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Sheriff Uling

Manila Embassy K1 Visa Guide

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Manila Embassy K1 Visa Guide… (Please read thoroughly)

TABLE OF SECTIONS

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECTION 1

Overview

Section 1.1
Five Stages of the K1 Visa Immigration Process

SECTION 2

Introduction

Section 2.1
K1 Visa Introduction

Section 2.2
K2 Visa Derivative Status for Children of K1 Visa Applicants

SECTION 3

Post NOA1 (Receipt Notice) Information

Section 3.1
Petition Case Status

SECTION 4

Post NOA2 (Approval Notice) Information

Section 4.1
NOA2 Expiration Date

Section 4.2
The National Visa Center (
NVC
)

Section 4.3
The Manila Embassy (USE)

Section 4.4
The Department of State (DOS)

Section 4.5
Document Verification

Section 4.6
Visa Interview Appointments website

Section 4.7
St. Luke's Medical Extension Clinic (SLMEC)

SECTION 5

Post Visa Approval Information

Section 5.1
DELBROS

SECTION 6

Post Visa Delivery Information

Section 6.1
Visa and Port of Entry (POE) Package

Section 6.2
CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar

Section 6.3
The I-94 Arrival / Departure Record

SECTION 7

Final Notes and Closing

Section 7.1
Closing Remarks

===================================================================

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

SA1: Per the Manila Embassy website [CLICK HERE], starting February 1, 2008, the Manila Embassy has imposed a document verification fee. According to their staff, the fee should be paid at least a month before the visa interview. Please review section 4.5 for more details.

SA2: Per the Manila Embassy website, as of March 2008, there is an updated Packet 4 [ENGLISH / TAGALOG] for K1/K2 visas (see Section 4.3 for more details).

SA3: Per the Manila Embassy website [CLICK HERE], "...starting March 10, 2008, there will be an increase in the delivery fee from PhP 135 to PhP 250 per visa packet for Metro Manila and other key cities..."

SA4: Per the Manila Embassy website (closer to the bottom) [CLICK HERE], starting March 14, 2008, those applying for K1, K2, K3 and K4 visas who have been notified by the Embassy to prepare for their interview can call a Visa Information Service operator to schedule an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy.

===================================================================

SECTION 1 - Overview

1.1 K1 VISA IMMIGRATION STAGES - A simplified and theoretical overview of the Five Stages of the K1 Visa process, according to Sheriff Uling [CLICK HERE].

===================================================================

SECTION 2 - Introduction/Starting Line

2.1 K1 Visa INTRODUCTION - Just starting out, then please review the information within post #1 of VJ's General K1 Guides and Info thread [CLICK HERE].

2.2 Children Have DERIVATIVE STATUS - The unmarried minor child of a fiancé(e) may receive a derivative K-2 Visa from his/her parent’s fiancé(e) approved I-129F petition. The USC / petitioner must make sure the beneficiary’s child(ren) name(s) is/are on the I-129F petition. The child(ren) may travel with (accompany) the K-1 parent/fiancé(e) or travel later (follow-to-join) within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa to his/her parent. A separate petition is not required if the child(ren) accompany or follow the alien fiancé(e) within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa. If it is longer than one year from the date of visa issuance, a separate immigrant visa petition is required. Remember that in immigration law a child(ren) must be unmarried. A separate visa fee and medical exam is required for each visa applicant. The stepparent/stepchild(ren) relationship must be created before the child(ren) reaches the age of 18. After the marriage of the child(ren)’s parent (beneficiary) and the USC, the child(ren) will need a separate form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence in order to Adjust Status from nonimmigrant to permanant resident.

Following-to-join applicants may derive immigration benefits only if:

1) The spouse or children were acquired before the principal applicant’s admission into the United States; and

2) The principal applicant gained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status or was issued an immigrant visa under the family-preference or employment-based visa categories or was issued a non-immigrant K or V visa. Foreign nationals who immigrated to the U.S. under an immediate relative (IR) visa category need to file a separate Form I-130 visa petition on behalf of their spouses and children.

