Passing the interview is not the last step in the immigration process. The K1 fiancee visa is embossed onto the foreign Fiance’s passport and sent via courier. Within 6 months the fiance must travel to the USA. Within 90 days the wedding should occur. Then in order to remain in the USA the former fiance, now spouse applies for Adjustment of Status. Only conditional permanent residency is granted, necessitating two years later another application to USCIS in order to remove the conditions. A year beyond that the spouse is eligible to apply for US citizenship.
Let’s talk about What happens after the K1 Fiance Visa Interview?
It’s taken awhile to get here. After many months of careful preparation,team work (between you, me and your fiance) and nerve wracking waiting, your fiance has finally had her or his interview.
The VisaCoach “front loaded presentation” has done its job. Before the interview started, the consulate officer reviewed our petition and found many good reasons to trust you and want to approve the visa.
By the time he pressed the button to call your fiance to come to his desk, he was already inclined and prepared to say “yes”. Once the interview started, it was friendly, and after only a few minutes, ended with “Welcome to the USA”
So what happens next?
Your fiance has already handed in her or his passport. This will stay at the consulate, to have the k1 visa imprinted on one of its pages.
About a week later, the passport will be returned, usually by courier to your fiance.
And along with the passport will also be a sealed envelope, labeled “do not open”. This is a summary of the medical exam that had been taken prior to the interview. Do not open means just that. Leave the envelope sealed.
Upon first entering the USA, your fiance will be met by a Customs and Border Patrol officer. He will discuss with her the terms of the fiance visa.
And he MIGHT ask for the sealed envelope. Your fiance should keep it with her in her hand carry luggage, cause if asked for it, she will need to present it before getting access to any checked-in luggage.
If the officer doesn’t ask for it. Don’t worry, it’s up to him and the procedures followed at his post.
The K1 visa is valid for use for up to six months. But this is not six months from the date of the interview, it is six months from the date of the medical exam. So do check the dates carefully and make sure your fiance begins the journey to the USA before it expires.
Upon Arrival, your fiance is allowed a 90 day stay. This means the fiance visa is treated just like a visitor visa. It is officially for a temporary stay of only a maximum 90 day visit.
However adds has the “special benefit” that should you marry within the 90 days, then your new spouse is eligible to stay if she applies for “Adjustment of Status”.
Marry within 90 days of arrival. Then apply for Adjustment of Status, to “Adjust” from a temporary visitor to a Permanent Resident.
When permanent residency is approved, your spouse gets an id card, about the size of a driver’s licence that confirms permission to remain in the USA. This is what is called the “green card”
As the marriage had just taken place the permanent residency that is granted is only good for two years. This is called “conditional” permanent residency. Just before it expires, you will apply to USCIS to have the permanent residency upgraded to un-condition, permanent, permanent residency.
Finally 3 years, from the start your spouse’s permanent residency, your spouse is eligible to apply for US citizenship.
For all these steps, Fiance Visa, Adjustment of Status, Removal of Conditions and Citizenship team VisaCoach can work with you to achieve your goals.
By Fred Wahl