• K Visa FAQ - K1 Fiance Visa, K3 Spousal Visa and other Marriage Based Immigration Questions
    A Complete guide for obtaining a K1 and K3 (plus derivitive) Visa, immigrating, and becoming a US Citizen.


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    Section 4.0...THE K1/K2 VISA APPLICATION PROCESS completed by the Fiance(e)

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    Frequently Asked Questions:

    4.1)...How long after the approval of the I-129F petition does the fiance(e) wait to get the paperwork?
    4.2)...Can the foreign consulate be notified any faster???
    4.3)...Exactly what type of paperwork does the fiance(e) receive from the Consulate?
    4.3.1)...What does the fiance(e) do with all these papers?
    4.3.2)...Can my fiance(e) start gathering documents and information right away to "speed things along?"
    4.3.3)...Do I need documents translated into english for the K1 application?
    4.3.4)...Are the photographs supposed to be made the same way as the ones we sent in for the I-129F?
    4.3.5)...What vaccinations are required and is it better to have had these done prior to the interview at the embassy?
    4.3.6)...What should I bring with me to the interview?
    4.4)...When is the K1 visa actually given to my fiance(e)?
    4.4.1)...Must the K2 child attend the interview at the Consulate?
    4.4.2)...My child did not move with me to the United States, but now he wants to move here. He was listed on the I-129F petition. Can he still get a K2 visa?
    4.4.3)...Are K2 children required to have their own passports?
    4.5)...Just what is inside that sealed envelope anyway?
    4.6)...Can my fiance(e) come to the US to visit me once the visa process is started?
    4.7)...Is an extract from the records (short form) a valid birth certificate, I know it is for UK stuff, but how about the K1 process ?
    4.8).. I am adopted and don't have a birth certificate - what do I do?
    4.9)...How often are the K1 visas denied?
    4.10)...I'm getting conflicting reports on what is required for a plane ticket to the U.S. I was told that you need to have a round trip ticket. Is that true?
    4.11)...My alien fiancee has been issued a K-1 visa. Can we get married abroad and then come back together to the US with the K-1?
    4.12)...Does the government, for visa purposes, distinguish between religious and civil weddings?




    Answers:


    4.1)...How long after the approval of the I-129F petition does the fiance(e) wait to get the paperwork?
    A..This can take awhile...The USCIS (INS) Service Centers send the approved petition information to the NVC (National Visa Center) for processing and from there it is sent to the Consulates. It typically takes about a month from the NOA2 date (I-129f approval) until the package arrives at the embassy.
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    4.2)...Can the foreign consulate be notified any faster???
    A...In the past you could request (with a fee) that the Service Center "cable" the approval to the embassy to speed things along. This is no longer an option despite what you may hear.

