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Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Difference Between Fiancé Visa and Spouse Visa

If you are a U.S. citizen and want to bring your loved one to the United States, you need to understand the differences between a fiancé visa and a spouse visa so that you make the best decision for your situation.

The visa process normally takes six to nine months to complete, but can take twice as long if you try to do it yourself without the help of an experienced immigration law firm like Nalbandian Law in the Los Angeles area. If you want more details about how this process works, please call us, (818) 244-0310, for a consultation.

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Key differences between the two visa types are:

  1. Processing Time
    Spouse visas are normally processed in nine months whereas fiancé/fiancée visas usually take six months. Depending on the complexity of the case, actual processing time may be vary from these average times.
  2. Government Filing Fees
    Filing fees for processing a marriage-based visa case are approximately $900. Fees for processing a fiancé/fiancée visa are approximately $1,800 and include the green card application fee once your loved one arrives in US. Our legal fees for representing you are approximately the same for both visa types.
  3. Location of Marriage
    If you are applying for a fiancé/fiancée visa, you must get married within 90 days of arrival to the United States. For spouse visas, the marriage must take place in the home country.
  4. Proof of Physical Meeting
    For a fiancé/fiancée visa, you need to show proof of having a physical meeting with your loved one within the last two years. This is not required if you are seeking a marriage-based visa.
  5. Visa Denials
    Nalbandian Law attorneys have successfully handled hundreds of fiancé/fiancée  and marriage-based visa cases. If your case has been denied, there are ways in which our office can still assist you:

    • Spouse Visa Denial – USCIS will give you an opportunity several months after your visa interview to rebut the reasons for the denial.  Our attorneys have won nearly all of these rebuttals. As a result, USCIS granted (revalidated) them and sent the revalidations back to the embassy where the visa interview took place. The visas were then issued.
    • Fiancé/Fiancée Visa Denial – You do not have the right to rebut this type of visa denial. The only option open to you after denial is to marry your fiancé and then begin the spouse visa petition process.
  6. In the Event of Divorce
    • Spouse Visa – If you come to the U.S. on a marriage-based visa and get divorced, there are ways to retain your conditional green card if you were married less than two years when you first obtained your green card.
    • Fiancé/Fiancée Visa – If you come to the U.S. on a fiancé visa and don’t marry the petitioner, you cannot get a green card through any other means; the exceptions to this are very limited. However, if you are divorced before your green card interview, you may still be able to adjust your status based on current case law.

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Call Nalbandian Law today, (818) 244-0310, or contact us online for a personal consultation with one of our expert family immigration attorneys about your fiancé/fiancée or spouse visa case. We will review your situation and do our best to reunite you with your loved one.

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Mr. Nalbandian was the lawyer who handled my wife's Green card case. Thanks to him everything went well and at very timely manner. I would recommend him with most confidence.

- Jose Garcia, CA