The K-1 Visa Process

The K-1 visa process is a roadmap with only a few stops in between. It’s what awaits the parties at those stops that suddenly becomes complicated and confusing. Any United States citizen can pursue a K-1 visa. You both must be legally free to marry in this country.  The general rule is that you’re required to have met at least once in the past two years, and provide documentary proof of that meeting. The income of the U.S. citizen must be a minimum of 100% pf the U.S. poverty level. If the U.S. citizen’s income is below the poverty level, he or she must file a Form I-864 which requires an income of $21,775.

The First Step for the K-1 Visa Process

The first thing that the U.S. citizen just do is to satisfactorily complete and submit the required form        I-129F with U.S. Customs & Immigration Services (USCIS). The fee for filing this is $535. The purpose of the form and required documentary evidence are to prove the U.S. citizen’s relationship with the foreign national. The required supporting documentation is extensive. It’s likely to include but not be limited to the following;

  • Copies of the parties’ valid and unexpired passports. The U.S. citizen might substitute the passport requirement with copy of his or her birth certificate or certificate of naturalization.
  • Proof of a legitimate relationship between the parties, like photos of the parties together, flight records, hotel or restaurant receipts or copies of letters, emails or texts between the parties.
  • If either of the parties were divorced or had their marriage annulled, copies of the appropriate certificates must accompany the I-129F.
  • Sworn statements by each of the parties that describe their relationship and that they intend on marrying within 90 days of the foreign national’s entry into the U.S.
  • Copies of one or two years of the U.S. citizen’s most recent tax returns.
  • Police clearance forms from every country that the foreign national has lived in since the age of 16.
  • Proof of any I-94 arrival confirmations for trips to the U.S.
  • One passport-type photo of each of the parties.

Confirmation of Receipt

Upon receipt of the I-129F, the USCIS will forward the U.S. citizen a receipt notice. That will take about a month. In about another month, the I-129F petition will begin being processed. Expect six to nine months for the I-129F for that. Assuming there are no requests for additional evidence in support of your petition, an approval notice will be mailed to the U.S. citizen

The Form DS-160

After approval of the I-129F, the foreign national will receive notice from the National Visa Center of the necessity of completing the Form DS-160. The online form DS-160 must be completed and returned electronically. The DS-160 form also serves as a notice. It will detail the date, time and location of the foreign national’s visa interview and any other supporting documents that he or she must bring to that interview. Print at least one copy of the DS-160. You’re going to need to send a copy to the U.S. embassy or consulate where your interview will be held while also keeping a copy for yourself.

The Physical Exam

The foreign national will also need to be examined by U.S. authorized physician who will complete his or her report of the exam. Every doctor charges differently for this. Foreign nationals can get information on the doctors and their fees from the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

The Interview

Documents from both of the parties will be needed at the foreign national’s visa interview at the U.S. embassy o consulate. Documents from the U.S. citizen include a Form I-134 or Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, his or her recent tax returns and a copy of the approved I-129 package. For purposes of the interview, the foreign national should bring the following:

  • Two passport-type photos.
  • His or her birth certificate.
  • A copy of their valid and unexpired passport.
  • Police clearance forms from all countries that he or she has lived in since the age of 16.
  • The sealed medical exam form from the doctor who examined him or her.

Like we said, the K-1 visa process is complicated and confusing. We’ve been preparing K-1 visa petitions and obtaining visas for our clients for many years now. Take the burden off of yourself by retaining us here at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers to help you with a K-1 visa. We’ve represented people from across the globe with them. Contact us at your earliest convenience for a free consultation and K-1visa eligibility review.