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    4.3)...What type of paperwork does the fiance(e) receive from the Consulate?
    A...Exactly what gets sent will vary depending on the Consulate, but the first packet to arrive will most likely contain the following:
    • DS-2001 (or OF-169 or UK/85) -- This is your main set of instructions. It is also a checklist of items required for the interview.
    • OF-167 -- information sheet about financial responsibility. You may also receive an I-134 Affidavit of Support form.
    • DS-230 or OF-230 Part 1 -- biographical data sheet.
    • DS-156 -- Nonimmigrant visa application form
    • DS-156K -- Nonimmigrant fiance(e) visa application
    • DS-157 -- Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (for all males between ages of 16 and 45)
    • You may, at this time, receive medical exam information, and a list of required immunizations.
    • DSL-1083 -- An information sheet about police certificates, military records and more.
    In December, 2001, the State Department announced a change in the name of Packets 3 and 4, which were the instructions, forms and appointment information. They are now referred to as "Instruction Package" and "Appointment Package". Some of the forms are renamed slightly as well, so if the exact form numbers are different, just follow the instructions.
    Sometimes, the Consulate may forget to send extra copies of these application forms for the children for whom a K2 visa is intended. If so, contact the Consulate to obtain the forms.
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    4.3.1)...What does the fiance(e) do with all these papers?
    A..The process is not exactly the same for all countries, but works generally like this:
    • Read the instructions on the checklist and look over all the forms.
    • Fill out and sign the DS-230 (OF-230) Part 1 biographical data sheet and send it back to the Consulate, one for the fiance(e) and one for each K2 child. This allows the Consulate to begin actual processing of your case.
    • Look over the DS-2001 (or UK/85 or OF-169) checklist, which contains a list of items for you to gather for the interview. It will list items such as (but not limited to):
      • Passport
      • Birth Certificate
      • Divorce decree
      • Police Certificate
      • Photographs
      • Evidence of Support (use the I-134 from the US Citizen)
      • Military Records
      • Any requirements for translations of foreign language documents.
    • When you have gathered all the required items from the OF-169 (or UK/85) checklist, you will sign it and send the checklist to the Consulate. Do NOT send any of the listed items.....keep them for the interview. Hang on to the DS-156 and 156K application forms. Fill them out but do NOT sign them until the interview itself, as the signatures must be witnessed by the Consular official.
    • You will receive an information sheet about financial support (OF-167). The US Citizen NEEDS TO KNOW if the Consulate requires any special documentation with the I-134 (i.e. 3 years of income tax returns instead of just one). The I-134 Affidavit is filled out by the US Citizen when used for K1 visa applications. The US Citizen should send the completed I-134 Affidavit to the fiance(e). Although the fiance(e) will get an I-134 Affidavit with the OF-167, the US Citizen should already have it completed by this stage. If there are K2 children involved, a separate I-134 affidavit is not required for them, as the K2 children are listed on the I-134 along with the foreign fiance(e).
      Some Consulates (Vancouver and ?) require the submission of a simple form called the "Sponsors Financial Responsibility under the Social Security Act", signed by the US Citizen. This form is apparently not available for download anywhere, but there is a GIF file available at soc_sec1.htm
      This form may also be available on a few personal websites, so ask the group.
    • After the Consulate receives the signed DS-2001 (UK/85 or OF-169) checklist, and the background checks have been completed, they will send out another packet to the fiance(e). This will set the date for the interview, and give information regarding the physical exam, including a list of "approved physicians". Also included will be the OF-157, the medical exam instructions (if not already received with the first packet).
      This info will be sent out anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks prior to the interview. Waiting for the interview date is usually the most "stressful" time for the fiance(e).
    • The "timing" of the medical exam varies, depending on the Consulate. Refer questions regarding the medical to the newsgroup.

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    4.3.2)...Can the fiance(e) start gathering documents and information right away to "speed things along?"
    A..You don't have to wait for the packet to arrive to begin gathering the birth certificate, divorce or death decrees, photographs, military records, and medical information from your doctor about which immunizations you have had. You might not be able to request the police clearance without the actual checklist from the Consulate as "proof" that you need it. You can download the various forms and use them for "practice". Refer questions to the forums, as there is a LOT of specific information that can save you weeks of time, depending on what country you are filing from. The fiance(e) also needs a passport, valid for at least 6 months from the time the visa is issued.
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    4.3.3)...Do I need documents translated into English for the K1 application?
    A..On the checklist the K-1 fiance/e receives it states that English or the native language where the consulate is located is acceptable. If the Consulate *must* have English translations, it will be stated on the checklist.

