How to Bring Your Filipino fiance to USA

How To Bring your Filipina Fiancee to the USA?


I am very familiar with the Philippines.
I have traveled all over the country from Laoag in the far North to Zamboanga in the far south. The first ever K1 fiance visa petition I prepared almost 50 years ago was for my own Filipina fiancee.

Your Filipina Fiancee needs permission from the US government to allow her to enter the USA. This is called a K1 Fiancee visa.


you have fallen in love, Your special someone is from the Philippines.

So, what do you do?

Well, besides getting on the first available flight to the Philippines, you need to prepare yourself to overcome a complicated and difficult immigration system that stands in the way of your happiness.

Fortunately, I am here to help you.

Today I am going to explain
“How to Bring your Filipino Fiance home to the USA”

And , please watch to the end of this video, because near the end I
Will also explain what happens after your fiance arrives.

After all, after going through so much effort, you don’t want her or him to have to leave your side. I will speak about the next steps after arrival, how to get approved for permanent residency and finally how your partner can become a US citizen

Now, let’s talk about “How to bring your Filipina Fiance to the USA”

So the Big picture is:

We prepare an application, it is submitted in the USA to the United States
citizenship and Immigration service (USCIS),

And then once USCIS has completed its review, the case goes to the US State department’s
National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire.

And finally NVC couriers the case overseas to the US Embassy in Manila for the
in-person interview and approval of the Fiance visa.

Then your Fiancee uses the visa to travel to and enter the USA

Now let’s get into the details:

FIrst we submit a thick package of application forms and supporting documents and evidence.
This is the “front loaded petition” that VisaCoach is famous for.

My philosophy, the VisaCoach philosophy, which w2 rigorously follow on every case, team VisaCoach works on, is that success, final outcome, final approval, depends 99% on the quality of your application that you and we together prepare and submit to US immigration.

We take every opportunity, leave no stone unturned, in making your application as complete and persuasive as possible.

The quality of the work we accomplish at the start, at the “front” of this process, determines
the ultimate outcome.

When quality goes in, a positive result comes out.

The petition package is mailed to USCIS.

Fiance Visa applications go to Dallas Texas.

After initial sorting then the applications are assigned and forwarded to one of six USCIS service centers that are scattered throughout the USA.

At the destination USCIS service center your case is reviewed and processed.

This takes many months to complete their review.

Slow or fast, US immigration is like a one lane highway. The sooner you enter
and get in line the sooner you exit, and the cases that enter after you, will only get to
Their destination after you do. So the sooner you apply, the sooner this will be behind you.

The review at USCIS includes an FBI background check. This is usually only on the US Citizen’s background, however it will also include your Filipino fiance if she or he had ever lived in the USA for a while.

When USCIS is satisfied with your application, they “approve”, at least as far as they are concerned, then hand your case over to the NVC, based in New Hampshire.

Normally NVC holds Fiancee visa applications only briefly. They quickly touch the application just enough to confirm that the Case should be sent to Manila, assign a new case number that starts with “MNL”, pack it into a DHL mailbag and ship it off to the Philippines.

Finally the day will come when your case is sent via diplomatic pouch to the Philippines.

There are two US consulate locations in the Philippines, in Manila and Cebu City. The Consulate in Manila handles all Fiance visa interviews.

Sorry, even if your fiancee lives across the street from the consulate in Cebu, she or he must still make the trip to Manila for processing.

Once your case arrives at Manila the consulate usually contacts your fiance to advise they are ready to move your case forward.
I say usually, because a lot of cases get caught between the cracks, and no instructions get through to you. The instructions are either lost or simply not sent.

I work with my clients to track their case’s progress, and with or without a notification from the consulate I know when to start you on the steps to follow and when to do so..

The consulate uses a commercial booking service,, that collects visa fees and helps schedule appointments. The first step is to register at the service’s website,.

Your fiance obtains a deposit slip from the booking website, and uses it when paying the $265 visa application fee. This is normally done in person by your fiancee bringing her or his passport and payment to a branch of the Bank of The Philippine Islands.

The following day the website is updated confirming that the fee has been received and a calendar pops up, now available for your fiance to choose a day for the interview.

