Fiancée visas for Russian brides or grooms

Russian Finance Immigration Visa

Are you marrying a Russian citizen? This is information you need to know! And by the way, this information also applies to Belarusian and Ukrainian brides. The only difference is the location of the immigration interview.

Special note

Note: Your Russian bride or groom will have to travel to Moscow for an interview at the U.S. embassy (Ukrainian brides must travel to Kyiv and Belarusian brides must travel to Minsk). Also, please see below for information on the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act.

These visas are for U.S. citizens who want to marry Russians and have their wedding in the U.S. They are called K-1 visas. If your fiancé(e) has children that will be coming with him/her, then you will apply for the children to have K-2 visas.

For a fiancée visa, you must show that:

  • You are a U.S. citizen.
  • You plan to marry within 90 days of your Russian fiancé(e) entering the United States.
  • You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry. This means that any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
  • You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing for the visa.
  • These visas are also available for same-sex couples.

After the Fiancé(e) Visa is Issued

The fiancé(e) visa allows your bride or groom to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. After you marry, your spouse must apply for permanent resident status.

Children of Fiancé(e)s

If your bride or groom has a child (under 21 and unmarried), you can request a K-2 visa for the child.

Permission to Work

Honestly, this procedure is a bit of a mess. Once your Russian fiancé(e) comes to the U.S., s/he can immediately apply for permission to work. The catch, though, is that it usually takes the immigration service about 90 days to actually send the card to your fiancé(e) and the card is only good for those 90 days anyway. So applying for permission to work is effectively pointless. Luckily, after you marry s/he can immediately apply for permanent residence.

What happens if we do not marry within 90 days?

Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended. Your fiancé(e) will have to leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If s/he doesn’t leave, s/he could be deported.

Are you sure you want to do a fiancée visa? Consider marrying your bride or groom in Russia.

Permanent residence through a fiancée visa requires three separate processes: the initial petition, the consular process, and the residency application in the United States. In contrast, if you marry your fiancé(e) in Russia there are only two processes: the initial application and the consular process. If you choose the latter option, when your spouse enters the United States he or she will already be approved for permanent residence. For more information, see our page on marriage issues (link here).

International Marriage Broker issues

Did you meet your fiancée through the Internet, for example on a site such as http://www.elenasmodels.com/ or http://www.russiancupid.com ? Depending on the way the site is set up, it is possible that you may need to provide some additional and documents with your immigration application in order to comply with the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act. For example, you may have to get some documentation from the website operator and you may need to provide your criminal history to immigration authorities. This is a tricky area. Here is some additional information.

For more information on the law, see the State Department’s page