    A..While the translation of documents may not be required for the K-1 visa, the translation of foreign language documents WILL be required for adjustment of status. If your language is different from English, I would tactfully suggest that the foreign fiance get translations *prior* to entering the US on the k-1 visa. See this note on translations.
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    4.3.4)...Are the photographs supposed to be made the same way as the ones we sent in for the I-129F?
    A...In the past, this seemed to vary per Consulate, with some using the ADIT type and some requiring "passport" type (full frontal color). Efforts to standardize this have been made since October 1999. All consulates are now requiring passport style photo's. Your checklist will describe the required photo. As a note, in August 2004 the USCIS also began requiring "passport" style photo's.
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    4.3.5)...What vaccinations are required and is it better to have had these done prior to the interview at the embassy?
    A...The actual list of vaccinations given to the fiance(e) is rather long, and US government agencies publish these lists, however, depending on your age and previous history, you may only need a few of them, perhaps none at all.
    A....When you go for your medical exam, the doctor there can help you determine what vaccinations (if any) you will require. You can opt to have them there, (at additional cost) or you can get them at a later date from your own doctor or clinic. You will have to have them by the time your adjustment of status is complete so you can even get them in the US if that is more convenient for you.
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    4.3.6)...What should I bring with me to the interview?
    A...You need everything from the checklist, of course, but you also need originals of everything that was originally submitted as a copy, even with the I-129F petition (except the US Citizens passport and the original I-797 approval notice). Original birth certificates, divorce or death decrees, and originals of any documents to support the I-134 fall into this category. The Consulate has the right to ask for the original of any document, so best be prepared.
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    4.4)...When is the K1 visa actually given to my fiance(e)?
    A..This will vary wildly according to the individual consulate. Some will issue the visa immediately, but many will not. In 2002, additional security checks were causing great heartache and inconvenience to applicants in Russia and China, whereas Stockholm and London would issue the visa the same day. In the Philippines, procedures in 2002 changed, with visas sent by mail.
    Ask the newsgroup about latest developments.

    The visa is given along with a sealed envelope of documents which must be given to the USCIS (INS) officer when entering the US. The visa must be used within 6 months of being issued. The fiance(e) is allowed to enter the US once with the visa, with the purpose of getting married, which must happen within 90 days. The fiance(e) is not allowed to travel freely into and out of the US with the visa, it is good for one entry only. If there is a K2 visa involved, the K2 may enter up to a year after the K1. The K2 cannot enter the US before the K1.
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    4.4.1)...Must the K2 child attend the interview at the Consulate?
    A...Generally, yes. The Consulate sets the requirements. Some do not require the child to attend if they are under 14, and some will require the child to attend even if they are not going to move to the United States with the parent, but will "follow to join" later.
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    4.4.2)...My child did not move with me to the United States, but now he wants to move here. He was listed on the I-129F petition. Can he still get a K2 visa?
    A..I included my Ukrainian fiance's 18 year son on the I-129f form. My fiancee went for her interview alone on Jan 27th, 1998. She immediately came to the US and we were married on Feb 21st. I called the US Embassy in Warsaw in July and explained that my Stepson was ready for his interview. He had 1 year to come the US on the k-2 visa. They set an appointment for him in 30 days. They mailed him the same forms as they did for my wife. He had to get the same documentation as my wife had to for her interview. As soon as he arrived in the US we applied for his change of status and work card.
    (FAQ note: the son moved to the US in Sept 98, and even had the visa interview delayed a month due to problems obtaining an international passport. He was not even required to have a new I-134 affidavit, Although his step dad sent one to him.)
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    4.4.3)...Are K2 children required to have their own passports?
    A...In general, a separate passport is not required if the child is under 16. If the Consulate requires the child to have a passport, it will be listed on the OF-169 (or UK85). Many countries will permit young children to be listed on a parents passport, but at least consider getting a passport for your young child. You can avoid any problems dealing with INS upon entry, the young person can travel independently (if required), and the passport provides an identification document if you are ever separated for some reason. Besides, it will make a cool addition to the scrapbook collection when the child is an adult.
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    4.5)...Just what is inside that sealed envelope anyway?
    A.. Someone had asked me about the contents of the envelope from the consulate. It contained all the original I-129F documents, the K-1 forms which I completed for the consulate, our photos, birth and divorce certificates, my medical report, and the affidavit of support.
    A.. Just thought in case anyone is interested the mysterious brown envelope is all the documents that the US Citizen submitted for the K-1 and all of the K-1's physical and approval from the embassy. Ours was not sealed so we had to take a peek at it.
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    4.6)...Can my fiance(e) come to the US to visit me once the visa process is started?

    This may actually be the most common question in the newsgroup, asked on a near daily basis.