3) The principal applicant has not naturalized. Once the principal applicant becomes a U.S. citizen, a separate visa petition needs to be filed on behalf of the spouse and/or children to qualify for immigration benefits again.

Following-to-join derivative beneficiaries must present documentation establishing the principal applicant’s immigration status in the United States and their relationship to their principal. These include:

1) A copy of the child’s birth certificate issued by the National Statistics Office

2) A copy of the marriage certificate issued by the National Statistics Office

3) A copy of the principal alien’s registration receipt card or I-551 or a copy of the principal alien’s passport pages indicating admission to the U.S. as an immigrant

4) If applicable, Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition

DS Note: Once the Embassy ascertains the eligibility for following-to-join derivative status, it will provide instructions on how to apply for the visas. To learn more about travel clearance for minors [CLICK HERE] (Thx Roy and Yazi). Please also review the follow-to-join information provided by the Manila Embassy (USE) website [CLICK HERE]. The derivative status information is a compilation of information extracted from the Deparment of State website (Section 2.1), the Packet 4 supplied by the Manila Embassy (Section 4.3), and information provided on the Manila Embassy website.

===================================================================

SECTION 3 - Post NOA1 (Receipt Notice) Information

3.1 PETITION CASE STATUS - Once the US Citizen (USC) / "petitioner" has filed the petition (I-129F) and received a "receipt number" (listed on the NOA1), please register on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website using the Case Status Online Tool [CLICK HERE] to receive emailed updates concerning the status of the petition. NOTE: If you want emailed updates to multiple addresses then you must create multiple customer portfolio accounts. When the petition is approved (NOA2), the USCIS forwards the case files to the NVC normally within 14 - 30 days. The Case Status Online Tool is of no further use to you until after the beneficiary arrives in the United States, get's married, applies for the Adjustment of Status (AOS), Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and/or Advance Parole (AP) because this tool does not track the activity being performed at the NVC or the Manila Embassy (USE).

===================================================================

SECTION 4 - Post NOA2 (Approval Notice) Information

4.1 NOA2 EXPIRATION DATE - Don't be alarmed if the visa interview is scheduled after the NOA2 expiration date because the Consular Officer (CO) at the Manila Embassy will automatically revalidate the petition by extend the expiration date in four months increments until all actions are finalized . No actions by the USC and/or beneficiary are required.

4.2 The NATIONAL VISA CENTER (NVC) number is within my signature. NVC assigns a case number after a preliminary backgroud/name check has cleared, then forwards your case files electronic and via snail mail to the Manila Embassy. This normally takes approximately 14 - 30 days to complete. Have the USC (petitioner) call (the number is within my signature) or email your inquiry to NVCINQUIRY@state.gov (be sure to include the beneficiary's name, date of birth, place of birth, and receipt number). A NVC Processing Letter [SAMPLE HERE] (a.k.a. Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) letter) may or may not be sent to the USC (petitioner), which indicates the case number and approximate time when the case files will be sent to the Manila Embassy. This complimentary NVC Processing Letter (a.k.a. Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) letter) is not required for any stage in the immigration process.

4.3 The MANILA EMBASSY (USE) number is within my signature. Family and/or friends are prohibited from entering the facility, unless otherwise required. Once the USE has received the hard copy case file from the NVC, the K1 Visa Applicant/beneficiary's case will begin processing. The USE will subsequently send the beneficiary a Confirmation Letter [SAMPLE HERE] (Thx dbears) indicating that the hard copy case file has been received and that the visa interview may be scheduled. The USE Confirmation Letter is not Packet 3. THE USE ONLY ISSUES PACKET 4 WHICH IS NOW ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE. Please review this instructional visa interview/USE layout information/testimonial [CLICK HERE] (Thx Sillygirl).

K1/K2 Visa Application Fee: The K1/K2 visa application fee may be paid at anytime and the beneficiary has upto a year to attend a visa interview before the receipt becomes invalid. Packet 4 indicates that BPI and Citibank will validate the DS-156 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) form or the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Application) form. FYI - In the past, only the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Application) form was validated for K1/K2 visas.