In addition to scheduling the interview, a few more things need to be accomplished before the interview.

You, the US Citizen sponsor, sends your fiance the affidavit of support we have completed for you, along with your corresponding financial evidence.

Your fiance obtains the Certificate of No Marriage, CENOMAR from the Philippines Statistics Office.

Your fiance obtains Police Clearances from the Philippines and from each country she or he has resided in for over 6 months.

Your Fiance undergoes a two day medical exam at St. Luke’s Clinic in Manila.

On the big day your Fiancee attends the interview at the US consulate.

Shortly, after arrival at the consulate your Fiancee will be greeted by a local Filipino clerk,
and asked to show all of the documents that the consulate expected to be presented for your case.

The clerk will go over each item on his or her checklist, ticking off that your fiance brought the
needed documents.

It is critical that your partner be well prepared and has brought EVERYTHING that is required.

Failure to bring even one item might cause the interview to be canceled,
or if allowed to proceed, might add months of additional delay till the visa is issued.

Because this is so critical, and with proper planning it is so easy to avoid problems,
we at VisaCoach prepare for you a personalized precise checklist on what must be brought to the consulate without fail for your case. We prepare this checklist using our knowledge of your background and situation combined with our previous experience working with the consulate, knowing what they want and what they don’t want.

Finally comes the actual interview. This is when your Fiancee meets with an American consular officer, it is no longer the local hires. This officer will be making the final decision on your case.

This is the BIG event.

During the interview, the consular officer must be CONVINCED your relationship is bona fide
and not a sham contrived for immigration purposes.

Sorry, to say this, but US immigration has had a long and troubled history with fiance and spouse type visas Their experience has not been a good one.

For regular immigration, there are simple tests of eligibility.
For example if a naturalized US citizen were to apply for his/her mother or brother to immigrate to the USA,
the simple test would be birth certificates. As all the names on these official documents would match,
the mother or brother would be clearly eligible and approved for their immigration visas.

But for “romance” type visas, for fiance visas like you have submitted there is no simple, clear test.

Instead, the officer must rely on you and your fiance’s words, your statements that your relationship is real, not a sham for immigration purposes..

Don’t get me wrong. I know that YOU are totally sincere, totally in love, totally genuine.

But the officer does not know you like I do. There is nothing personal about the officers suspicions, the problem is that the “well has been poisoned”, by the con-men and scammers who long ago figured out that if they could trick their way into the USA. These crooks have made it difficult for honest people.

Because no simple reliable test exists, because so many consular officers have been tricked and made fools of before, because of their frustration and embarrassment, the consular officers have decided to take the pessimistic and confrontational attitude that all romance visa cases are probably shams. not bona fide.

Sadly they will treat you and your fiancee as “guilty until proven innocent”

The original application that we prepared and submitted to USCIS, long long ago, at the start of the application process, now is opened on the Consular officers desk for his or her preparation for the interview.

The officer always reviews the application while your partner is waiting in the lobby of the consulate. He or she is preparing what questions to ask and
is searching for “red flags” that increase his or her suspicion. The officer is looking for reasons for denial.

And this is why the Visacoach method of “front loading” a petition is so valuable.
We craft each application, understanding the consular officers’ stand point.

We understand as a professional, if he or she finds convincing evidence of your sincerity he or she will be prepared to approve and issue the visa. We also know that if it is not totally clear that the couple is genuine, if for any reason he or she is not totally convinced, that the officer would prefer to deny, instead of taking any changes.

After all, if he or she approves a scamming couple the officer’s career and reputation is hurt, but if the officer denies an honest couple, he or she is only being diligent, and the denied couple can always reapply, so “no harm done”.

So what we want to do is help the officer make the right decision.

We help him/her do their job by going the extra mile to make sure your application
does the talking for you, that it contains what is needed to convince a reasonable but skeptical person to trust you and your situation.

It would be nice if you could attend the interview and personally smooth out any misunderstandings before they cause problems. But you won’t be there. Only your fiance will attend the interview. Even if you are present in the Philippines you will not be able to enter the
Consulate, you will be kept outside. Your fiance faces the interview alone.

