Qualifications for a U.S. Fiancé Visa | Gay and Lesbian Immigration
Intent to Marry
To initially qualify to file a fiancé visa petition, a Filipino or Filipina citizen, who is the fiancé visa applicant, and his or her U.S. citizen partner must have a mutual and sincere intent to marry.
The couple must have met in person at least once during the previous two years to qualify as fiancé visa applicants. Exceptions for the in-person meeting are granted in situations of extreme difficulty or contrasting culture, such as long-established belief in couples not to see each other before the wedding. Exceptions, however, are rarely granted for instances of financial hardship.
Legally Free to Marry
Each member of the couple must be legally free to marry, meaning both must be single, with any previous marriages lawfully terminated. A previous marriage celebrated in the Philippines can only be ended by death or annulment since the Philippines does not legally recognize divorce within the country. If the marriage occurred in the United States, death, annulment, or divorce can terminate the previous marriage.
Proof of Relationship
The intended couple, whether gay or straight, must prove legitimacy of the relationship and the intention to build a life together in the United States. Documentation is very essential in the process including photographs, phone records, online chats, emails and letters, joint financial commitments, friends or family affirmations, and joint travel documents, which can all be evidence for the application.
Same Standard for Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Couples
The U.S. Embassy in Manila and the USCIS has proclaimed that fiancé visa petitions of same-sex and opposite-sex couples are evaluated under the exact same standard.
For more information on Fiancé Visas, please refer to one of the following topics:
- Process in Applying for a U.S. Fiancé Visa in the Philippines
- Gay and Lesbian Fiancé Visas at the U.S. Embassy, Manila
- How to Prove Eligibility in a Fiancé Visa Case in Manila
- What to Expect at the Fiancé Visa Medical Exam in Manila
- What to Expect during the Fiancé Visa Interview in Manila
- Adjustment of Status for Same-sex Couples