The Differences Between A Fiance Visa And A Marriage Green Card

Choosing to become a resident of the United States means that you are ready to brace yourself for the long and challenging road ahead. If you want to be a United States citizen, you have to get a residency card, or green card, and then you have to live in the States for five years. You can shorten the time to three years if you marry a U.S. citizen. There is also the "fiance visa," but that is different from a green card. Here is what makes these two documents different, and why you may need a fiance visa lawyer for the latter. 

You Were Both Married Here vs. You Were Engaged in Another Country

A marriage green card means that you are both living in the U.S. at the time of your marriage. In order for your spouse to stay and not have to return to his/her native country, he/she has to be the one to file for the green card. "Marriage to a citizen of the United States" has to be the reason ticked off in the application for this type of green card. 

A fiance visa, however, means that you went to another country, fell in love and/or agreed to an arranged marriage, and became engaged in the other country. Now you want to bring your fiance to the states to be married. You are the one who applies for this type of visa, not your fiance, because your fiance is not here in this country at this time. The responsibility for legal documentation falls to you instead of to your future spouse, the opposite sort of situation from the marriage green card. 

The Marriage Green Card Requires That Both of You Be Verbally Tested after One Year

Since there are hundreds of people that regularly come to the U.S. to marry in order to obtain a green card, the government came up with a unique way to verify which marriages are the real things and which are not. If your partner was in the U.S., and the two of you met and married, in one year's time from applying and receiving the green card, both of you have to undergo a verbal exam to make sure that you are living together and know enough about each other to make the marriage valid. No tests are required for the fiance visa, but your fiance may still have to be cleared by the American government to reside in the United States. Check out a fiance visa attorney in your area for more information.