By now you may have come across a reality TV show called “90 Day Fiance”. This show is about couples who after surviving a long distance romance, have received their fiance visas, and are now together in the USA.
The rules for a Fiance Visa is that the couple must marry before the foreign fiance has been in the USA for over 90 days. If not, then the fiance must leave returning to his or her home country on day 90.
Thus the title 90 day Fiancee. Because during the 90 days, while the couple is getting to know each other better, experiencing life in the USA, checking out the American’s lifestyle, family and friends, and are finally coming to the decision whether or not they are going to actually marry a sound and film crew follows them about, capturing every private and potentially dramatic moment.
So far about 25 couples have been featured over 5 seasons. Even one of VisaCoach’s couples starred in Season 3. I am pleased to report they have passed the test of time, and are still a solid couple, still married and recently gave birth to their daughter.
The normal Fiance Visa process process is as follows: an American falls in love with someone from outside the USA. They want to marry, and get engaged. They want to live together in the USA. Finally to bring the foreign fiancee to the USA they must undergo a complicated and slow process to obtain permission to bring the foreign-born fiancee to the US.
And this is where VisaCoach comes in. I help the couple by preparing their applications and guiding them each step along the way. I help them apply for what is called a K-1 fiancee visa. Once the visa is approved, it allows the foreign born fiancee to travel to the USA.
Usually, once the couple arrives to the USA my job is done. And now it’s time for lights and cameras.
The conditions of a fiance visa are that the foreign fiance has 90 days to marry, or leave the USA.
Upon arrival the foreign born fiance is clearly instructed by the customs and border patrol inspecting officer. “You may marry if you like. And you may apply to stay after marriage. You are not required or forced to marry. Do not marry if you don’t want to. However if by the end of the 90 days you have not married, then you must leave the USA.”
The couple has already met each other, already had a long distance courtship, but the foreign born fiance has probably never been to the USA, and has never experienced what the lifestyle of her or his American fiancee is like, has never met his or her family, or friends. Never seen where and how the American lives. Before it was all short vacations and travel to exotic locations to spend brief romantic times together.
Now it is REAL LIFE.
The reality show follows the couple around and we can observe what happens as the couple spends time together with the reality that a wedding is imminent. And they have only 90 days to really get to know each other resolve any doubts or misgivings. They and the TV audience want to know.
Has the couple chosen wisely?
Are both sincere?
Is this a case of true love or sham ?
Will cultural and language differences be overcome?
This is the excitement and drama of the show. It is a guilty pleasure to watch each couple, root for some, despise some and make ones own opinions whether they are a good match or not.
Most couples who apply for Fiancee Visas, are totally sincere. They have corresponded for months even years. Through internet and free chat and web cams they have gotten to know each other very well.
Most report spending hours each day, chatting together. Often logging on on first waking in the morning, then logging off when it is time to sleep. For these couples they don’t need 90 days to make up their minds.
Most marry within days or weeks of arrival to the USA.
By Fred Wahl