The Truth About 90 Day Fiance Visas

Life for reality TV stars sure does look dramatic, but those who appear on 90 Day Fiancé seem to have it harder than most as they attempt to secure visas for their loved ones to come to the U.S. In a genre where it's tough to know what's real and what's fake, it's fair to wonder whether getting a K-1 visa is a big a deal as couples on 90 Day Fiancé would have us believe. And while some cast members have admitted that certain interactions on the show are scripted, there is no doubt that navigating U.S. immigration law is as brutal as it is portrayed. 

While most engaged couples have months, or years, to plan a wedding, couples on 90 Day Fiancé literally have 90 days to decide whether they are right for each other and to tie the knot, and that's all because of the rules that go along that K-1 visa (via TLC).

The K-1 visas on 90 Day Fiance reflect actual U.S. immigration law

Every CRS Report says that when an American decides to marry someone from another country, he or she needs to file a petition to get their future spouse into the U.S. To get this petition approved, the American needs to provide proof that they've met their future spouse in person within two years of when the petition was filed, that the parties really want to get married, and that they are willing to marry within 90 days after the non-U.S. national lands in America. But the petition is just the first step.

Once all that is proven, the prospective fiancé needs to prove that he or she is eligible to enter the U.S. The non-U.S. partner then is subjected to a security check to ensure they meet the Department of Homeland Security's counter-terrorism requirements (and this is when prior criminal convictions on both sides may be uncovered). When his or her K-1 visa is approved, the fiancé can travel to the United States. The day a fiancé lands is the time the 90 day clock starts to tick, and he or she begins what can only be described as a high-stress lightning round of meeting future American family and friends, as well as getting to know a prospective spouse's culture before a wedding needs to take place. If the couple doesn't marry within 90 days, the fiancé has no choice but to return to their home country. 

No wonder 90 Day Fiancé comes with so much drama — imagine the pressure!