. You must have met your fiancée face to face (not via Skype or over the computer) and also in person within the last two years.  If you were childhood friends but have not seen each other in the past 2 years then you will not meet this requirement.   In certain instances waivers to this requirement may be available.  However, these are not easy to obtain.  For example, you may be able to get a waiver to this face to face requirement based on medical or religious reasons.  Not being able to afford to visit your fiancé in person is generally not an acceptable reason for a waiver to this requirement to be granted by USCIS.

You can prove to USCIS that you have met in person by showing: date stamped photos of the two of you together; photocopies of dated plane tickets, restaurant receipts, hotel receipts; passport pages showing entry stamps to the foreign country where the 2 of you met; and signed affidavits by family and friends attesting, under oath, that you have met each other. Have an immigration attorney review your evidence to make sure it will be strong enough for you to obtain your fiancé visa.

If your evidence is not strong enough it can and should be made stronger prior to filing the case.  It is much better to wait an extra 30 days, obtain more evidence and file a much stronger case then it is to file a weaker case early.

4. Tax return 2012The U.S. Citizen will have to show that he has sufficient income to support his fiance when she arrives in the United States.    The poverty guidelines are put out by the federal government and they change every year.  It is a rare case when our office cannot figure out a way for you to meet this requirement.  Simply call us, free of charge about this issue.  We are very likely able to help you in this area.

The income requirement is not very high and it varies based on the size of your household.  Your income must be at least 100% of the federal poverty line for your new household size.  For example: In 2013 your income will need to be $15,510 or higher, at the fiancé visa stage, if your new family size will consist of only you and your fiancé. (At the fiancé visa stage your income will need to be at least 100% of the federal poverty line.  However, after you marry your fiancé and apply for the green card in the United States, your income will need to be at least 125% of the federal poverty line for your new household size.) You can check the federal poverty guidelines for your new household size to determine the amount of income you need in order to meet the income requirement.

If you do not meet the income requirement you may be able to use assets which you own to meet the requirements.

If you are unable to meet the income requirement you may get a co-sponsor to help you.  Usually co-sponsors consist of close relatives and very good friends.  At the fiancé visa stage you will be filing Form I-134.  You will also supply: a bank letter (showing the amount you have on deposit with the bank, the date the account was opened and the total amount that was deposited in the past year); an employer letter on company letterhead which states that you currently work there, how long you have worked there, how much you make, what your job is, and whether the job is temporary or permanent); statements from your investment accounts and your last 3 years worth of federal tax returns.

Are you struggling to compile mandatory supporting financial information to provide with your fiance visa application?  Leave it to us, an immigration attorney office with countless successful past fiance visa filings to put your case together.  Call 888-801-6558 to learn about how we can help your fiance over to America.  The first consultation call is absolutely FREE.

5. Previous Fiance Visa Cases Can be a Problem. You must not have filed more than two fiancée visas in the past nor had an approved fiancée petition in the last two years.   Once again, a waiver is available but there is no guarantee that it will be granted.

USCIS will notify the person receiving the fiancé visa if the U.S. Citizen fiancé has had 2 previous fiancé visas or marriage visas approved in the past 10 years.  If this is your case then you should notify your fiancé of your prior petitions.  She needs to be completely aware of your past attempts to bring other fiancés or spouses into the United States.  If she is not aware of these past petitions and learns of them at the interview the case can be denied.

6. You must both be Free to Marry. You and your fiancée must both be free to get married (meaning that you are both eligible to get married) at the time you file your petition.   Do not file a fiancé visa petition with USCIS if you or your fiancé has a pending divorce.  This will not save you any time.  On the contrary it will make your case take longer.  My advice would be to review any previous annulments or divorces with a family law attorney to ensure that you and your fiancé are, in fact free to marry each other.  (Believe it or not some people believe that their divorce has been finalized when in fact it hasn’t been finalized.  As a result they are still married to their “previous” spouse.)

It is much better to wait until you know, for sure, that your divorce is final, then to file your case prematurely and have it denied.  If your case is denied do not expect to appeal the decision.  Rather, you will need to start the whole process all over again.

