A U.S. citizen who wishes to marry a non-U.S. citizen or permanent resident can help their fiancé(e) obtain permanent residence in different ways.
One way is to apply for a fiancé(e) visa if your fiancé(e) is overseas and you want to marry in the United States. This visa lets your fiancé(e) enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place in the United States. Once you marry, your spouse can apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while we process the application. If you choose this method, file a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). An I-129F is available in the “forms” section of our website at www. uscis.gov. If we approve the I-129F, we will send it to the National Visa Center, which will process and forward it to the U.S. Embassy or consulate nearest your fiancé(e)’s foreign place of residence. The embassy or consulate will then invite him or her to apply for the actual fiancé(e) visa.
Another way is to marry your fiancé(e) overseas. If you marry overseas, you can then file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for your new spouse. For more information about the I-130 relative petition for a spouse, please see customer guide A1, I Am a U.S. Citizen...How Do I...Help My Relative Become a Permanent Resident of the United States?
If your fiancé(e) is already in the United States in another legal immigration status and you want to marry in the United States, please see customer guide A1 about filing an I-130 relative petition after you marry.