After popping the question you have decided that you are going to marry a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. However, you must consider that your planned wedding could affect future travel to the United States.
Once you have gotten married you can proceed with applying for a U.S. green card and if it is approved you will be able to travel as you please. Before then, you can obtain a K-1 Fiancé visa that will allow you to enter the U.S, get married and live in the country while your green card is in processing.
Coming to the U.S. for a temporary visit is not a bad idea, however, you could face questions from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer who will be processing your temporary visa or the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent who will inspect you at the port of entry when entering the U.S.
When an immigration officer asks you questions they simply want to ensure that you will not overstay a temporary visa and that you will return to your home country.
Visiting Your Fiancé Before Filing a K-1 Petition
If you plan on using a K-1 Fiancé visa, your fiancé will need to file an I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) on your behalf. If your fiancé hasn't already submitted a petition, then the U.S. government will have no record of your planned wedding and it shouldn’t affect you visiting the U.S. on a temporary visa such as a tourist visa.
Ensure to answer truthfully when a USCIS or CBP officer asks who you are visiting or if you are engaged to a U.S. citizen or green card beneficiary. Providing misinformation of your current situation could result in serious consequences later on if you apply for a fiancé visa or marriage-based green card.
It is important to be ready with answers pertaining to future plans as it is helpful to prove that you clearly intend on returning to your home country after visiting your fiancé. Evidence of employment or education, lease or other residential documents and return ticket can all be useful ways to show the U.S. government that you genuinely are planning to travel back home before your visa expires.
Never misrepresent your purpose for visiting the U.S either on an immigration form or before an immigration officer. Additionally, do not lie about being married or engaged to an American citizen or green card holder. Any form of misrepresentation could put you at risk for future eligibility of a U.S. green card.
Visiting the U.S. After Filing a K-1 Fiancé Visa
Life can get more complicated if your fiancé has already filed an I-129F Application on your behalf. An I-129F provides clear evidence that you intend to travel to the U.S. and stay there for a long period of time which contradicts the design of a temporary visa. With that said the USCIS and CBP agents are more likely to carefully examine your situation before granting you authorization to enter the U.S on a temporary basis.
The Department of State (DOS) maintains that while Fiancé visa holders are generally allowed to travel to the U.S. temporarily, doing so is not advised because of the concerns raised by such travel. There might be a possibility that a temporary visa can be denied or that you could be turned away at a point of entry if a CBP officer thinks you are planning to stay in the U.S. beyond the duration of your visa.
One of the best ways to avoid any problems is to simply put off traveling to the U.S. until you receive an approval for your K-1 Fiancé visa. You can also talk with an immigration attorney before you plan on visiting your fiancé.
Consult With Your Nearest Immigration Law Firm
Before you make plans to travel to the U.S. to see your fiancé you must check in with the experts in U.S. Immigration. The team at Gambacorta Law Office will gladly help you fill out the required forms and walk you through the application process. Call 847 443 9303 for a first free consultation.