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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes……consular processing?

Let’s face it: people love to be in love.  As the famous playground tune, sung in numerous languages and versions around the world, goes: “[Name] and [Name] sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, then comes marriage…” the institution of marriage is recognized by many cultures as the next step in the circle life once a couple has falling in love.

The great thing about love is that it knows no boundaries; religious, cultural or geographic.  As immigration lawyers, we see this day in and day out as people come to our office looking to bring their foreign fiancées, husbands or wives to the US.  Perhaps they met while studying abroad, travelling for pleasure or business, or online.  Regardless of how they met or the nature of their relationship, the common denominator among them all is that they are in love and want to start a life together in the US.

For individuals trying to bring their fiancée to the US, there are many considerations to take into account.  The process of obtaining the fiancée visa itself is complex and in some countries, may take a year or more to complete. During this time, the foreign national must remain in his or her home country until the visa process has been completed. Many couples fail to understand that immigration law requires that the wedding take place within 90 days of the fiancée entering the U.S. on their K-1 fiancée visa.  As if wedding plans aren’t difficult enough, trying to work out immigration papers in the midst of planning the big day can be a nightmare.

Depending on a couple’s cultural or religious traditions, they may prefer to get married abroad, in lieu of, or in addition to, having a more westernized wedding ceremony.  When a couple marries abroad and decides to process their immigrant visa at the local US consulate, the processing times and potential delays can be discouraging, especially given personal considerations such as family planning and employment goals.

Whether it’s investigating the qualifications for applying at a particular consular post, evaluating the reputation of a consulate to determine where a foreign national should process their immigrant visa or fiancée visa application, or helping the client present a flawless application proving up the bona fides of their relationship, our firm guides our clients through every step of this daunting process to ensure that their immigration matters don’t get in the way of their happily ever after.