by John Polivick, Esq.
In this age of the internet more couples are meeting online. I would say a third of my friends who have married within the last 15 years met online. And the internet has no borders, resulting in more international relationships and, of course, marriage. What if you meet someone online, one of you is from outside the U.S. and decide you want to get married? You or your fiance will need to get a K-1 visa, which is fairly straightforward.
First, you must be a U.S. citizen, not just a green card holder or permanent resident. Second, you must both be legally eligible to marry. If you were married before, the divorce or annulment must be final.
Third, you must have a genuine intent to get married. The old days of getting married to get a green card are over, and the penalties are severe. Fourth, you and your fiance must have met face to face within the past two years.
The fiance visa lasts for 90 days, which gives you plenty of time to marry. The non U.S. fiance may get permission to work immediately upon arriving in the U.S.
Unmarried children under 21 can come to the U.S. with your fiance and all may apply for green cards and eventual citizenship.