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The laws regarding Fiance and Engagement Visas to the United States and Israel vary greatly between the two countries.

In order to obtain a Fiance visa to the United States a U.S. Citizen must petition to the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of the Fiance.  The Petition will include the relevant Official Fees, Official Forms, Passport size photos of the Petitioner and the Beneficiary, evidence of the acquaintanceship, and financial evidence that the Petitioner can guarantee that the Beneficiary Fiance will not become a Public Charge after entering the United States.

The Engagement Visa takes between six months to a year to adjudicate.  After the Beneficiary enters the United States he or she must marry the Petitioner within three months and promptly file for an adjustment of status to that of an Immigrant Legal Permanent Resident or depart the country, if no marriage takes place.

A Fiance Visa is a Temporary Visa to the United States with a limited validity of 3 months as noted above.  In the United States, there is no such thing as an Immigrant or Permanent Resident Visa/Status for Alien Life Partners in Domestic relationships with U.S. Citizens (neither in the case of heterosexual relationships or same-sex relationships).

On the other hand, Life Partner Domestic Relationships in Israel is far more developed – not necessarily because Israel is a liberal country but rather by virtue of the fact that the Religious Courts in Israel have sole jurisdiction over Marriage and Divorce in the Country. The Religious Courts will not perform or sanction Inter-Faith Marriages and they have sole jurisdiction over determining who is a Jew (or Christian or Muslim or other- as the case may be).

There are a staggering number of citizens in Israel (approximately 400,000) who are denied the basic human right of marriage inside of their own country.  Israeli couples who marry abroad can now be registered as married in Israel, but the Ministry of Interior does not make this easy. This is because the law precluding interfaith marriage in the county has resulted in a plethora of Court ruling awarding equality under the members of domestic life partnerships where public and private benefits are concerned.  Perhaps, since this is true, the Courts have not hesitated to accord the same rights to members of same-sex domestic life partnerships.

As a result of the court rulings Israeli Citizens who wish to petition for status in Israel on behalf of their life partners (heterosexual or same-sex) may do so at the Ministry of Interior with little difficulty (or at least with identical difficulty as their married friends) and are recognized (almost) equally under the Israeli immigration laws for this purpose.

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