Packet 4 (Visa Preparation Instructions and Forms): The Packet 4 (Fiance(e) (K1/K2) Visa Applicants’ Interview Preparation Instructions) released in March 2008 is ONLY available via the Manial Embassy website in [ENGLISH] / [TAGALOG], which means that Packet 4 will NOT be mailed to the beneficiary. As indicated by the USE Confirmation Letter, K1 visa applicants are now responsible for scheduling their own visa interview. In addition, the beneficaries are responsible for obtaining Packet 4 and the visa applications online.

Filing Out the Forms: None of the official K1/K2 visa application forms will not be mailed to the beneficiary, as of March 2008, but may be downloaded from the Department of State (DOS) website [CLICK HERE] which is indicated in the USE Confirmation Letter mailed to the beneficary once the hard copy case files has been received by the USE from the NVC. As of 01 November 2006, the DS-156 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) MUST be completed online via the Electronic Visa Application Form (EVAF) http://evisaforms.state.gov, which is sited on the DOS website. Completion of the DS-156K (Nonimmigrant Fiancé(e) Visa Application), the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application) and the I-134 (Affidavit of Support) can be done via computer (recommended), type-writer (just as good), or handwritten (last resort). To review the K1 Visa Forms (DS-156, DS-156K, DS-157, & I-134) most Frequently Asked Questions [CLICK HERE]. To review the Manila Embassy Thread's recommendations on what to bring (which directly corresponds with Packet 4) and sample questions asked by the Consular Officer during the visa interview [CLICK HERE]. All applications and/or back-up documentation referenced in Packet 4 should be presented during the visa interview and should NOT be mailed or faxed to the USE unless explicitly instructed to do so by the USE.

Scheduling the Visa Inerview and Medical Exam: The visa interview may be scheduled by calling 1-909-101-7878 (from the Philippines at a rate of US$0.98 per minute) or 1-888-877-9888 (from the United States for a toll of $18 for three calls - pin code access provided upon payment). Once the visa interview is scheduled, an official Confirmation Email will be sent [SAMPLE HERE] (Thx dbears). Check out Section 4.7, St. Luke's Medical Extension Clinic (SLMEC), on planning/scheduling the medical exam.

Petitioner/Beneficiary Change of Address: If the petitioner and/or beneficiary has a change of address after the petiton package is sent by the NVC to the USE and before the visa interview, please call the Manila Embassy in order for the new address to be annotated within the case file, and complete the application forms with the new address(es).

Petitioners Attendance at the Visa Interview: The petitioner is NOT required to attend the visa interview with the beneficiary, and will NOT be asked any questions during the visa interview. In fact, some COs request for the petitioner to continue waiting in the lobby. Approximated 90% of the visa interviews are held WITHOUT the attendance of the petitioner, according to VJ member(s).

K1 Visa Pick-up Request: In order for the beneficiary to pick up the visa versus having it delivered by DELBROS (Section 5.1), make a verbal request to the Consular Officer (CO) at the conclusion of the visa interview. No written request is required. Honestly, the beneficiary has a 50/50 chance of picking up the visa. It also depends on the consular office that handles the case.

K1/K2 Visa Expiration: The K1/K2 Visa is valid for six months, which is good for a one-time entry into the United States. If the beneficiary is unable to depart for the United States immediately and the visa expires, a new one-time entry visa may be issued upon written request to the USE, which also requires the payment of another application and processing fee.

Calling the USE: The best time to call is between 7:30am – 8:30am Manila time. If the phone rings 4 times, the recording will start indicating that "the person on that extension is on the phone" simply hit the number 0 and it will re-dial the same extension (continue to do this until the phone is answered) (Thx CB). The Immigrant Visa Unit will handle the call even though the K1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa because of the beneficiary's intent to migrate and live permanantly in the United States.

USE Note: Effective 01 March 2007, cellphones and other electronic devices will NOT be permitted into the US Embassy and applicants who bring such devices will be DENIED entry, per the Manila Embassy. Be advised that on the visa interview date, the pre-screeners, at times, are very direct, rude, and mean. So do not be discouraged by them.

