The Pakistani woman killed in a shootout with police after the San Bernardino massacre, entered the U.S. through a visa program for foreigners engaged to American citizens, federal government sources told NBC News.
Tashfeen Malik, 27, received a fiancé visa, known as a K-1 visa, which allows a foreign fiancé to travel to the U.S. for a wedding within 90 days. Malik married the other suspected shooter, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, about two years ago, a family member told NBC News.
The fiancé visa program has one of the more rigorous security screening processes. It requires an applicant to submit a standard non-immigrant form, with personal and security questions, plus certificates from police in every country an applicant has lived for over six months, a medical examination, a passport, documentation of financial support, proof of the relationship with a U.S. citizen and various fees.
"If you're bringing a fiancé to the U.S., there's more scrutiny for that than for tourist visas," said David Seminara, a former diplomat who authored a report about "Green Card Marriages" for the Center for Immigration Studies.