While you can’t be there in-person, our plan at VisaCoach is to help you to be there at least in “Spirit”.

With each VisaCoach “front loaded” application, we include
a personal statement from you that describes “how you met, why you were attracted to each other, the development of your relationship, key moments in your courtship, the circumstances of your proposal, your plans for the wedding, for future lives and family together.

Bona fide couples have history. They have plans. Their history and plans have many, many details. By sharing these details, we help the officer to get to know you. And once the officer gets to know you, he or she is surely going to trust you and your situation.

For most of my clients, creative writing is difficult. I know it is difficult for me.

But I have designed our system at VisaCoach to help make it easy for you to tell your important honest detailed story.

We guide you step by step, bit by bit, prompting you with short questions, in order to hear your answers in your voice. Then using our expertise in what is important to the consular officer’s decision, we combine and edit your words together crafting a clear, readable document that goes a long, LONG way to bring the consular officer to an understanding of the you and your fiancee as two sympathetic honest human beings, people who are truly in love, people could easily be his or her neighbors back in the USA.

By front loading your application with well chosen evidence, by including you there in spirit, we set the tone, for a successful interview.

Most of VisaCoach’s interviews are short and sweet, ending with “Welcome to the USA”.

About two weeks later, the consulate has printed the visa into your fiance’s passport and then returns her or his passport to your Fiance using LBC Express courier.

The courier will deliver to your fiance’s home, they have offices, and couriers on mopeds scattered all over the Philippines to help do so. Or if your Fiance prefers, she or he can arrange to personally pick the passport up at one of 99 LBC offices, including one at the Mall of Asia.

Your Fiance’s K1 Fiance visa is valid for 6 months, from the date of the St. Luke’s medical

This gives your Fiancee plenty of time to settle affairs before leaving for the USA.

But, before your fiancee boards the aircraft, she or he must attend a 2 hour class sponsored
by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).

This is a requirement made by the Philippines government basically to protect your Fiance teaching how to recognize spousal abuse and what to do about it..

Your fiance must take the class, and obtain a stamp affixed to her or his passport.
This is checked at the airport. Your fiance will not be allowed onto the aircraft without
proof of taking the class.

Arriving on a K1 fiance visa, you have officially 90 days to “get to know each other better”,
and decide to marry, or not.

You don’t have to marry, but if you do not, your Filipino fiancé should leave the USA
before the allowed 90 visit expires.

Assuming you marry on time, your Filipino spouse can remain in the USA, does not have to ever leave, providing that you and your spouse apply to USCIS for
permission to stay.

This new application is called Adjustment of Status. Your Filipino spouse “adjusts” his or her immigration status from a 90 day visitor to a lawful permanent resident.

VisaCoach helps you prepare this application too. Previously, US immigration was concerned about fraud. They still are. So this application again must contain critical evidence
of a bona fide relationship. We include evidence of the wedding, honeymoon, setting up
a home together. We again help you write your statement updating what is happening in your bona fide relationship.

The process to get the green card is slow, usually taking over a year.

Once permanent residency is approved, your Filipino spouse gets the Green Card.

But wait ! This Green Card has an expiry date that is only two Years away !!

The reason that they only issue a Conditional green card valid for only two years is because US immigration is still cautious, they are still skeptical about your “romance” case and they want one more opportunity to catch you in fraud.

Just prior to the end of the two years of Lawful Residence, we apply to USCIS once again. This application is called “Removal of Conditions on Residence”

At the end of this process, usually 1 to 2 years, your Filipino spouse finally gets a regular
Green Card, this one is permanent without conditions.

For many this is the end of the US immigration journey. Your Filipino spouse has her or his green card, can reside in the USA as long as she or he wants. Your spouse is still a citizen of the Philippines, and still uses her or his Philippines Passport when traveling outside the USA.

However, for most, there is one more, one last Final step that can be taken.

Once your Filipino spouse has been a lawful US resident for 3 years, if she or he wants, can apply to become a US Citizen, and be able to vote in US elections and travel using a US passport.


By Fred Wahl
the Visa Coach