You may have spent part of your career working overseas, and while there, you met the love of your life. You returned to work in California a couple years ago, but you kept up your long-distance relationship. Now, you are ready to move forward in your relationship. You want to propose to your girlfriend and have her immigrate to the United States. How can you help your fiancée get a visa and start her path toward U.S. citizenship?
Your first option to bring your fiancée to the United States is to apply for a fiancée visa. With a fiancée visa, you must marry your fiancée within 90 days of their arrival in the United States. Then after you marry, your new spouse can apply for a Green Card to establish permanent residency.
Your second option to have your fiancée come to the United States long-term is to marry her overseas. Then you can apply to have your new spouse come to United States through a spouse visa. You can be a same-sex couple and receive a spouse visa. If you are a U.S. citizen and have been living overseas in a common law marriage, you still may be able to bring your common law spouse to the United States with a spouse visa. Whether you get approved will depend on what the common law marriage laws are in the country you now reside in.
Getting help with the immigration process
Because the immigration process is complex, you should consult an immigration attorney if you want to bring your fiancée or a new spouse to the United States for the long-term. You want to avoid making a mistake that could jeopardize your chances of having your partner join you on a permanent visa. With help, you can better ensure your soon-to-be-spouse will make her first step toward living with you long-term in the United States.