4.4 The DEPARTMENT OF STATE (DOS) number is within my signature. After the petition is approved (NOA2), the USC and/or beneficiary have the option of calling the DOS instead of the Manila Embassy to inquire when the electronic and/or hard copy case files have been sent out and received by the USE that we sent by the NVC. In addition the USC and/or beneficiary may call the DOS instead of the Manila Embassy to inquire when and if the medical exam and visa appointment dates are scheduled, which is very helpful when the Visa Interview Appointments website (Section 4.5) is down.

DOS Note: The DOS has no direct participation in the K1 process (only access to the computer system to view the status of cases).

4.5 DOCUMENT VERIFICATION: For a step-by-step guide to the document verification process, [CLICK HERE] (Thx EricC). Per the USE website [CLICK HERE], "Applicants whose visa eligibility is dependent upon their marital status (i.e. K-1, K-3, CR-1, IR-1, F-1 and F2-B categories) will normally need to have their documents verified through the National Statistics Office (NSO) before the U.S. Embassy in Manila can issue the visa. Those with a delayed birth or death certificate or only local civil registrar copies of such documents may need to have their documents verified. In order to avoid unnecessary delay in the visa issuance process, the U.S. Embassy in Manila strongly encourages applicants in the categories mentioned above to pay the document verification fee prior to their immigrant visa interview. Payment can be made through any Metrobank location. The cost of the document verification is P650 per applicant (with an additional P50 processing fee) [a/o Feb 2008]. For specific instructions on how to pay the document verification fee, please [CLICK HERE]. If you are unable to pay for the document verification before your immigrant visa interview, you may be asked to pay the fee on the day of your interview. Please note that if you pay on the day of your interview, there will be a delay of one to two weeks in the processing of your application." In order to locate a Metrobank near you [CLICK HERE]. After the document verification fee is paid, please text Delbos at (0917) 5555­-313 and key-in as follows [iN ALL CAPS]: USE/CASE NO./LASTNAME, FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME/BRANCH NAME/DATE OF DEPOSIT/TIME OF DEPOSIT/AMOUNT DEPOSIT

For example - USE/MNL123456789/DELA CRUZ, JUAN PABLO SANTOS/MANDAUE CITY/11NOV2007/11:45AM/PHP1300

The beneficiary will receive a confirmation text from Delbros stating, "This is to acknowledge the deposit you made. We confirm your payment to the document verification as required by the US Embassy. Thank you. Delbros delivers!" If the beneficiary texted the format incorrectly, Delbros will send a text message stating, "Incomplete information or Invalid format" in which case the beneficiary is required to re-text Delbros using the correct format. It is further recommended that the beneficiary call Delbros directly at 2-339-2761 to ensure the results of the document verification are sent to the USE prior to the visa interview. In preparation for the visa interview, please bring the original receipt (from Metrobank as back-up) and a copy to give the USE in order to validate the payment of the document verification fee was paid as part of the required documents.

DV Note: Beneficiaries are NOT required to bring NSO certified documents to Metrobank or Delbros prior to or subsequent payment of the documentation verification fee. Delbros will be checking with the government agencies to make sure what you are submitting is real on the USE's behalf. The USE recommends that beneficiaries pay the document verification fee and text Delbros at least a month in advance of the the visa interview, in order to provide enough time for the document verification process (however, document verification may be requested anytime after the NVC assigns a case number).The USE further requests that the beneficiary faxes the document verification receipt received from Metrobank to the USE's Immigrant Visa Unit at (632) 301-2591. When faxing the USE, please be sure to include the beneficiary's full name, mailing address, telephone number, case number, and visa category. If you elected to pay the document verification fee, please, please, please periodically follow-up with the USE and Delbros to ensure the document verication process has been completed before the visa interview.

4.6 The VISA INTERVIEW APPOINTMENT WEBSITE link is within my signature. While checking the visa appointment date and time via the website, please do NOT press enter after the case number is entered because that will not yield a result. Please click on the "Check Appointment" tab. If the appointments have been scheduled, the following will be available: Case Number, Visa Classification, St. Luke's appointment Date, and Embassy Appointment Date, but if the appointments are NOT scheduled yet, the result will be "Case Number Not Found on Appointment List."