7.  You cannot have been convicted of certain crimes. USCIS will be looking at the criminal background of the US citizen.  The US Citizen must not have been convicted of a variety of crimes such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, dating violence, stalking, controlled substance violations and homicide.  Just to be safe, if you have had any crime in your past then an immigration attorney should review the matter prior to you filing your fiance visa case.  It is better to take the time in the beginning to clear up any criminal issues then to have them come up during the case.  You should never lie to USCIS and you should expect them to know about your criminal history.

Also, your fiancé should be told about your criminal past.  It will really hurt your case if, at the interview, your fiancé has no idea that you were convicted of the crime in question.  It will really make your relationship seem less bona fide and can lead to your case being denied.

8.   There is a 90 day Rule Concerning Marriage. Within 90 days of your fiancé entering the United States you will need to get married.  Your fiancée will only be able to marry you.  She or he will not be able to marry someone else on the fiancé visa if someone else comes along.

If she enters the United States on a fiancée visa and does not marry you within 90 days then she will need to return to her home country.  Do not put the marriage off. Marry her within the 90 day period so your fiancé remains in legal status.  If you did not get married within the 90 day period then you should consult with a fiance visa attorney immediately. Once you get married you can then file for adjustment of status so that she may get her green card.  At the same time she can apply for work authorization.  At the present time it takes approximately 90 days to receive the work authorization card.  Therefore, if you are sure you are going to get married don’t wait until the last minute.  Get married and start the green card process so that you can obtain the work authorization card sooner.

9.  Your fiancé will also have other requirements with USCIS .   Your fiancé cannot be any of the following: a person who is likely to go on welfare; a person with a communicable disease, or a person with a dangerous physical or mental disorder.  He or she cannot have committed very serious criminal acts (including prostitution or drug trafficking).  These are things you likely want to know before you get married.

10.   Past Immigration Violations. Your fiancée must not have violated U.S. immigration laws. He or she cannot have used fraud or any other illegal means to enter US in the past.  He or she cannot have used fraud or other illegal means to enter the United States.  In addition past immigration violations by the non citizen fiancé can put the K1 fiancé visa process in jeopardy.  These would include: violating student visa rules; entering the U.S. without a visa; overstaying a visa; working in the United States without work authorization.  You can have our firm review the Immigration history of your fiancé to make sure there will not be any issues in your fiancé visa case.  It is much better to deal with these issues prior to filing the fiancé visa.

(Please note that there are specific requirements in order to bring your fiance’s minor children into the United States.  Please call us and we can make sure that there are no problems in this area.)

(Bonus thing you should know:  In late 2018  only about 50% of the fiance visa cases being filed are making it all the way through the fiance visa process.  This means that you could file your case, get initial approval, wait 8 months for your fiance visa to be approved, and then be disappointed.  Thankfully, all of our fiance visa cases have been approved in 2018.) If you would like more information about the approval rates in 2018 please read our blog article on that subject.

IF you can overcome these TOP 10 issues/challenges then a fiancée visa (K1 visa) can be approved.  How did you do with the top 10 checklist to successfully file a fiance visa?  If you are not sure, not confident or need clarifications or advice, give us a call for a FREE consultation.  Call us at 888-801-6558.  We handle cases throughout the United States and the World.


Wouldn’t it be less Expensive to work with an immigration consultant on my Fiance Visa Case?  Almost every week our office gets phone calls from potential clients who would like to work with us to fix a previously filed Immigration case which was prepared by a paralegal/immigration consultant/ or notario.  Most times we can help the potential client file a new case and the client is only out lost time with their loved one (although this could be a year or more of lost time) .  Sadly, on occasion, we cannot help the potential client undue the damage done to their case by these non-lawyers.  In addition, many times these firms are under no regulation and you will have no remedy should your case fail or you have irreparable damage to your future.

Also, keep in mind that you will need to turn over very sensitive information to whoever helps you with your case.  This includes your social security number, date of birth, tax returns, bank statements etc.  Do you really want to turn this information over to a firm which is possibly unregulated, uninsured and/or unlicensed?

