A marriage between a California resident and his or her foreign national fiancée or fiancé might require multiple visa applications if the applicants do not follow directions precisely, or if they choose to pursue an improper avenue. There are also several types of visas available, depending on marital status and other factors.
In cases where the foreign party and the US resident intend to marry in the United States, applying for a K1 visa could expedite the situation. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services online resource portal for this document, commonly known as the marriage visa, outlines the several steps required to complete the progression from unmarried individuals of different resident statuses to married partners in the USA. It is important to note that the visa recipient must marry the citizen within 90 days of entry to the states.
If, for some reason, a couple does not fulfill the requirements to obtain resident status after marrying under the K1 visa, there are still options. For example, the IR1 or CR1 spousal visa program allows many of the same options for residency as the K1 marriage visa. The United States Department of State Bureau of Consular affairs states that these spousal visas are typically valid until six months after the issuance date.
The process of obtaining resident status, and eventually citizenship, goes more smoothly when applicants observe each of the rules meticulously. It is also important to choose the right type of visa, as each applies to a narrow range of situations. Due to this complexity, those who wish to pursue these immigration matters often review all of the options available before determining which application to attempt.