VIAW Note: If the Visa Interview Appointments website is down (sometimes the site is down for a few days at a time every month normally for maintenance), the USC and/or beneficiary may call the USE (Section 4.3) or the DOS (Section 4.4) to inquire about the status of the visa appointment. It's very rare, however, there are occassions when the beneficiary's visa appointment is not registered or is incorrect in the database. If so, please follow-up with the USE immediately.

4.7 ST. LUKE'S MEDICAL EXTENSION CLINIC (SLMEC) information is within my signature. The beneficiary and derivative(s) are required to have medical exam(s) and vaccination shots before a visa can be issued (per the US Immigration Laws) and should be taken before the visa interview. Family and/or friends are prohibited from entering the facility, unless otherwise required.

The medical exam, adminstered by SLMEC, is a two days process:

Day 1 is the medical exam whereas the beneficiary's passport will be taken and sent to the USE along with the medical exam results and;

Day 2 is the vaccination whereas the beneficiary will be given the x-ray film and the DS-3025 Vaccination Worksheet/Record at the conclusion.

Planning/Scheduling the Medical Exam: Plan on a three night hotel stay in Manila to accomplish this part of the visa stage. Please review this instructional and layout information [CLICK HERE] (Thx Sillygirl), SLEC's Flowcharts for Day 1 and Day 2 of the Medical Exam [CLICK HERE] (Thx Rea).

Be advised, SLMEC works on a first come first served basis. Therefore, the beneficary may go at anytime to be administered the medical exam. Per the Manila Embassy Thread, we recommend that the beneficiary take the medical exam anywhere from 2 weeks to a month before the interview to ensure the results are available for the Consular Officer and to prepare in the unfortunate event of unfavorable medical results. If the medical exam is taken anytime too far beyond a month before the visa interview, there is a risk that the results could be invalid, which means the beneficiary will have to take another medical exam before the visa can be approved.

What does the beneficiary need to take to the medical exam? Check out the Manila Embassy Thread's recommendations on what to bring and sample questions asked [CLICK HERE]. Here are the basic required items that the beneficary needs to bring to the medical exam: (1) medical exam fee (payment accepted in pesos only), (2) passport (SLMEC will keep the passport and delivery it to the USE along with the medical exam results, so make a copy of the passport for your records), and (3) three 2x2 passport photos as stated on the DOS website [CLICK HERE] (referenced on page 3 of Packet 4). The beneficiary also needs to have the sponsors contact information (address, phone number, and ssn #) for the SLMEC forms. Please be sure to bring, at the least, the basic required items to the medical exam, but a more complete list is within the link for the Manila Embassy Threads recommendations listed above.

SLMEC Note: St. Luke's will forward the medical exam results along with the passport to the Manila Embassy in preparation for the visa interview.

===================================================================

SECTION 5 - Post Visa Approval Information

5.1 The DELBROS website is within my signature. DELBROS is the company responsible for delivering the beneficiary's Visa and POE information. The DELBROS delivery fee is paid subsequent to the beneficiary's visa interview at the Manila Embassy. Per the Manila Embassy website, the current delivery time is as follows:

* Metro Manila Areas, Delivered one (1) to three (3) business days after release of visaed passport to the courier

* Provincial Key Cities (ex. Cebu City, Davao City, etc.) Delivered three (3) to five (5) business days after release of visaed passport to the courier

* Outside Provincial Key Cities, (ex. Capiz, Leyte, Bukidnon, etc.), Cost depends on area/location, Delivered five (5) to seven (7) business days after release of visaed passport to the courier

Per the DELBROS staff, the Manila Embassy can take as much as three (3) business days to release the visa and POE package, which is NOT included in the deliver times above. You may also call the Manila Embassy, dial 0 for the operator, and ask for Delbros, after the visa is approve, to acquire about the status of your visa delivery.

Online Visa Tracking Option: The DELBROS website (cited within my signature below) offers a shipment tracking option. However, some VJ members attempts did not yeild any results.

K1 Visa Pick-up: The only way to pick up the approved K1/K2 Visa is by permission of the CO through a verbal request at the conclusion of the visa interview (no written request is required). If the beneficiary has paid the visa delivery fee before leaving the USE, then they must wait for the visa to be delivered.

