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K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

K-1 FIANCÉ(E) VISA WHERE THE ALIEN FIANCÉ(E) MUST LIVE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

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K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION I – K-1 FIANCÉ(E) VISA OVERVIEW ........................................................................................................... 5 A. B. C. D. E.

INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................................5 ELIGIBILITY ..........................................................................................................................................................5 INELIGIBILITY .......................................................................................................................................................5 TIME LIMITS ........................................................................................................................................................6 MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS.......................................................................................................................................6

SECTION II – REQUIRED FORMS, DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE .............................................................................. 7 A.

B. C. D. E. F. G. H.

PROOF OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP OF PETITIONER...............................................................................................................7 1. PRIMARY EVIDENCE OF BIRTH IN THE UNITED STATES .........................................................................................7 2. SECONDARY EVIDENCE OF BIRTH IN THE UNITED STATES .....................................................................................8 LETTERS OF INTENT TO MARRY (ORIGINAL STATEMENTS) .............................................................................................8 DECLARATION OF HOW MET IN PERSON (IF APPLICABLE)...............................................................................................8 PROOF OF HAVING MET WITHIN THE LAST 2 YEARS......................................................................................................8 REQUIRED FIANCÉ(E) DOCUMENTS...........................................................................................................................9 IF APPLICABLE......................................................................................................................................................9 PROOF OF THE BONA FIDES OF YOUR FIANCÉ(E) RELATIONSHIP ...................................................................................10 PASSPORT PHOTOS .............................................................................................................................................12

SECTION III – PROCESS OVERVIEW ....................................................................................................................... 13 A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L.

PREPARATION OF I-129F PACKAGE .......................................................................................................................13 SUBMITTING THE I-129F PACKAGE ........................................................................................................................13 RECEIPT NOTICE – FIRST NOTICE OF ACTION (NOA1) ...............................................................................................14 ADJUDICATION / RFE ..........................................................................................................................................14 APPROVAL NOTICE – SECOND NOTICE OF ACTION (NOA2) ........................................................................................14 VISA APPLICATION PACKAGE (PACKET 3) SENT TO FIANCÉ(E)......................................................................................15 INTERVIEW PACKAGE (PACKET 4) SENT TO FIANCÉ(E) ................................................................................................15 K-1 VISA INTERVIEW ...........................................................................................................................................15 ADMISSION TO THE UNITED STATES .......................................................................................................................16 MARRIAGE ........................................................................................................................................................16 LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENCE / CONDITIONAL PERMANENT RESIDENCE ......................................................................16 REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS ...................................................................................................................................16

SECTION IV – RELEVANT DEFINITIONS AND IMMIGRATION LAWS ....................................................................... 18 A. B.

DEFINITIONS......................................................................................................................................................18 IMMIGRATION LAWS ...........................................................................................................................................20 1. INA § 101 - DEFINITIONS [8 U.S.C.A. § 1101(a)(15)(K)] .............................................................................20 2. INA § 214 (D) – ISSUANCE OF VISA TO FIANCÉE OR FIANCÉ OF CITIZEN.................................................................20 3. INA § 214 (P)– ISSUANCE OF VISA TO FIANCÉE OR FIANCÉ OF CITIZEN .................................................................22 4. 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(k)(1)-(6), (9) ................................................................................................................22 5. 8 C.F.R. § 245.5 Medical Examination..................................................................................................24 6. 9 FAM 41.81 N1 – CLASSIFICATION UNDER INA 101(A)(15)(K) .....................................................................24 7. 9 FAM 41.81 N2 – FILING OF FORM I-129-F, PETITION FOR ALIEN FIANCÉ(E)....................................................24 8. 9 FAM 41.81 N3 – ACCEPTANCE OF K VISA APPLICATIONS..............................................................................25 9. 9 FAM 41.81 N4 – DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS ......................................................................................25 10. 9 FAM 41.81 N5 – FILING PETITION FOR CLASSIFICATION UNDER INA 101(A)(15)(K) .........................................25 11. 9 FAM 41.81 N6 – ALIENS CLASSIFIED K-1 OR K-2 ........................................................................................26 12. 9 FAM 41.81 N7 – TERMINATION OF A K VISA PETITION APPROVAL.................................................................28 13. 9 FAM 41.81 N8 – FORMER EXCHANGE VISITOR ...........................................................................................28

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K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

14. 9 FAM 41.81 N9 – MARRIAGE FOR PURPOSE OF EVADING IMMIGRATION LAWS – INA 204(C) .............................28 15. 9 FAM 41.81 N10 – VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS FOR K VISA APPLICANTS .....................................................29 16. 9 FAM 41.81 N11 – ALTERNATIVE CLASSIFICATION .......................................................................................29 17. 9 FAM 41.81 N12 – CHILD OF ALIEN K-1 FIANCÉ(E) .....................................................................................30 18. 9 FAM 41.81 N14 – DISCLOSURE OF PETITIONER CRIMINAL CONVICTION HISTORY, PROTECTION ORDERS, OR RESTRAINING ORDERS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER REGULATION ACT (IMBRA) .................................30 19. 9 FAM 41.81 N15 – RETURNING I-129F PETITIONS BASED ON ADAM WALSH ACT REQUIREMENTS .......................31 SECTION V – FILLING OUT THE FORMS ................................................................................................................. 33 A. B. C.

