Filing for a Fiancee Visa
We are often asked by clients what is involved if you file for a fiancee visa and hope this article guides you
The process of obtaining a fiancé visa consists of two major steps. First, as an American citizen you must file Form I-129F: Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) while within the US. You cannot file with a US Embassy or Consulate while in another country. You must file this form with the USCIS Service Center that serves your area. Your fiancé visa lawyer will guide you through this process, and will complete the vast majority of required paperwork for you.
USCIS indicates US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the department that reviews petitions for fiancée visas and grants LPR status. USCIS is a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Next, when filing for a fiancee visa, your future spouse must file a for a K-1 visa through a US Embassy or Consulate in his or her home country. A US consulate, or a consular office, is the office within the American embassy where potential US immigrants and visitors are interviewed before being issued K-1 visas.
Filing for a fiancee visa while in another country will require submitting personal information such as a criminal record, and several forms of identification, such as a birth certificate. Filing for a fiancee visa with the US Embassy or Consulate will lead to a final interview before the K-1 visa is awarded. Your immigration lawyer, or immigration attorney will help you prepare and file all required documents correctly.
You, the American citizen, must also file a criminal record, if you have one. Keep in mind that USCIS can legally reveal your criminal history to your fiancée.
Once you have submitted Form I-129F, it is valid for four months. If, due to errors or other processing delays, four months pass before your fiancée has obtained an interview at a US Consulate or Embassy in his or her home country, the petition will expire. However, a consular officer can renew the petition, so your future spouse can still pursue the filing for a fiancée visa.
After form I-129F is approved, USCIS will forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC) for additional processing. Your fiancée’s background will also be checked for illicit activity and consistency with the information provided in the petition. The NVC will then forward the petition to the appropriate US Consulate or Embassy in your fiancées home country, where he or she will be submitting additional information and conducting an interview to apply for a K-1 visa.
In order for your fiancée to obtain the K1 visa from the US Embassy or Consulate in his or her home country, he or she must complete the necessary steps, such as obtaining a medical examination, getting fingerprints taken, and being interviewed. Depending on your case, your fiancée may be required to complete additional steps to receive his or her K-1 visa. Your immigration lawyer can guide both of you through the process, easing your stress and eliminating errors and delays.
Foreign citizens sometimes must wait for a long time before being scheduled for an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate. An experienced fiancée visa lawyer can get you the soonest possible interview date to expedite the process.
When filing for a fiancee visa, your fiancée will require certain documentation when he or she goes to the US Embassy or Consulate to be interviewed for a fiancé visa. Your K1 visa lawyer can guide both of you through the interview process to maximize the likelihood of your fiancée receiving his or her K-1 visa.
Keep in mind that all evidence and documentation your fiancée brings to the US Consulate or Embassy must be translated into English.
Documentation your fiancée will need to bring to the interview include:
- Form DS-156K: Nonimmigrant Fiancée Visa Application
- Identification such as a birth certificate
- A valid passport that permits travel in the US and is current, which will not expire before the three-month duration of your K1 visa
- Two passport-style photos
- Evidence of having financial support in the US, such as Affidavit support forms, explored in detail later (your fiancé visa lawyer can help you determine how to best prove financial stability)
- Proof of divorce, annulment, or death certificates for both fiancées if previously married, proving legality of intended marriage
- Evidence of having undergone a medical examination
- Police certificates demonstrating criminal record beginning at the age of 16, from your fiancée’s home country, as well as any other country where he or she has lived for six months or more
- Two copies of Form DS-156: Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- Part 1 of Form DS-230: Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration
Residents of certain countries may need to follow different requirements. Filing for a fiancée visa, the applicant may be asked to provide additional proof validating the couple’s relationship. You are advised to consult your choice of K-1 visa lawyer, or immigration attorney, in filling out the required forms and gathering evidence, in order to avoid making errors and causing delays in receiving a fiancé visa.
After the interview, if your future spouse will be granted a fiancée visa, he or she will receive the necessary documentation to travel to the US either immediately or after several weeks, depending on processing procedures at the US Embassy or Consulate in his or her home country.
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