What is a I-129F Petition for a K-1 Fiancee visa ?
If your fiancé(e) is not a citizen of the United States and you plan to get married in the United States, then you must file a petition with INS on behalf of your fiancé(e). After the petition is approved, your fiancé(e) must obtain a visa issued at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad. The marriage must take place within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States. If the marriage does not take place within 90 days or your fiancé(e) marries someone other than you (the U.S. citizen filing INS Form I-129F - Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), your fiancé(e) will be required to leave the United States. Until the marriage takes place, your fiancé(e) is considered a nonimmigrant. A nonimmigrant is a foreign national seeking to temporarily enter the United States for a specific purpose. A fiancé(e) may not obtain an extension of the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.
If your fiancé(e) intends to live and work permanently in the United States, your fiancé(e) should apply to become a permanent resident after your marriage. (If your fiancé(e) does not intend to become a permanent resident after your marriage, your fiancé(e)/new spouse must leave the country within the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.). Please note, your fiancé(e) will initially receive conditional permanent residence status for two years. Conditional permanent residency is granted when the marriage creating the relationship is less than two years old at the time of adjustment to permanent residence status.
Please note: Your fiancé(e) may enter the United States only one time with a fiancé(e) visa. If your fiancé(e) leaves the country before you are married, your fiancé(e) may not be allowed back into the United States without a new visa. (Please see How Can I Get a Travel Document? for additional travel information if your fiancé(e) will apply to become a legal permanent resident after you are married.)
Who is Eligible
U.S. citizens who will be getting married to a foreign national in the United States may petition using the I-129F Petitionfor a fiancé(e) classification (K-1) for their fiancé(e). You and your fiancé(e) must be free to marry. This means that both of you are unmarried, or that any previous marriages have ended through divorce, annulment or death. You must also have met with your fiancé(e) in person within the last two years before filing for the fiancé(e) visa. This requirement can be waived only if meeting your fiancé(e) in person would violate long-established customs, or if meeting your fiancé(e) would create extreme hardship for you. You and your fiancé(e) must marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
You may also apply to bring your
fiancé(e)'s unmarried children,
who are under age 21, to the United States.
Step 1: I-129F Petition for a K-1 Fiancee visa
The fiance(e) petition (Form I-129-F) and two G-325-A biographic information forms. You must fill out completely both the petition and biographic information forms. Your fiance(e) will be required to present the supporting financial documents at the time of his/her visa interview.
We will also need all of the following
· a photocopy of your U.S. passport identification page (plus a copy of your naturalization document if you are a naturalized citizen);
· photocopies of any death certificates of a previous spouse that you or your fiance(e) may have and photocopies of any divorce decrees terminating a previous marriage that you and your fiance(e) may have, with translations;
· two passport-size photographs of both yourself and your fiance(e), attached to the bottom of the G-325 biographic forms;
· a photograph of the two of you together to prove you have met; and
Question 14 on the I-129F asks you to list the names and dates of birth of any children your fiance(e) may have. Children up to the age of 21 may accompany their parent to the U.S., or may follow-to-join at any time up to one year after the parent receives his/her visa.
According to U.S. Immigration Law, Form I-129F,
Petition for Alien Fiancé(e),
may not be filed with, or approved by, overseas INS offices or U.S.
The I-129F must be filed with the INS district office having INS
over the Petitioner's current or intended residence in the United
INS will notify you and forward the petition to the embassy for your fiancé(e)'s country of residence.
Notifying Your Fiance(e) :
Upon receipt of the approved I-129F petition , the
local American embassy
will send a letter and information sheet to the Beneficiary outlining
steps to be taken to apply for an Alien Fiancé(e) visa,
"K" visa. The embassy will generate a computer name
The mandatory name check procedure takes several days. After
name check clears, the embassy can schedule the applicant for an
Scheduling: Visa Interview and Medical Examinations
Before the interview, the Beneficiary must complete a medical examination at an Embassy-approved medical facility. Forms and information about this is included in the information packet.
All children of an alien classified K-1 must be listed on the K visa petition. Failure to do so will cause a delay in visa issuance. The children (under 21 years old and unmarried) also must be at the interview. The child of a K-1 principal alien may be accorded K-2 status if following to join the principal alien to the U.S. even after the principal alien has married the American citizen Petitioner, and acquired lawful permanent resident status. The cut-off date for issuance of a K-2 visa is 1 year from the date of the issuance of the K-1 visa to the principal alien. After 1 year, and provided that the alien qualifies, the filing of an immediate relative or second preference immigrant visa petition would be required.
The visa application fee is $455 per person; there is no issuance fee. If the Beneficiary's interview is successful, the "K" visa will be issued on the afternoon of the day of the interview. The "K" visa is valid for a single entry during a 6-month period.
Documentary requirements for the interview:
The Beneficiary must provide:
1. A valid International Passport with a photocopy of the first page.
2. An original birth certificate with photocopy and translation into English.
3. Applicants are required to submit police certificate in all names as well as all dates of birth that they have used. Police certificate must contain references to each place in which the applicant lives or has lived for more than six months since reaching the age of 16, regardless of where he/she is officially registered. This includes localities where applicants have lived during university studies. If the applicant was on his military service, he should bring the certificate from the local draft board. If an applicant has lived abroad for more than one year a police certificate must also be submitted from the country in which he/she lived. Military records will be accepted only from local authorities and not from military commissions.
4. If applicable, evidence of termination of any prior marriage: original, photocopy and translation into English.
5. An accompanying child requires a valid passport (or may be included in the parent's passport), a birth certificate and a medical examination. If a child is 16 years of age or over, police certificates are required.
6. Two photos of passport size black and white full face for visa.
7. Two photos of passport size for medical exam.
8. There is an application fee of $65 (or the ruble equivalent) per person, payable at the Embassy on the day of interview. Only U.S. dollars cash or local currency will be accepted. The bills must be clean and in good condition. The Embassy cashier reserves the right to reject dirty or damaged bills. Under no circumstances will credit cards or personal checks be accepted for payment.
9. Documents confirming relationship: photos of Petitioner and Beneficiary together, letters to each other, phone bills, emails....
10. Results of Medical Examination in sealed envelope.
The Petitioner must provide:
1. Employment letter with salary information and/or a copy of tax returns (Form 1040) for the last year.
U.S. Port of Entry
Once found qualified for visa issuance, your fiance(e) will receive a nonimmigrant visa in his/her passport, valid for one entry into the U.S. at any time within the next six months. He/she will also receive a separate immigrant visa packet to present to the immigration officials at the U.S. border. After entry to the U.S., the Beneficiary has ninety days to either marry the petitioner or return to his/her country. If the Petitioner and Beneficiary marry, the Beneficiary may then contact INS to adjust status to that of legal permanent resident.
By Fred Wahl