An American citizen may bring their fiancé(e) to the U.S. for marriage but must file a Petition for Alien Fiance(e) (form I-129F) during the fiancé(e)'s 90-day temporary stay. After the petition is approved by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, the petition becomes valid for four months and fiancé(e) can then apply for the K-1 fiancé(e).
The fiancé(e) must apply at the embassy or consulate, where they have to submit a passport valid for travel to the U.S. at least six month beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the U.S. They also have to submit a birth certificate, divorce or death certificate (if applicable), police certificate from all places lived since age 16, evidence of financial support, two non-immigrant visa applications, one non-immigrant fiancé(e) application, two non-immigrant visa photos, evidence of fiancé(e) relationship and other documents requested by the consular office. Documents in foreign languages are required to be translated to English. Along with the document requirements, the applicant will be interviewed and an ink-free digital scan will be taken.
Along with documentation of a medical exam, there are vaccinations the applicant needs to have prior to getting a fiancé(e) visa. There is a panel of physicians at the consulate who examine the visa applicant's medical exam to ensure the the vaccination requirements have been met (see Resources).
Applying for a visa is not free. The applicant must pay for filing the alien fiancé(e) petition form, the non-immigrant visa application processing fee, the medical examination fee, fingerprinting fees and filing the application to register as a permanent resident. The Department of State posts the current costs for these fees, and they vary by state. Along with government fees, the applicant is responsible for translation fees (if needed), photocopying charges and any fees for getting required documents such as the birth certificate, passport and police certificates.
As much as the fiancé(e) visa applicant must meet requirements, there are several instances that would make the person ineligible for a visa. The consulate will let the applicant know if they are ineligible. Some of the reasons a person can be ineligible for a fiancé(e) visa is if he or she is trafficking drugs, has HIV/AIDS, overstayed a previous visa, practice polygamy, advocate the overthrow of the government or submitted fraudulent documents.