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What is a K-1 Visa?
Basically a K-1 Visa (commonly known as a fiance visa) is a non-immigrant Visa which is issued to a fiance of a citizen of the United States. This type of Visa allows the Visa holder to enter the United States for up to 90 days with the purpose of getting married and filing for an adjustment of status where the Visa holder will become a permanent resident of the United States, In other words become a green card holder. As long as you filed for the adjustment of status you may continue to reside in the United States after your 90-day K-1 Visa validity while waiting for the adjustment status to be processed. If your non US citizen fiance has children under 21 years of age and not married AK to non-immigrant Visa may also be available for them. You need to make sure to include their names on the i-129F petition.
Who exactly is eligible to file?
a US citizen who will be getting married to a foreign National inside of the United States May petition for a K-1 fiance visa. Both the American citizen and the foreign National must be eligible to marry. the both of you are unmarried and all previous marriages have ended either through divorce death or annulment. Another requirement is you must have met with your fiance in person within the last 2 years Leading up to your K1 visa application (filing the i-129f). This requirement may only be waived if meeting the foreign fiance violates long-established customs or might create extreme hardship for the US citizen.
Required forms to file for a K-1 fiance visa.
- G-1145 (optional)
*Note: These forms can be filled out on your computer and print it. You’re required to sign and date them. Anything you can’t fit by typing you can hand write in black ink in the blank space provided. Always verify that the forms are current at www.uscis.gov
- Your payment is required by the USCIS. It’s best to use a personal check so you can track the payment. however money orders are also accepted.
- A cover letter. It should include a description of what you’re petitioning (i-129f), a complete table of contents. If you’ll be needing additional room to explain your case just attach a separate piece of paper. Make sure to list those additional sheets on the table of contents. Also sign and date that cover sheet along with those extra sheets
- The form i-129F which is the “Alien Fiance”
- You’ll need original statements from both the foreign fiance and US citizen which certifies your intent on marriage within 90 days of entering the USA on a valid K-1 Visa.
- You need to provide proof of having met within the last two years. The way you need to organize this information is by creating a single typed up page which with the following elements: #1 Title the page ‘Evidence of In-Person Meeting in the last 2 years’:#2 A description of how you met which should match what you stated in Part 2 Question 53-54 on your i-129F. #3 The list of evidence you are providing; #4 Your printed name with your signature and the date. Following this page you need to provide the evidence you just listed.
- You need a passport photo (US citizen passport photo). Make sure to follow the guidelines of a 2×2 passport photo. Write the name of the US citizen on the back. Place in a small plastic bag and attach to a sheet of paper. Place this sheet of paper behind the corresponding i-129F
- Foreign Fiance passport photo. Do the same thing in you did in step 6. Write name of foreign fiance on the back, put in plastic bag, attach to sheet of paper and place that behind the corresponding i-129F.
- Establish your citizenship by attaching a copy of your Birth certificate, make sure you have the front and the back. Or you can photocopy your passport (all pages) with a validity of at least 5 years. The last option is is a copy of your naturalization certificate (front and back).
- You need a copy of the divorce decrees for both the US citizen and the foreign fiance if either has been previously married. If past marriages ended due to death you need to provide a copy of the death certificates.
- Proof of any legal name changes for both the US Citizen and the foreign fiance if any other name is being used besides the ones on the original documents. Give USCIS copies of any legal documents that made the change which may include marriage certificates, adoption decrees or court orders.
- For part 3 of the i-129F. If it is applicable you need to provide certified copies of any and all police or court records showing charges and dispositions for any specified convictions. Take a look at part 3 of the I-129F instructions if you need additional information.
Attaching your E-Notification G-1145 form.
This is option but recommended so that you get email and or text message alerts when your application is received. Fill out and attach this page to the top of your packet on top of your cover letter.
Mailing the i-129F Package to the USCIS
You need to complete the entire package including your evidence, make sure it’s in the correct order then mail it to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox. Make sure you mail it with a return receipt requested or delivery confirmation and send it via USPS.
You should make two copies of the entire package before you send it. The entire package along with copies of the money orders as well this way you have two exact copies besides the original forms you are sending in. Remember the forms you are sending must be the originals with the signatures on them. Only send copies of your supporting documents and make sure you keep the originals in case of an RFE. If you do get an RFE follow the directions EXACTLY. Make sure to have copies of the follow up documents that they request. During any in-person interviews make sure to bring your copies as well as your original supporting documents which may need to be inspected.
You’ll need to send your fiance some documents once your i-129F is approved and you receive your NOA2:
- Send a copy of the entire i-129F package. Also send copies of any additional information you might have sent in due to an RFE. Your fiance should study this information in advance of the interview as the embassy will have a copy as well.
- Send copies of all the documentary proof that you had submitted with your i-129F. Your fiance should study this as well.
- Send an original letter which affirms your desire to continue the K-1 visa process as well as your intent on marrying your fiance. Make sure you sign and date this form. This will be similar to the letter you provided in your i-129F only with a date that is much closer to the interview date which will have likely been a few months after you sent your original petition in.
- You need to send your fiance a i-134 Affidavit of support form. Make sure it is signed and completely filled out along with all the required supporting evidence. You should begin collecting this as soon as possible because it will likely take you several weeks to collect the required evidence.
- For the above form you need to have duplicate evidence of your income and resources. Here is what you need:
#1 A bank statement printed by your bank which shows (A) date your account was opened (b) total amount deposited over the past year (c) your current balance. #2 A statement from your employer on their letterhead/stationary which states (A) the date and nature of your employment (B) salary paid (c) if your position is temporary or permanent, you also need to include your last two pay stubs and your W-2 for this associated employer if available. #3 If you are self employed (A) A copy of your last tax return filed or your IRS transcripts. OR a report of commercial rating concern & a list that contains serial numbers and the denominations of bonds with the names of the record owner(s).
- Make sure you have a copy of your NOA2 that you had received in the mail. (Keep in mind the embassy has copies of all this information as well)
- You also need to send her proof of your ongoing relationship which needs to go with her to the interview! You should include travel documents, emails, online chat logs and anything else which can help prove your ongoing relationship. The more the better and all of this evidence needs to go with her to the interview.
NOTE: In regards to vaccination records
Before your interview the K-1/2 beneficiaries are required to take a “medical” exam. Your current vaccinations will be examined and additional vaccinations may be performed. You will be given documentation which states their vaccination findings. You may or may not be provided with a copy of the DS-3025, but in the packet which will be given after the medical examination there will be an equivalent document. Don’t open the packet!
After the K-1 visa is approved:
The beneficiary must be married to the i-129F petitioner within the 90 days allotted. If this marriage does not take place or the beneficiary marries someone else the beneficiary must leave the country. There will be no extensions given to the K-1 visa holder.
After the marriage the K-1 visa holder should apply for a “green card” to become a permanent resident if he/she would like to work in the USA.
A K-1 visa holder can only enter using the visa 1 time. After entering the K-1 visa is cancelled & a Electronic i-94 is issued upon entry which will be considered a controlling document. If the K-1 visa holder would happen to leave the country before getting married the foreign fiance would be required to get another visa. If the K-1 entrant is awaiting an adjustment of status the K-1 entrant must not leave the united states without having an approved advance parole application granted, doing so will result in the abandonment of the petition, be warned though even approved Advance Parole does not guarantee re-entry.