First, you must be a United States Citizen (if you are a permanent resident then you will need to become a U.S. Citizen before you apply for a fiance visa). Also , if you have committee any crimes in the past you should speak to an immigration lawyer to make sure that you are eligible. You and your fiancée must also be free to marry. If you or your fiancée are going through a divorce then you should wait until your divorce is final before you apply for the fiancé visa. In addition, you must have met your fiancé, face to face (talking to each other via Skype does not fulfill this requirement) within the last 2 years. There are exceptions to the meeting in person in the last 2 years rule, but, if this has not been done then you will want to consult with an immigration attorney to see if you can obtain a waiver for this requirement. If you have not met her in person then you will need to go and visit her before you apply for the k1 fiancé visa. You must also meet income requirements (this is beyond the scope of this article but you need to make sure that you meet these requirements before you file your case) in order to proceed with the case.
You will need to review and complete and then file Form I-129F. You will also need to complete form G-325a. Both of these forms can be obtained at the website of USCIS.
You will also need to, in addition to these forms, provide USCIS proof of your U.S. citizenship (birth certificate, U.S.passport, naturalization certificate). You will also have to prepare a couple of letters( “how we met” and “intent to marry letters”)
In addition, your fiancée will also need to prepare her own G-325a and she will also need to write an intent to marry letter. USCIS will require you to show evidence of your romantic relationship with your fiancee. This is where you will need to prove that you have met your fiance, in person, within the last two years. You can prove this by showing USCIS color copies of the entries in your passport to prove that you visited your fiance’s country in the last two years.
If you have not made any mistakes in your paperwork or evidence then you will receive a Notice of Action from USCIS acknowledging that they have received your petition. After that, USCIS will do a full review of your case. If all goes well then your petition will be approved. USCIS will then mail you an approval notice.
The petition will then be forwarded to the National Visa Center. The National Visa Center will then forward the file to the correct United States Consulate for final processing.
The embassy or consulate will then send your fiance instructions. She will be instructed to gather some additional documents. She will be told to have certain photographs made. She will also have to have a medical exam done.
Finally, she will receive a notice to attend her interview at the U.S. consulate where the case is being processed. She will receive an appointment letter. This will let her know the time and the place of the interview. Of course, she must attend this interview.
If all goes well at the interview then the k1 will be approved.
You should be aware that currently (this can change) fiancé visas are taking longer than they have in the past. You should consult with an immigration attorney in order to determine if a green card based on marriage may make more sense for your situation.
Laws and requirements can and do change. You should always speak to an immigration lawyer before you file any documents with USCIS. At a minimum your case should be reviewed so that you do not incur unnecessary delays. It is not uncommon for simple errors in paperwork to delay cases significantly. You can also jeopardize the entire case by not consulting with an attorney prior to filing your paperwork.
Lawrence Gruner has almost 20 years of experience handling immigration cases. He has office locations throughout northern California. His office handles immigration cases throughout California (including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego and Sacramento) the United States and the World. You may reach us at 888-801-6558 . You may also email us your questions. Attorney Gruner would be happy to review your situation and all of your options.