    A..I wrote to the Embassy in London and I was given this reply: "If you wish to make a temporary visit to the US while your application for a Fiance(e) visa is being processed, you will require a visitor's visa (B-1/B-2) or, if you meet the conditions, travel visa-free. However, all travelers to the US are subject to inspection at the port of entry by an immigration officer who has the right to deny admissions. As the beneficiary of an approved Fiance(e) visa (petition) you may have difficulty convincing the officer that you are not an intending immigrant."

    A.. If the fiance(e)..."Has a residence in a foreign country which the alien does not intend to abandon", and if the fiance(e) is "An alien coming to meet the alien's fiance(e)'s family (to become engaged; to make arrangements for a wedding; or to renew a relationship with the prospective spouse)", then they can enter the US on a B2 visa. (Quotes from the USCIS (INS) Inspectors Field Manual). This does not specifically address an alien with a "K1 visa application pending". Proving an intention to return home might mean showing...
    • Current enrollment in school
    • Employment in the home country
    • Strong family ties to the home country
    This question does not have a good answer. Many people visit the US during the Process, but some newsgroupers have reported that once the initial background check is done by the Consulate, subsequent visits to the US required an additional FBI check done by the Consulate, which resulted in a delay in the visa application process. Refer questions regarding experiences to the newsgroup.
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    4.7)...Is an extract from the records (short form) a valid birth certificate, I know it is for UK stuff, but how about the K1 process ?
    A..It has to be a full Certificate (long form), i.e. showing parents names etc...not the short form one. A Certified Copy (ie on official paper, would be considered an original).
    A.. it is very easy to get copies of the BC in the UK.. just call the records officer controlling the district where you was born. I searched for the number on the net, called and got the address and cost (£6 pound each). Send a letter with a cheque and 4 days later got 4 original copies.
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    4.8.. I am adopted and don't have a birth certificate - what do I do?
    A..USCIS (INS) will accept a full adoption certificate. Showing adopting parents names and the same information shown on a birth certificate. The address of where to get these can be obtained from the local Registrar of Births Marriages and Deaths (in England)
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    4.9...How often are the K1 visa applications denied?
    A..In reading posts from the newsgroup, not often. The K1/K2 visa application process is handled by the US State Department through the US Consulates. USCIS (INS) is not involved at this stage. It is assumed the fiance(e) meets the requirements for medical test, police records, etc. The newsgroup has experienced denials based on failure to disclose a prior minor criminal offense, and failure to disclose a visa overstay during a previous visit to the US. It wasn't the necessarily the minor crime or the overstay that caused the denial, but in both cases, the applicants did not admit to them.
    If you have some sort of past problem, you will have a better chance at getting the K1 visa if you are honest and forthright. In early 1999, a UK man received a K1 despite past minor criminal problems, and he attributed his success to his total honesty. Depending on the particular reason for denial, a waiver may be available.
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    4.10..I'm getting conflicting reports on what is required for a plane ticket to the U.S. I was told that you need to have a round trip ticket. Is that true?
    A...This subject has been discussed in the newsgroup at great length. The plane ticket is irrelevant! Go for what ever fits your budget. (Note: this means it is not required to have a round trip ticket when entering on a K1 visa)
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    4.11)...My alien fiancee has been issued a K-1 visa. Can we get married abroad and then come back together to the US with the K-1?
    A...No. The alien must NOT be married when s/he enters the US on a K-1 visa. Also, if using the K-1, the couple must marry in the US within 90 days of the alien entering on the K-1.
    (FAQ Note: Some couples arrange to have a non legal ceremony prior to the fiance(e) leaving their home country, in order to satisfy the wishes of family, or to have a celebration if the family is unable to travel to the US for a wedding.
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    4.12)...Does the government, for visa purposes, distinguish between religious and civil marriages?
    A...The government distinguishes between legal and non legal marriages. If the marriage is legal in the country in which it is performed, the US will consider it a legal marriage. It doesn't matter if it is a civil or religious marriage.
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    This FAQ is located at http://www.visajourney.com/faq/k1faq.htm