===================================================================

SECTION 6 - Post Visa Delivery Information

6.1 K1 VISA AND PORT OF ENTRY (POE) PACKAGE - The package delivered by DELBROS to the beneficiary is enclosed in clear plastic, for which the visa, CFO instructions (see Section 6.2), and POE package (Brown Envelope) can be seen. The beneficiary may OPEN THE CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY. The brown envelope, which has the top left corner cut off, is the POE package that clearly has printed in big bold letters, "DO NOT OPEN" in Tagalog and English. And for some strange and peculiar reason, folks open the brown envelope despite the warning stating not to do so. So please do not open the brown envelope or the beneficiary WILL BE denied entry upon arriving into the US after the 13 - 18 hour flight. If for some reason the brown envelope is "inadvertantly" opened, please return to the USE ASAP and have them re-package the POE package. FYI - The visa is posted within one of the pages of the beneficiary’s passport.

6.2 The COMMISSION OF FILIPINOS OVERSEAS (CFO) - Beneficiaries are required to attend a GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SEMINAR that are held in Manila and Cebu, whichever is more convenient, before traveling abroad (the corresponding links within my signature). Please check out this instructional information on the PRISM Guidance and Counceling Seminar experience [CLICK HERE] (Thx Sillygirl). Family and/or friends are prohibited from entering the facility, unless otherwise required.

The CFO requirement consists of two parts:

Part 1, Guidance and Counseling Seminar (a certificate of completion is given at the conclusion); and

Part 2, a CFO Sticker placed inside of the passport/visa (requires the Guidance and Counseling Certificate).

The beneficiary is NOT required to have the visa in-hand in order to attend the Guidance and Counceling Seminar. However, the Guidance and Counseling Certificate along with the visa are required in order to have the CFO Sticker placed inside the K1 Visa for both the Cebu and Manila CFO locations. If the beneficiary is going to take the Guidance and Counceling Seminar before the visa is in-hand, consider calling the CFO beforehand to avoid any potential problems. In Cebu, the Guidance and Counseling Seminar is adminstered by St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation-Center for Overseas Workers (SMEF-COW) located at 3F Aya-ay Arcade, 60 Mango Avenue, Cebu City (near San Carlos Boys High). Conversely, in Manila, the Guidance and Counseling Seminar is administered at People's Reform Initiative for Social Mobilization Inc. (PRISM). For both the CFO in Cebu located at Causing-Lozada Bldg., Osmeña Blvd. corner M.J. Cuenco Avenue, Cebu City (near DFA Cebu) and the CFO in Manila location, the CFO Sticker will be applied to the visa despite the location where the Guidance and Counseling Certificate was issued.

Planning/Scheduling for the Guidance and Counseling Seminar and CFO Visa Stamp: These services are based upon a first come first served basis. However, there is a schedule for the Guidance and Counseling Seminar (the link is provided within my signature block). There is no schedule for the CFO stamp beyond normal business hours.

CFO NOTE: The CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar is not stated as a requirement within the Packet 4 instructions. However, after the visa is approved, instructions on attending the CFO Guidance and Counseling seminar are included in the visa and Port of Entry (POE) package delivered by DELBROS to the beneficiary. Travel abroad is prohibited without the CFO sticker within the beneficiary's visa (the visa is within the passport, as stated in Section 6.1). Attending the CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar is a Philippine government requirement which states, "Per Republic Act 8239 and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Order 28-94, Filipinos proceeding abroad as fiancé(e)s and spouses of foreign nationals are required to attend the CFO's guidance and counseling programs... " For more info [CLICK HERE].

6.3 The I-94 ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE RECORD form is within my signature and for more information please visit the Customs and Border Patrol website [CLICK HERE]. Foreigners (beneficiaries) complete the I-94 and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer stamps the applicant's visa as well as the arrival / departure portions of the I-94 at the Port of Entry (POE) when entering the United States. The CBP Officer will keep the arrival portion and staple the departure portion of the I-94 to beneficiary's visa where they stamped the arrival date. The beneficiary will need this for the Adjustment of Status stage.