GENERAL TIPS....................................................................................................................................................33 REQUIRED FORMS ..............................................................................................................................................33 LINE BY LINE INSTRUCTIONS..................................................................................................................................34 1. I-129F – PETITION FOR ALIEN FIANCÉ(E) (MANDATORY FORM, TO BE COMPLETED BY THE US CITIZEN PETITIONER) ....34 2. G-325A – BIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION [MANDATORY FORMS FOR USC AND FIANCÉ(E)] ........................................40 3. G-1145 – E-NOTIFICATION OF APPLICATION / PETITION ACCEPTANCE (OPTIONAL FORM) ......................................43 4. DS-230 – APPLICATION FOR IMMIGRANT VISA AND ALIEN REGISTRATION [FIANCE(E) COMPLETES] ..........................44 5. DS-156 – NONIMMIGRANT VISA APPLICATION [FIANCÉ(E) COMPLETES] .............................................................48 6. DS-156K – NONIMMIGRANT FIANCÉ(E) VISA APPLICATION [ALIEN FIANCÉ(E) COMPLETES] ....................................52 7. FORM I-134, AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT [USC COMPLETES]..................................................................................53

SECTION VI – CHECKLIST FOR SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE ........................................................... 55 A. B. C.

ADMINISTRATIVE FOLLOW-UP ..............................................................................................................................55 DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE REQUIRED FOR I-129F PACKAGE ....................................................................................55 DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR K-1 VISA APPLICATION PACKAGE ....................................................................................56

SECTION VII – PREPARING YOUR PACKAGE .......................................................................................................... 57 A. B.

ASSEMBLING THE PACKAGES.................................................................................................................................57 MAILING ..........................................................................................................................................................58

SECTION VIII – K-1 INTERVIEW QUESTION............................................................................................................ 59 SECTION IX – AFTER FILING .................................................................................................................................. 61 A. 1. B. C.

I-129F PACKAGE ...............................................................................................................................................61 I-797C – RECEIPT NOTICE – FIRST NOTICE OF ACTION (NOA1) .................................................................................61 K-1 VISA PACKAGE .............................................................................................................................................61 CHANGE OF ADDRESS ..........................................................................................................................................62

SECTION X – EXHIBITS .......................................................................................................................................... 63 A. B. C. D. E.

EXHIBIT A – FIANCÉ(E) LETTER OF INTENT ...............................................................................................................63 EXHIBIT B – CERTIFICATION BY TRANSLATOR STATEMENT ...........................................................................................64 EXHIBIT C – EMPLOYER LETTER .............................................................................................................................65 EXHIBIT D – COVER LETTER FOR I-129F PACKAGE ....................................................................................................66 EXHIBIT E – COVER LETTER FOR K-1 VISA APPLICATION .............................................................................................68

SECTION XI – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS .................................................................................................... 70

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K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

SECTION I – K-1 FIANCÉ(E) VISA OVERVIEW A.

INTRODUCTION This iKit is for the U.S. citizen (USC) and his/her alien fiancé(e) wanting to get married in the U.S. To do so, the K-1 nonimmigrant visa allows the fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S. to marry his/her American citizen. The USC and fiancé(e) must have decided to marry each other, not just simply wish to have the opportunity to spend time together to decide whether or not to marry. This status cannot be granted to the beneficiary who is already in the U.S. If granted, status will be given for 90 days and cannot be extended. If the two marry within this period, this status becomes a pathway to the U.S. citizen’s new spouse transitioning to permanent residence, by allowing him or her to apply for adjustment of status. The fiancé(e)’s unmarried children may be granted K-2 dependent status to accompany the K1 fiancé(e). This fiancé(e) nonimmigrant process is only available to U.S. citizens. It is not available to permanent residents or persons with any other immigration status.

B.

