This blog will outline the supporting documents essential for each of the three stages involved in the K-1 Fiance Visa application process.
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To Do’s Before You File K-1 Fiance Visa
Before initiating the Fiance Visa application, it’s essential to undertake specific preparatory steps.
These actions often demand planning and time, hence commencing them a few months ahead of filing is advisable.
Outlined below are the key tasks to complete before filing:
Meet your fiancé in person at least once within the two years preceding your application submission. This requirement is generally mandatory, unless meeting could result in extreme hardship or contravene cultural, religious, or social norms.
Capture 10-15 time-stamped photographs featuring you and your fiancé, encompassing as much of your time together as feasible. A greater number of images is advantageous for substantiating your relationship.
Obtain time-stamped photos alongside your fiancé’s friends and family. These visuals serve as evidence of your effort to forge enduring connections. Again, a larger collection of photos reinforces your case.
Accumulate evidence showcasing the time spent together with your fiancé. This evidence includes boarding passes, itineraries, hotel, restaurant, and store receipts, and any other relevant proof of shared experiences. The more comprehensive the evidence, the stronger the case.
Compile communication records such as phone call logs, text messages, emails, etc., from various stages of your relationship. These records should demonstrate the continuous nature of your relationship.
Solicit endorsements from your friends and family to substantiate your relationship. Written statements affirming your engagement from acquaintances, relatives, and colleagues aware of your commitment can significantly bolster your application. These statements should preferably be in letter format, signed, and, if feasible, notarized.
I-129F Supporting Documents for K-1 Fiance Visa
To initiate the process of obtaining a K-1 Fiance Visa, the U.S. citizen petitioner must file Form I-129F, also referred to as the “Fiance Visa petition,” with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
This filing requires four specific types of documents to accompany Form I-129F. Note that unless the form’s instructions mandate otherwise, refrain from submitting original documents. Any documents submitted in a foreign language must include a complete English translation, certified by a competent translator affirming its accuracy.
The following four essential elements, along with a cover letter, need to be submitted with Form I-129F:
Proof of U.S. Citizenship for the sponsoring fiance:
U.S. birth certificate issued by a civil registrar, vital statistics office, or similar authority
Naturalization or citizenship certificate issued by USCIS or the former INS
Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
Unexpired U.S. passport
Original statement from a U.S. consular officer confirming U.S. citizenship
Documentation verifying the termination of any prior marriages for both fiances (if applicable):
Death certificate of the deceased spouse
Miscellaneous evidence includes:
Recent passport-style photographs of both the U.S. citizen fiance and the sponsored fiance, taken within 30 days of petition filing
Proof of any legal name changes (if applicable)
Evidence supporting an International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) waiver (if applicable)
Copies of all Form I-94 arrival-departure records received by the sponsored fiance
Sworn statements from both fiances describing their relationship and intent to marry within 90 days of the sponsored fiance’s entry to the U.S. on the Fiance Visa
Evidence of an in-person meeting within the two years before filing Form I-129F; if this criterion isn’t met, evidence demonstrating cultural constraints or extreme hardship
Filing Fee for K1 Fiance Visa:
The submission of your petition to USCIS requires a filing fee of $535 for Form I-129F. This fee is subject to occasional changes; the most up-to-date fee can be found on USCIS’s fee schedule.
Payment options include using a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Alternatively, when filing through a USCIS Lockbox facility, payment via credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, is accepted. However, note that USCIS Service centers are unable to process credit card payments.
DS-160 Supporting Documents
To proceed with obtaining a K-1 Fiance Visa, filing Form DS-160, the “Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application,” is essential.
Following the DS-160 submission, several documents must be provided unless instructed otherwise by the National Visa Center (“NVC”) or the respective embassy/consulate.
Documents required from the sponsored fiance for the visa interview include:
Printout of the sponsored fiance’s Form DS-160 confirmation page.
Valid passport with a validity of at least six months beyond the intended U.S. stay period.
Official birth certificate issued by the relevant government agency.
Evidence confirming the termination of previous marriages, such as divorce, annulment, or death certificates for former spouses.
Police certificates from the current country of residence and all countries resided in for over six months since turning 16. Procedures for obtaining police clearance certificates are available on the U.S. Department of State (“DoS”) website.
Sealed medical examination records obtained from a designated “panel physician” during the required immigration medical exam. Information regarding this examination is sent by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Two passport-style photos meeting the State Department’s specifications.
Documents required from both fiances for the visa interview encompass:
Proof that the sponsored fiance will not become a “Public Charge” in the U.S., demonstrated through financial documents like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements. Alternatively, a completed Form I-134, Affidavit of Support by the U.S. citizen fiance, along with financial evidence, might be necessary.
Evidence of the relationship, ideally by presenting a copy of the approved I-129F package.
Immigration Visa Filing Fee
Additionally, there is an Immigration Visa Filing Fee of $265, payable at the visa interview via check, money order, or online using a debit or credit card with a receipt to be presented at the interview.
Documents Proving Relationship Legitimacy
It’s advisable for the sponsored fiance to carry the documents listed in “Checklist #1 – Before you file” to address any further requests for evidence of the relationship’s legitimacy by the consular officer.
U.S. Embassy/Consulate-Specific Requirements
Specific requirements from the U.S. Embassy/Consulate might entail additional documents, which will be outlined in the interview notice. For further details, referring to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate-Specific Instructions online is recommended.
Obtaining a K-1 Fiance Visa involves meticulous documentation at different stages. From establishing the relationship’s authenticity to presenting proof of financial stability and fulfilling visa-specific requirements, each step demands thorough preparation. Adhering to the detailed checklists and guidelines throughout the process, including Form I-129F and DS-160 submissions, is crucial.
By providing the requisite supporting documents, couples can enhance their chances of a successful K-1 Fiance Visa application and eventual union in the United States.
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