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SECTION 7 - Final Notes and Closing

7.1 Please...

  • * review the entire guide thoroughly because many basic questions are covered

* most sections conclude with additional notes/comments that may be of some relevance to the beneciary's case

* check out this list of things to consider in "Preparation for Adjusting to Life in the United States" [CLICK HERE]

* review the signature and story tab of my wife's VJ profile [Deputy Uling] for information on the Adjustment of Status (AOS) stage

* let me know if there are any suggestions/errors/updates.

Cheers!!!

Sheriff Uling

p.s. A special thanks goes out to VJ and all the members that helped to forge this guide into existence. Hopefully this guide helps...

Edited by Sheriff Uling

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The Sheriff's Guide has been a valuble asset to the Philippine Forum. many thanks to the Sheriff for the time and effort in creating it. :thumbs:

the are some areas that could use updated. any that you notice, please feel free to post. If you could, please limit any posts to updates or changes.

post any questions you may have with separate thread in the forum.

Thanks everyone :thumbs:

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here's one,

Visa Delivery

The issued visa will be delivered to the applicant's designated address by Air 21 (the Embassy's authorized courier service provider) within 7 to 10 working days. The visa delivery fee, which is determined by the courier service, is paid by the applicant. This fee to the courier service is separate from any fees paid to the U.S. Government. Applicants do not need return to the Embassy to pick up their issued visas.

You may direct visa delivery inquiries to Air21 U.S. Embassy service hotline at 879-4747 or to the U.S. Embassy page at the Air21 website http://www.air21.com.ph/

hopefully we'll get some more input.

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“K” Visa Application Fee Accepted at Banco De Oro (BDO)

Payment for “K” nonimmigrant visa application fee is now accepted at 210 Banco de Oro (BDO) branches within Metro Manila and other key cities in the Philippines. By January 2009, application fee payment will be accepted in all BDO branches nationwide. For a complete list of BDO branches currently accepting payment, you may visit BDO’s web site at http://www.bdo.com.ph/Promos/US_payment.htm.

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Hello all!!... I have read the guidelines and have gone through the reasons for doing each and every step there is for the visa to be granted.

But I have a question regarding the Document Verification. I can't understand why it is required...I know it is needed for the eligibility of my current status but can't a CENOMAR suffice?... just asking and not complaining... hehehehehe!

Thanks in advance!!!

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Hello all!!... I have read the guidelines and have gone through the reasons for doing each and every step there is for the visa to be granted.

But I have a question regarding the Document Verification. I can't understand why it is required...I know it is needed for the eligibility of my current status but can't a CENOMAR suffice?... just asking and not complaining... hehehehehe!

Thanks in advance!!!

No more document verification since August 2008. You are now required to secure CENOMAR and BC in security paper from the NSO for your interview. Hope this helps.

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Manila Embassy K1 Visa Guide… (Please read thoroughly)

TABLE OF SECTIONS

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECTION 1

Overview

Section 1.1
Five Stages of the K1 Visa Immigration Process

SECTION 2

Introduction

Section 2.1
K1 Visa Introduction

Section 2.2
K2 Visa Derivative Status for Children of K1 Visa Applicants

SECTION 3

Post NOA1 (Receipt Notice) Information

Section 3.1
Petition Case Status

SECTION 4

Post NOA2 (Approval Notice) Information

Section 4.1
NOA2 Expiration Date

Section 4.2
The National Visa Center (
NVC
)

Section 4.3
The Manila Embassy (USE)

Section 4.4
The Department of State (DOS)

Section 4.5
Document Verification

Section 4.6
Visa Interview Appointments website

Section 4.7
St. Luke's Medical Extension Clinic (SLMEC)

SECTION 5

Post Visa Approval Information

Section 5.1
DELBROS

SECTION 6

Post Visa Delivery Information

Section 6.1
Visa and Port of Entry (POE) Package

Section 6.2
CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar

Section 6.3
The I-94 Arrival / Departure Record

SECTION 7

Final Notes and Closing

Section 7.1
Closing Remarks

===================================================================

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Document Verification Fee not needed at present time

SA2: Per the Manila Embassy website, as of March 2008, there is an updated Packet 4 [ENGLISH / TAGALOG] for K1/K2 visas (see Section 4.3 for more details).