ELIGIBILITY There are some requirements that must be met in order to successfully petition for such a visa in order to get married in the U.S. 1. USC and fiancé(e) must be free to marry meaning that both parties: (a) are not currently married, or (b) if ever previously married, the previous marriages ended in divorce, annulment or death. 2. Both parties must have met in person within the last two years before filing for the fiancé(e) visa. An applicable waiver exists if such a requirement would cause extreme hardship or violate long-established customs. 3. Unmarried children under 21 of the fiancé(e) may also join fiancé(e).

C.

INELIGIBILITY The following categories of people are ineligible for the K-1 visa, depending on certain activities and conditions which are as follows: 1. Committed serious criminal acts; 2. Likely to become a public charge; 3. Have used illegal means to enter the United States; 4. Have a communicable disease or a dangerous mental disorder; 5. Are drug addicts, or 6. Are subject to the J1 two-year foreign residency requirement. Unless USCIS grants a waiver of inadmissibility, the Consular Post will not issue a K-1 visa at the visa interview overseas.

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SECTION II – REQUIRED FORMS, DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE When submitting the I-129F petitioner and the K-1 visa application packages, certain original or copies of documents must be submitted to lessen or eliminate any Requests for Evidence (RFE). If any of the documents submitted to the USCIS in the I-129F package, is in a foreign language, a certified translation must be submitted with the document(s). Requirements for a “certified translation” are found at 8 C.F.R. § 103.2(b)(3). A certified translation means that the translation (from foreign language to English) must be certified; the translator does not need to be certified. In other words, although you may want an official “certified” translator (who may have certain qualifications such as a PhD in Linguistics) to translate your immigration related documents, it is not mandatory. The regulation on “Translation of Documents” is located at 8 C.F.R. § 1003.33. The translator may not add or delete any content of the native document in the translator’s English document. The English-translated document must have a “Certification” statement. See Exhibit B. Remember that on the checklist the K-1 fiancé(e) receives, it will specifically state whether certain documents must be translated into English or not. A.

PROOF OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP OF PETITIONER To prove that the USC petitioner is filing for his/her alien fiancé(e), you must include one of the documents listed below. If you do not have any of the listed documents, see “Other Documents Recommended” below. All documents must be originals or certified copies. (Original documents should not be sent with the applications filed with USCIS, but must be available for the K-1 visa interview overseas and for the adjustment of status interview in the United States in case if requested). 1. PRIMARY EVIDENCE OF BIRTH IN THE UNITED STATES a. US Birth Certificate – issued by civil registrar, vital statistics office, or other civil authority); b. Naturalization Certificate / Certificate of Citizenship – issued by USCIS or formerly INS; c. Unexpired US Passport – initially issued for a period of 10 years (USC over 18) or 5 years (USC under 18); d. Form FS-240 – Report of Birth Abroad of Citizen of the United States (issued by US Embassy / Consulate); e. Original Statement – from a US Consular Officer verifying that you are a US Citizen with a valid passport; or f. Department of State – issued Passport Card.

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SECTION III – PROCESS OVERVIEW The following process generally applies to most cases. However, the requirements for each Consular Post may vary from country to country. Consult an immigration lawyer if you have any questions about your unique situation. N.B. This process includes the Removal of Conditions and Naturalization which is beyond the initial K-1 fiancé(e) visa process. A.

PREPARATION OF I-129F PACKAGE 1. Eligibility Requirements – U.S. Citizen petitioner (USC) must make sure that s/he meets the requirements to petition for his/her fiancé(e) to obtain a K-1 visa. a. Previous Meeting – USC and fiancé(e) must have met at least once in person within the last two year before the date of filing the petition unless there is an applicable waiver; b. Freedom to Marry – Both USC and fiancé(e) must be free to marry. If either individual was previously married, then legal terminations of previous marriages must first be obtained before filing for the fiancé(e) visa; c. Intent to Marry – Both USC and fiancé(e) have good faith intention to marry; d. Marriage – parties are willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States within 90 days after fiancé(e)’s admission. e. Violations – fiancé(e) must not have a criminal record nor have violated any U.S. immigration laws. 2. Gather Documents & Evidence – USC must complete Form I-129F and include all documents that prove USC is a U.S. citizen, that USC and alien fiancé(e) have met within the last two years in an ongoing relationship, and are free to marry. All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation. N.B. Remember to retain all original documents in case if USCIS or U.S. Embassy / Consulate ever requests for the original documents in the future.

B.

SUBMITTING THE I-129F PACKAGE 1. Cover Letter – prepare cover letter with table of contents of all required forms, documents and evidence submitted with Form I-129F. 2. Filing Fee – submit filing fee (i.e., check, money order, or cashier’s check) with I129F petition. 3. Copies – make two complete copies of the entire package including the filing fee. 4. Lockbox Address – make sure the package is addressed to the correct lockbox facility. 5. Tracking Confirmation – when sending the package utilize at least Certified Mail w/ Return Receipt Requested in order to have written confirmation that USCIS received your package.

