Visas for Fiancé(e)s of U.S. Citizens – K-1 Visa

I am Canadian, engaged to my American Fiancé.

Can I move to the USA to live with him?

British Columbia shares borders with the USA.  Most of our clients are Canadian or USA citizens with cross borders issues such as work, inadmissibility, matrimonial issues (how to move between two countries with their significant other), having a claim to be a citizen of either country.

I deal with this issue usually every day.  My USA citizen partner has found a position in California, USA and he is going to take the position, I am Canadian and what options are available for me?

I will write the summary of the report I have sent out after each consult and hopefully, interested parties will stumble upon this page and read it.

Based on our yesterday conversation you and your USA citizen fiancé are about to move to the USA and you wanted to know how you can move to the USA with him. I understand that he accepted a position as a professor in the USA. Here are the options for you:

One fast and clear-cut option for entry to the U.S. is through a fiancé visa (K-1 non-immigrant status). Theoretically, this process is much faster than if you were to marry first and apply for you to enter as a spouse of a U.S. citizen. However, the downside of obtaining a fiancé visa is that the visa is single entry only, meaning you could not travel back and forth to Canada for approximately 90 days after moving to the U.S. 

An overview of fiancé visa procedures as follows;

your fiancé will submit an I-129F petition on behalf of you, including documentation evidencing your fiancé’s U.S. citizenship, the fact you have met in person within the past two years, and your intent and ability to marry during the 90-day period following your entry into the U.S.

your I-129F petition will be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC), who will assign it a case number and send it to the U.S. consulate in Canada. 

Prior to your interview at the Vancouver Consulate, you will be provided with a list of required documentation.  Some of the required documents will include a police certificate from Canada, a complete form DS-160, and a valid passport. you will also need to complete a medical exam performed by a USCIS-authorized physician.

You will have a maximum of six months from the date your K-1 visa is issued to enter the U.S. and a K-1 visa are valid for only a single entry. you must marry within 90 days of entry to the USA and if not married then have to return to Canada. 

After you marry, your husband can pursue your Adjustment of Status to that of Legal Permanent Resident (green cardholder) by filing form I-485. You cannot travel outside of the U.S. while your application is pending; while you can file for a travel document, this will take at least 90 days to adjudicate. 

Or you can marry in Canada and file I-130 in Canada if you want to avoid being landlocked in the U.S

You will first, file the I-130 application, USCIS will then forward the approval it to the National Visa Center, which will assign it a case number and forward it to the U.S. Consulate in Montreal. The U.S. Consulate in Montreal is the only U.S. consulate in Canada that processes immigrant visas (unlike non-immigrant visas, which are processed in other cities).

As part of this process, you must undergo a medical exam, submit RCMP paperwork to show you have no criminal convictions, and your husband must submit an affidavit of support. you will then appear at the Consulate for an interview.

If approved, the Consulate will keep your passport for a few days to a week in order to paste in the visa. you will have six months before you must initiate your residence in the United States. However, during that period of time, you may cross freely between the U.S. and Canada.

you will receive a conditional green card for two years, after which they will need to apply to have the conditions removed.

YA Law Corporation

504-938 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9
Tel: 604.620.9598 | Fax: 604.620.9597