If you are interested in finding out accurate and up to date information on how to file a for Fiancé(e) Visa petition, please read through our K1/K2 Fiancé(e) Immigration Visa Application Guide to make sure that you have everything you need to go through the Immigration process smoothly.
What is a K-1 Visa?
The Fiancé(e) Visa also referred to as (K-1 Visa) is issued to a foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. Citizen. U.S. Immigration laws have strict procedures to lawfully identify a foreign-citizen as the fiancé(e) of a U.S. Citizen. The K-1 Visa only permits the recipient to travel to the U.S. and marry his or her U.S. Citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of arrival to the United States. After marriage, the K-1 Visa holder can apply for Lawful Permanent Resident Card, (Green Card) by filing an adjustment of status petition.
What is a K-2 Visa?
The K-2 Visa is given to children below 21 years old of an approved K-1 Visa holder. K-2 Visa holders can study, work, and reside in the U.S. while they await the marriage of their parent if they are a K-1 Visa holder. K-2 Visa holders cannot change their nonimmigrant status into another nonimmigrant status like B-2 Tourist Visa or F, M Student Visa. If the K-2 Visa applicant has any criminal record, the applicant may be barred from entering the U.S.
First Stage: Check your eligibility
To be able to apply for a K-1 Visa, the applicant must be legally able to marry before the U.S. Citizen files for a petition. Both the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) and the U.S. petitioner must be legally separated, annulled, or divorced from their previous marriage. Supporting legal documents are required to prove their marriage eligibility. Widows and widowers are required to produce their late spouse’s death certificate. Separated and annulled parties would have to include a final decree of divorce or a decree of nullity to prove the divorce or dissolution of marriage. The U.S. petitioner must prove that they, or another U.S. citizen can support their beneficiary (fiancé) financially, and they must have met face-to-face at least once in the past two years. If anyone has been convicted of a crime, especially related to immigration laws of the United States, a copy of their criminal record needs to be submitted as well.
Do you need legal assistance?
If you have problems procuring documents to support your petition, your best course of action is to contact a lawyer to discuss your options. Immigration lawyers can give you valuable advice to complete the requirements for your petition. The K-1 Visa is just one way for petitioners to have their fiancé(e) to come live with them in the U.S.. Other options like the CR-1 Visa may be a better option for you, depending on the circumstances. The legal advice of an immigration lawyer can best help you decide which path to take to make it more convenient for you.
Second Stage: The filing process
The Fiancé(e) Visa process is initiated by the U.S. Petitioner by filing an I-129F petition for Alien fiancé(e) form. The I-129F is a collection of requirements needed by the USCIS to process a petition filed by a U.S. petitioner. The items required are about establishing identity and proof of an ongoing relationship. Petitioners can use colored photographs, airline tickets, passport stamps, train tickets, and even vacation itineraries to support their claim of an ongoing relationship.
For U.S. Petitioners
It’s best to keep proof of your face-to-face meeting as much as possible. Doing so will not only prove your face-to-face meetings, but that an ongoing relationship exists as well. A series of well-documented meetings will make the Fiancé(e) Visa process simpler. Also, make sure to triple-check every document required on your I-129F package including birth certificates, final divorce decrees, death certificates (for widow/widowers) and other documents required by the form.
After sending the I-129F form, you can expect two Notice Of Action (NOA) notifications from USCIS in the United States.
- The first NOA typically comes within 2-3 weeks after receipt, which generally notifies you that the package you’ve sent has been opened.
- The second NOA notifies you that your petition has been approved. Your package then gets forwarded from the USCIS, to the NVC, and to the U.S. Embassy in your fiancé(e)’s country. You will receive a letter from the U.S. Embassy that they have received your petition.
Once your sponsor has been notified by the U.S. Embassy, you can then contact the Embassy regarding your Fiancé(e) Visa Petition. The U.S. Embassy typically sends out the forms and the list for requirements a week after the processing of your visa. Read through the requirements and make sure that every document required is submitted. Several of the documents would need to be submitted in a timely manner to avoid delays in the visa petition and some documents will need to be submitted at the interview. During this process, you will be required to undergo a mandatory Medical Examination done by a clinic or hospital accredited by the U.S. Embassy. Many countries have a designated medical facility that performs these examinations.
The interview date for your Fiancé(e) Visa may be set before your medical examination. Some U.S. embassies require the medical examination be performed on the same day before of your interview. The U.S. has strict health regulation procedures that tests applicants for diseases that are already controlled, or completely eradicated in the United States. The medical examination is usually completed in one day, but for some patients that have tested positive, or had shown signs of a disease – especially Tuberculosis, the tests and recovery process may be extended from a week up to 6 months. Upon clearance, you would be able to enter the premises of the U.S. Embassy, where your interview with a U.S. Consulate would take place.
Third Stage: The Interview Process
When preparing for your interview, it is vital that you have all of the necessary documents prior to the interview, especially your proof of a bona fide relationship with your fiancé(e). If you are planning to use photos on your mobile phone, it’s best if you have them printed or developed since majority of the U.S. Embassies do not allow mobile devices inside the premises. While at the interview with the U.S. consulate, answer every question as truthfully as possible. The consulate would most likely want to confirm your relationship with your fiancé(e), so establishing a bona fide relationship through photos, and stories of your relationship together would help your case. Also, if there are any crimes you may have committed, it’s best to be truthful and disclose all relevant information the U.S. Consulate officer immediately. Remember that prior to your interview, your case has been reviewed by no less than 4 U.S. agencies, and hiding facts like those would most likely weigh you down.
To prepare for your interview, it is advised to have a practice interview with an immigration lawyer to nail down all the right points. An immigration lawyer can help you convey your message accurately to an American consulate. An immigration lawyer can help you avoid the pitfalls of the immigration process. Also, having a lawyer to advise you on legal matters concerning your immigration application can help you tackle all the requirements of the U.S. Immigration laws. An immigration lawyer’s primary concern is to help you comply with all of the U.S. Immigration requirements to avoid any delays or possible denials in your visa petition.
Fourth Stage: Approval and travel to the U.S.
The U.S. Embassy’s decision on your visa petition is typically issued within a day and can take up to a week. Once approved, you will be eligible to travel to the United States within 6 months after the issuance of your K-1 Visa. Upon arrival to the U.S. you must submit your K-1 Visa to the immigration officer. You can apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) the day after your arrival to be able to open bank accounts, apply for work, and in some states, have a driver’s license. You must also apply for a marriage license within 90 days of your arrival. Those who are not able to marry within 90 days will be required to depart the U.S. within 30 days after the deadline or you will be in violation of U.S. immigration laws. A K-1 Visa holder cannot adjust status to any other type of a visa while in the U.S. and this immigration law is strictly enforced.
If you need legal assistance with your K-1/K-2 immigrant visa application, please contact the Law Office of Spojmie Nasiri, Immigration Legal Services at 925-520-5195. Hablas español? 888-597-3501