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Fiancé(e) Visa Journey: A Comprehensive Guide to Form I-129F

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What is a fiancé(e) visa?

In the United States, the fiancé(e) visa is officially known as the K-1 visa. It is a nonimmigrant visa designed for foreign nationals who are engaged to U.S. citizens and intend to marry them in the United States. The K-1 visa allows the foreign fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. for the purpose of getting married to the U.S. citizen sponsor.

Here’s an overview of the key steps involved in the K-1 visa process in the U.S.:

  • Filing the Petition:
    • The U.S. citizen sponsor must file a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    • The petition should include supporting documents, evidence of the relationship, and proof of eligibility.
  • USCIS Processing:
    • USCIS reviews the petition, and if approved, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC).
  • Consular Processing:
    • The case is sent to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign fiancé(e)’s home country.
    • The fiancé(e) applies for the K-1 visa by submitting additional documentation, undergoing a medical examination, and attending a visa interview.
  • Visa Issuance:
    • If the visa is approved, the fiancé(e) can travel to the U.S. within a specified timeframe.
  • Marriage and Adjustment of Status:
    • Once in the U.S., the couple must marry within 90 days of the fiancé(e)’s arrival.
    • After marriage, the foreign spouse can apply for adjustment of status to obtain lawful permanent residence (a green card).

It’s important to note that the K-1 visa is intended for individuals who plan to marry a U.S. citizen and then reside in the U.S. as a permanent resident. If the couple does not marry within the 90-day period, the foreign fiancé(e) is required to leave the country.

How to prepare Form I-129F?

Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), is the form that U.S. citizens use to petition for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa for their foreign fiancé(e). Here is a general overview of the steps to prepare Form I-129F:

Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Download the Form:
    • Obtain the latest version of Form I-129F from the official website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Read the Instructions:
    • Thoroughly read the accompanying instructions for Form I-129F provided by USCIS. The instructions will guide you through the completion of the form.
  • Gather Required Documents:
    • Collect all required supporting documents, such as evidence of the relationship, proof of U.S. citizenship, and any other supporting materials mentioned in the instructions.
  • Complete the Form:
    • Fill out Form I-129F completely and accurately. Be sure to use black ink and write legibly. If a question doesn’t apply to your situation, mark it as “N/A.”
  • Provide Supporting Evidence:
    • Include supporting documentation to establish the legitimacy of your relationship. This may include photographs, travel records, communication records, and any other relevant evidence.
  • Check the Filing Fee:
    • Verify the current filing fee for Form I-129F on the USCIS website. Include the correct payment with the form. Payment can usually be made by check or money order.
  • Mail the Petition:
    • Send the completed Form I-129F and supporting documents, along with the filing fee, to the appropriate USCIS address. Make sure to use the correct mailing address based on your location.
  • Receive Form I-797 Notice of Action:
    • Once USCIS receives your petition, they will send you a Form I-797, Notice of Action, acknowledging the receipt of your petition. This notice will include a receipt number that you can use to check the status of your case.
  • USCIS Processing:
    • USCIS will review your petition. If additional information or documents are needed, they may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE).
  • NVC and Consular Processing:
    • If USCIS approves the petition, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) and then to the U.S. embassy or consulate where your fiancé(e) will apply for the K-1 visa.

Important Notes:

  • Keep copies of all documents and the completed Form I-129F for your records.
  • Double-check the USCIS website or contact USCIS for the most up-to-date information and requirements.

What documents must be submitted with Form I-129F?

When filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it’s important to include supporting documents to establish the legitimacy of the relationship and the eligibility of the petitioner and beneficiary. While the exact documents required may vary based on individual circumstances, the following is a general list of documents commonly submitted with Form I-129F:

  • Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (optional):
    • This form allows you to receive electronic notifications about the status of your petition.
  • Cover Letter:
    • A cover letter summarizing the contents of your petition package can be included for clarity.
  • Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e):
    • The completed and signed petition is the primary document.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship:
    • A copy of the U.S. citizen petitioner’s birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or passport.
  • Passport-Style Photos:
    • Passport-sized photos of both the U.S. citizen petitioner and the foreign fiancé(e). The photos should meet USCIS requirements.
  • Proof of Intent to Marry:
    • Evidence demonstrating that you and your fiancé(e) have a genuine intention to marry within 90 days of the fiancé(e) entering the U.S. This may include communication records, engagement photos, and any other relevant documentation.
  • Proof of In-Person Meeting:
    • Evidence that you and your fiancé(e) have met in person within the two years preceding the filing of the petition. This could include travel itineraries, photos, or other documentation.
  • Affidavit of Support (Form I-134):
    • A completed Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, along with supporting financial documents to demonstrate that the petitioner has the financial means to support the foreign fiancé(e).
  • Proof of Termination of Prior Marriages (if applicable):
    • If either party has been previously married, provide divorce decrees or death certificates to prove the termination of prior marriages.
  • Biographical Information:
    • Copies of the biographical pages of the U.S. citizen petitioner’s and the foreign fiancé(e)’s passports.
  • Additional Supporting Evidence (optional):
    • Any additional evidence that helps establish the bona fide nature of the relationship, such as joint bank account statements, correspondence, or travel records.

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