Overview of the Fiancé Visa Process
A K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa, is a travel visa which permits the foreign fiancé of an American citizen to visit the United States for three months to get married. A fiancé visa is typically issued when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has been convinced that the couple applying for the visa is getting married. There are plenty of other requirements and overall the process is quite lengthy and detailed.
To initiate the process the American citizen must file what is known as a Petition for Alien Fiancé or Form I-129F. At the moment, form I-129f is only three pages in length but the form does request and require several documents to be gathered and returned. You can actually download the form and find more information on it from this page here: http://www.uscis.gov/i-129f.
You will have to fill out the form in its entirety and unfortunately any omissions or mistakes in the process will lead to additional delays and possible rejection of your application. If time is of the essence, you may want to consider consulting with or hiring an experienced immigration attorney to take care of the application process for you.
The form will require the American citizen to answer questions about himself and his fiancé. In addition you will also have to describe in detail how the two of you met. One requirement of a fiancé visa is that the couple have met at least once in the past two years and provide documentation of the meeting. Documentation and proof of the legitimacy of the relationship can be satisfied by providing travel receipts of any time the couple has met such as hotel receipts, plane tickets, passport stamps and the like. You can also provide any evidence of correspondence between the two of you such as any mailed letters of receipts of long-distance calls.
The American citizen will also have to provide a copy of his birth certificate or his certificate of naturalization. Other requirements are:
- Forms G-325A (biographic information) for each of you
- If either of you have been married in the past you will have to provide a divorce decree o death certificate as proof that you are legally free to marry
- Evidence that you will be able to financially support your fiancé once she arrives in the country
- Passport style photos of each of you
- Payment of all required fees
- You should also provide a cover letter and preferably a table of contents to explain and detail the contents of your application/submission
Once you have completely assembled your package, it is strongly recommended that you make a carbon copy of the entire submission if at all possible. Having a copy on hand is critical should UISCIS need to communicate with you about your application. In addition, if your application is accepted it is also strongly recommended that you forward the copy of your application to your fiancé to help her out during the visa interview.
If your application is accepted, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center for further processing. If the National Visa Center approves your application, they will forward it to the Consulate or Embassy nearest your fiancé. The Embassy or Consulate will send out a package letting your fiancé know that they have received a visa application for her. The package will include directions on what documents and information she needs to return immediately, which documents and information she needs to prepare for the upcoming visa interview, instruction on how to schedule a necessary medical examination and which doctors she can schedule it with and finally instructions on how and when to schedule the visa interview where it will be decided if the visa will be granted or not.
If the visa is granted, the foreign fiancé will be given six months to make plans to travel to the U.S. and three months to get married to her American sponsor and change her status to that of legal permanent resident. It’s important to note that once the three month period elapses, the visa will expire.