When you work with our office only attorneys have access to your very personal information.  We are licensed by the State Bar of California and we are fully insured.  In addition, our fees are not a lot higher than the non-lawyer alternatives.  We also offer affordable monthly payments.  Please contact us either by email ( or via phone or the chat option.  We will be happy to talk to you, free of charge, about your options.


Bonus Tips: Top 10 Reasons Why Fiance Visas Are Denied.

Here are the Top 10 Reasons a Fiance Visa Case will be denied.

  • Your fiancé has violated the terms of his or her U.S. visa in the past. Overstaying a visa by more than 180 days for example can cause your fiancé to not be able to obtain a fiancé visa for 3 years.
  • Not being able to financially support your spouse. You must show the U.S. government that you make 100% of the federal poverty level for this type of case.  This is because you will be paying the U.S. government back in case your fiancé gets government benefits. If you do not make this amount of money you may be able to obtain a co-sponsor to help you but this is not true in every case.  If your finances are shaky you should definitely talk to an attorney prior to filing.
  • Either you or your fiancé having past criminal issues. Any past criminal matter should be evaluated by an Attorney, prior to filing, to make sure it will not cause the case to be denied.
  • One of you is not free to marry. A case will be denied if it is filed early before you are legally divorced.  Prior to filing you should make absolutely sure that all previous marriages, for both parties, are completely terminated.
  • It has been more than 2 years since you last saw your fiancé in person. Seeing someone on skype does not count as an in person meeting. Keep receipts, plane tickets and other evidence of any in-person meetings you have with your fiancé.
  • The paperwork you provide USCIS is incomplete. You should be given a Request for Evidence to correct this type of problem.  If you do you need to timely provide the requested information or your case will be denied.
  • Not Telling the Truth on Your paperwork. Lying on paperwork can lead to very serious consequences.  Simply do not do it.
  • Your Fiance has a medical condition which could threaten public safety or is mentally ill or has a drug or alcohol problem.
  • The Immigration Officer has reason to believe that the relationship is not real. This may include a large age difference, limited visits between the parties, not speaking a same language or there being a short amount of time from the time of meeting to the time of applying for the fiancé visa.

Your fiancé has a bad interview.  Long story short your fiancé should know a lot about you in order to have a good interview.  It may be embarrassing to you but tell her all about yourself, your past relationships and any criminal history.  This way she will have a better chance of success.

Don’t let silly or ignorant mistakes or big application blunders ruing your chances of bringing your Fiance to the United States.

Call 888-801-6558 for a FREE consultation with an immigration attorney office with almost 25 years of experience successfully filing K-1 fiance visas.

How the Fiance Visa Process Works

Free Fiance Visa E-Book

Fiance Visa Case Timeline

1. Filing of the Fiance Visa with USCIS

2. The petition is received by USCIS and a Notice of Action is Sent to you.

3. USCIS evaluates the case and , if all goes well, an approval notice is sent to you.  Currently this is taking between 5 and 7 months.  However, this amount of time can change.  It had been quite a bit shorter prior to this year.

4.  The File is sent from USCIS to the National Visa Center for Processing

5. The File is sent  from the National Visa Center to the embassy or consulate handling your case

6.  The Embassy will contact you with instructions on the case.

7  Obtain Medical Exam and other documents

8.  Fiance Visa Interview at Embassy.  We will prepare you for this interview.  Here are some sample fiance visa questions to review.

9.  Fiance Visa Granted.  Congratulations!



No attorney-client relationship is established at this point. (However, simply contact our office at 888-801-6558. We would be happy to talk to you about the best way to handle your potential case.)

We are blessed to live in such a wonderful country as the United States.  If you would like to help someone who is not as fortunate please consider helping someone through World Vision or another charity.  Blessings to you and your family.



Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process
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  • S. Lucas

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

    S. Lucas
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  • L. Alvarado Jr.

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

    L. Alvarado Jr.
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  • M. Obregon

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

    M. Obregon
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