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K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

SECTION VI – CHECKLIST FOR SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE If you do not know what type of supporting documents are necessary review Section II in more detail. A.

ADMINISTRATIVE FOLLOW-UP Answer All – make sure all questions/items/sections are answered on the required forms; Sign & Date – don’t forget to sign and date the form; Filing Fee a.

I-129F Package Verify the current filing fee amounts for the I-129F to make payment (personal check is preferred so USC can track the payment) to Department of Homeland Security. Do not abbreviate and do not send cash. There is no additional filing fee since the G-325A accompanies the I-129F.

b.

K-1 Visa Package The fee that must be paid is outlined in the instructions that are included in the package from the US Embassy / Consulate. This is referred to as the “fee bill.”

Where to File a.

I-129F Package For the I-129F Package verify the correct address for Form I-129F. The two G-325A forms accompany the I-129F.

b.

K-1 Visa Package File K-1 Visa package to the return address that the Consular Post (US Embassy / Consulate) has indicated when sending the alien fiancé(e) its initial package after receiving information from the National Visa Center.

B.

DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE REQUIRED FOR I-129F PACKAGE Provide copies of any of the following documents necessary to support USC’s petition. Do not send any originals. Review Section II if necessary. Proof of USC Petitioner’s U.S. Citizenship; Copy of Birth Certificate of alien fiancé(e); Letters of Intent to Marry (Original Statements); Primary and Secondary Proof of having met in person within the Last 2 Years; Declaration of How Met in Person (if space to question 18 is insufficient); Termination of any Prior Marriages (if applicable); Proof of Legal Name Change (if applicable);

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K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

SECTION VII – PREPARING YOUR PACKAGE After completing and signing all necessary forms, collected all necessary documentation/evidence, calculated all USCIS fees, paid for any Department of State “fee bills”, and reviewed all checklists, the packages need to be assembled and mailed. A.

ASSEMBLING THE PACKAGES 1. Cover letter to USCIS or Consular Post – Include a cover letter with your package so that you can give the Immigration or Consular officer a preview of what is in your package. You want to appear professional and organized. Make sure you organize your respective forms and documentation/evidence as stated in your cover letter. Make the officer’s job as easy as possible. Please see Exhibit D for the I-129F cover letter and Exhibit E for the K-1 visa cover, both of which are located in Section VII. For Packets 3 and 4, the alien fiancé(e) will have to follow the detailed instructions and requirements that arrive either by mail or email from the consular post presiding over the case. 2. Copies – Keep a copy of your check, receipt of payment for “fee bills”, government forms, and any original documentation / evidence that you will submit in your package. Remember to keep all original documents / evidence unless they may be needed for any Request for Evidence (RFE) requests, K-1 visa interview, and/or for Adjustment of Status. a. I-129F Package – make two copies; one is for USC petitioner’s record, and the other is for the alien fiancé(e). b. K-1 Visa Package – make one copy of the entire K-1 Visa Package for alien fiancé(e)’s record. 3. Stapling – after making copies of your entire package: a. Staple any forms independently from any other forms and documentation / evidence (i.e., staple the I-129F Petition separate from the two G-325A forms); b. Staple each original or copy of documentation / evidence separately (i.e., staple a 5 page divorce decree separate from your birth certificate) not collectively. Remember to include translations of documents/evidence that are in a foreign language; c. Insert passport photos into separate coin envelopes (2 ¼ x 3 ½ inch), which can be purchased at any office supply store, and staple the coin envelopes on the bottom left hand corner of the first page of any form requiring a passport photo. Label the coin envelope with the same name of the individual’s photo that it contains. Be careful that you do not staple the photo accidentally. d. Staple your check to the cover letter created in Step A.1.

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K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

SECTION XII – CONCLUSION If you have followed all of the instructions in this iKit the alien fiancé(e) is well on his/her way to obtaining lawful permanent residence status in the United States. You have been able to prepare your entire application for the K-1 visa application at a fraction of the cost that you would pay to an immigration law attorney. In addition, you have been prepared far better for your immigration interview than you would be if you were doing the case yourself, without the aid of this iKit. It has been our pleasure to assist you with your case. If at any time you feel that you need to speak with one of the immigration law attorneys from this office, you can call us at (407) 833-8951 or make an appointment online. Furthermore, we hope that you will continue to visit our website at www.ImmigrationLinks.com for any information you need regarding US Immigration Law. WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!

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K1 - Fiance(e) Visa  

This iKit is for the alien fiance(e) who is seeking to marry a US Citizen in the United States.

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