How To Apply For Fiance Visa: All Process In One Practical Guide
The process of obtaining a K1 visa includes many stages and filling out a large number of documents. If you’ve never dealt with bureaucracy, it can be daunting. We have tried to structure the information for you and convey it as clearly and simply as possible.
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Who can apply for a visa
Сrusial — to have enough money to take care of a foreign spouse. The total household income starts from 125% of the Federal Poverty.
The exact sum depends on family composition and place of residence. In Alaska and Hawaii, the sum is different from another 48 states. For example, if your family includes you and your woman and you live in Colorado, the year income should be $21,775. If you still live in Colorado but have three children, the required amount starts from $38,800.
The state wants to understand that you are ready and have the resources to take responsibility for your wife and all family members.
The spouse must live in the United States, have citizenship or a green card.
K1 visa process: step by step to result
|The step||The process||The cost||The term|
|Filing the Petition, Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)||In this form, the U.S. citizen spouse should point out some biographic, contact, and personal information about himself and his fiancée. You apply this form with the USCIS office at the place of residence.||$510||Approving the petition takes on average 5-7.5 months, depending on USCIS workload.|
|Getting a case number||After approving the petition from USCIS, the document heads off to the National Visa Center (NVC), where you will take your case number. After this, your petition goes to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at the place of residence of your fiancée||Free||On average 3-4 weeks.|
|Applying for a visa||After getting the notification, let your fiancée know about this. This stage involves the direct submission of the visa application with DS-160 form and interview.||$265||Most often, an interview is scheduled 4-6 weeks after notification is received.|
|Arriving in the U.S.||The most responsible and exciting moment. You can already be together, complete preparations for the wedding and, of course, get married. Medical examination is another necessary item of expenses.||Variable cost||Variable time|
|Applying for residence||After getting the notification, let your fiancée know about this. This stage involves the direct submission of the visa application with DS-160 form and interview.||$1,225||On average 3-5 weeks|
|Total price is $2,290||To summarize, how long the K1 visa process takes is from 7 months to 10 months on average.|
Before every step, explore all documents you and your fiancée should prepare. Also, mind you, children of K1 visa applicants to 21 years may apply for K-2 visas.
Passing interview: the main tips
The US government is doing everything to allow only fair marriages. The interview stage aims to find out how well you know each other.
All questions are divided into three blocks:
- To foreign fiancée. Usually, the immigration officer asks something about the biography: age, date of the birthday, nationality, marital status (divorced or single), knowledge of languages. They may also ask when a woman plans to come to the United States and what she will do.
- To U.S. citizen. These questions are directed to understand how well the man knows his fiancée. Probably he will be asked about the biography of the woman. For instance, “What university did your fiancée graduate from?”, “What cities did she live in?”
- To both: about their connection. To understand if your relationship is confirmed, an immigration officer asks about meetings in person: how many did you meet each other, where did you meet, how long have you known each other, when and who made a proposition, did you have an engagement party, etc.
The dialogue usually lasts 15-30 minutes. But no need to be wary: it’s not an interrogation. If your couple is real, you can easily prove it.
For the interview, we advise:
- Be as calm as possible during the interview. It will help you focus on the questions and answer strictly to the point, without nervous laughter or unnecessary words.
- Answer a specific question. Avoid long stories unless required by the question. Off-topic reasoning doesn’t help you focus on your case.
- Do not lie. Even if you want to lie about a bit of a thing, it can lead to many questions. It will question your sincerity. Immigration officers have significant experience in their field. They know how to dig information not only broadly but also profoundly.
- Be yourself. Everyone understands that every love story is different. Tell your story.
We’ve collected the typical mistakes in the K-1 visa process. Before starting the process, read these frequent problems.
- Problems with the deadline. The K1 visa has strict deadlines. Many couples mentally agree to organize a wedding within 90 days but then realize that they did not have enough time to organize a wedding in a good location and ensure the arrival of all relatives.
- Errors in the documents. You may accidentally put the wrong number or forget to fill in one of the sections. Inattention will lead to the rejection of the approval of the application. It may seem strange, but many denials happen because the applicant did not sign.Pay attention to each detail in the documents. After all, it shows your honest intentions and a responsible approach to the process.
- Not disclosing IMBRA facts. In 2005, the United States passed The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) that protects the rights of foreigners in the United States. Women who come to the United States find themselves utterly dependent on men, both moral and material. They leave family, work, and friends and are very vulnerable. That is why IMBRA provides for disclosing specific biographical facts by a man. If a man has hidden that he has used violence in the past, he will be denied a visa.
- Relationships don’t look real. Real connections are always visible from the outside. Usually, this is several meetings or one long meeting, a good understanding of each other, the same plans for the future. The absence of at least one meeting in the last two years will reason for refusal.
- Poor interview preparation. As we wrote above, the interview is a small checklist for the immigration officer to ensure a solid and sincere alliance. Speak the truth, be calm and logical, and everything should be fine. Some moments that may not play in your favor: rapid engagement, significant cultural differences, different religions. If any of these points are present in your pair, consider how you can convey your position to the immigration officer.
- Fake information. It does not matter when the lie is revealed—at the stage of filing a petition or obtaining resident status. This behavior will inevitably lead to a visa refusal.
Summing up: how to obtain your visa
Honesty, thorough preparation, and attentiveness with the forms will be essential keys to success. If you meet all three points, there will be no visa problems.
Also, have a look at this checklist—it will help you remember all the needed information about getting K-1 visa process.
- Before submitting documents, check each item several times.
- Be honest both on paper and in interviews.
- Carefully and in advance, think over the organization of the wedding. Thoughtful planning will assist you in staying within the mandatory deadline.
- Be natural in interviews. Truth is your best assistant.
Follow these tips, and you will receive your visa.