K1 Visa Process that last approximately 5-6 months includes several stages.
- USCIS Filing
On this stage petitioner (only the US citizen!) files petition for fiancée visa. He must mail the filled in Form I-129F and a check for $535 (official fee for I-129F).
- Getting NOA1
In a fortnight after you have mailed I-129 Form to USCIS, you will get an official Notice of Action (NOA1). This paper just contains the information that they have got your case.
- Getting NOA2
The longest period in K1 process is the time between NOA1 and NOA2. The second document will inform you if you are denied or approved for the further actions.NOA2 (like NOA1) is always mailed. In case of an approval you must not do anything at this stage. When you get an RFE, you should find the evidence that USCIS requires from you.
- In NVC
There are two service centers in the USA dealing with these visas, and they are located in California and in Vermont. Sometimes one center seems to work faster than another one, but in average they complete their work in approximately same period. At this stage the center dealing with your case forwards it to the National Visa Center. Usually, it happens after 10-15 days after an approval. National Visa Center checks your fiancée security. During this stage you won’t get anything mailed for you. However, you can always check if the NVC has got the file — just call 603-334-0700 or write an e-mail at NVCINQUIRY@state.gov.
- From NVC to Embassy
In approximately a month after the previous stage, your K1 petition, being approved, goes to the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Naturally, it will happen only when your fiancée criminal history is clean. Then this Bureau will send you’re the package containing the file to the Embassy of the USA located in the country of your fiancée.
- The USA Embassy letter
When approximately a week passes since the time you received the K1 visa petition, you’ll get the USA embassy letter. It will contain all the instructions about future Medical exam and the interview. You must not be present at the interview, however the USA consulates in certain countries will let you doing it.
- Preparing documents for Embassy
Some documents must be returned to the Embassy, whereas the rest of them must be kept till the interview day and hour.
- Medical Exam stage
Medical exam is obligatory to each fiancée. The Embassy of United States will send you the package with the papers explaining how and where your fiancée must pass this exam. The exam is traditionally paid in currency of your fiancée country and in the medical establishment she takes a medical exam. The USA side cannot pay this fee.
Interview in the USA Embassy
At the appointed date your fiancée must come to the Embassy of the USA. She must have her international passport with her as well as the passports and other documents of each of her children. In case kids plan to go to the USA with your fiancée, they must be given K2 visa. Children on this visa type must be present at the interview physically. The interview is also paid directly inside the Embassy. This fee is equal to $265. American petitioner should not attend the interview, while your sponsor can do it just to help your fiancée. Your fiancée must be ready for a short 10-15 minutes talk with an officer. She will answer some of his questions about her future husband, his family, plans for wedding, future, etc.
10. Getting an issued visa
Sometimes your fiancée can get K1 soon after the interview. However, the fiancée can wait for it for 2-5 days. It can be taken in the special window in the Embassy. K1 visa is not a separate paper or a document but a square decal placed inside the passport of a beneficiary. After getting K1 you can buy airplane tickets for your fiancée and her children on K2.
11. Travelling to the USA
After getting K1 your fiancée must use this visa within half a year — she must enter America. The USA Embassy will give her a sealed package containing documents. These documents (only sealed!) should be surrendered in airport at the Port of Entry. Your sponsor must not travel with your fiancée. She has to do it herself.
Your wedding ceremony
The petitioner is obliged to marry his fiancée who entered the USA on K1 within 3 months; otherwise, she must leave the country when this time is over. This “90-days period” starts not when the visa is issued, but at the time your fiancée enters the airport. Beneficiary is allowed to marry only the individual mentioned in petition. After that the AOS should be filed and the process of getting GK by beneficiary must be started. No one beneficiary can start her work in the USA until the AOS is filed.
K1 process — extra aspects of a fiancée visa
K2 visa for children
The kids of your fiancée (persons only under 21 and who are not married yet) can get a K2 visa. Each of them should be included into I-129F during the process of filing fiancée visa petition.
The work in the USA for K1 holders
Soon after coming to United States, your fiancée may file Form I-765 — it gives an individual the right to work in the USA. The process of getting Application for Employment Authorization can last 2-3 months.
HIV/AIDS and Fiancée visa
Since January 4, 2010, people infected with HIV can to enter the USA. Before they had to file Form I-690 informing about their HIV infection. Now it is not required.
Events that can disqualify K1
The fiancée visa applicant will be not given K1 in certain cases. So that the person will be disqualified for a fiancée visa she or he:
— Has done some criminal acts including prostitution, drug dealing, homicide;
— Is a drug addict;
— Has a dangerous communicable disease but not HIV/AIDS;
— Can become a public charge;
— Has a strong mental disorder;
— Tried to enter the USA illegally before.
In case you have met your fiancée through any international marriage broker (IMB), and want to apply for K1, you are obliged to tell USCIS about this fact. IMB is the company, a person or a corporation that takes money (fee) for their services of matchmaking, marriage, dating. IMB must have a legal status.
These are not international marriage brokers:
Matchmaking companies organized in accordance with religious preferences of people or their cultural nature. These companies are non-profit and always comply with the laws of the country they are registered and work in.
- All dating services, in case when their main task and business is not providing matchmaking between the citizens of the USA and foreigners. They must always charge for their services, both for men and women, or charge for men only while all women can use their services free. For instance, when the citizen of the USA registries in some of these agencies or on dating sites, he pays money for all the services, whereas women use them for free.
Many K1 visas applications
Those persons, who filed 2 or even more petitions for fiancée visa, should apply for a waiver. The same thing should be done if during last two years at least one K1 was approved. The person requesting a waiver must state in his letter each fact about ex-filings. Stating that you are requesting a waiver, you must send this letter together with the K1 petition.
Coming to the USA on other visa types (not a fiancée visa)
When the person brings a fiancée to marry this individual in the United States, but does it not through the K1 visa, it is a fraud or a scam. Neither visit nor tourist visas give the foreigner who “eventually” married the USA citizen when staying in the USA on a visit, the right to stay in America and live there. This person will be deported. Besides paying penalties for this immigration fraud, there is a more strict punishment for all law violators — imprisonment.
K1 for a person staying in the USA illegally
When your fiancée stays in the USA illegally, you will be not given K1. Make an appointment to meet an immigration attorney and talk to him before leaving the USA.