SA3: Per the Manila Embassy website [CLICK HERE], "...starting March 10, 2008, there will be an increase in the delivery fee from PhP 135 to PhP 250 per visa packet for Metro Manila and other key cities..."

SA4: Per the Manila Embassy website (closer to the bottom) [CLICK HERE], starting March 14, 2008, those applying for K1, K2, K3 and K4 visas who have been notified by the Embassy to prepare for their interview can call a Visa Information Service operator to schedule an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy.

===================================================================

SECTION 1 - Overview

1.1 K1 VISA IMMIGRATION STAGES - A simplified and theoretical overview of the Five Stages of the K1 Visa process, according to Sheriff Uling [CLICK HERE].

===================================================================

SECTION 2 - Introduction/Starting Line

2.1 K1 Visa INTRODUCTION - Just starting out, then please review the information within post #1 of VJ's General K1 Guides and Info thread [CLICK HERE].

2.2 Children Have DERIVATIVE STATUS - The unmarried minor child of a fiancé(e) may receive a derivative K-2 Visa from his/her parent’s fiancé(e) approved I-129F petition. The USC / petitioner must make sure the beneficiary’s child(ren) name(s) is/are on the I-129F petition. The child(ren) may travel with (accompany) the K-1 parent/fiancé(e) or travel later (follow-to-join) within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa to his/her parent. A separate petition is not required if the child(ren) accompany or follow the alien fiancé(e) within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa. If it is longer than one year from the date of visa issuance, a separate immigrant visa petition is required. Remember that in immigration law a child(ren) must be unmarried. A separate visa fee and medical exam is required for each visa applicant. The stepparent/stepchild(ren) relationship must be created before the child(ren) reaches the age of 18. After the marriage of the child(ren)’s parent (beneficiary) and the USC, the child(ren) will need a separate form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence in order to Adjust Status from nonimmigrant to permanant resident.

Following-to-join applicants may derive immigration benefits only if:

1) The spouse or children were acquired before the principal applicant’s admission into the United States; and

2) The principal applicant gained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status or was issued an immigrant visa under the family-preference or employment-based visa categories or was issued a non-immigrant K or V visa. Foreign nationals who immigrated to the U.S. under an immediate relative (IR) visa category need to file a separate Form I-130 visa petition on behalf of their spouses and children.

3) The principal applicant has not naturalized. Once the principal applicant becomes a U.S. citizen, a separate visa petition needs to be filed on behalf of the spouse and/or children to qualify for immigration benefits again.

Following-to-join derivative beneficiaries must present documentation establishing the principal applicant’s immigration status in the United States and their relationship to their principal. These include:

1) A copy of the child’s birth certificate issued by the National Statistics Office

2) A copy of the marriage certificate issued by the National Statistics Office

3) A copy of the principal alien’s registration receipt card or I-551 or a copy of the principal alien’s passport pages indicating admission to the U.S. as an immigrant

4) If applicable, Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition

DS Note: Once the Embassy ascertains the eligibility for following-to-join derivative status, it will provide instructions on how to apply for the visas. To learn more about travel clearance for minors [CLICK HERE] (Thx Roy and Yazi). Please also review the follow-to-join information provided by the Manila Embassy (USE) website [CLICK HERE]. The derivative status information is a compilation of information extracted from the Deparment of State website (Section 2.1), the Packet 4 supplied by the Manila Embassy (Section 4.3), and information provided on the Manila Embassy website.

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SECTION 3 - Post NOA1 (Receipt Notice) Information

3.1 PETITION CASE STATUS - Once the US Citizen (USC) / "petitioner" has filed the petition (I-129F) and received a "receipt number" (listed on the NOA1), please register on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website using the Case Status Online Tool [CLICK HERE] to receive emailed updates concerning the status of the petition. NOTE: If you want emailed updates to multiple addresses then you must create multiple customer portfolio accounts. When the petition is approved (NOA2), the USCIS forwards the case files to the NVC normally within 14 - 30 days. The Case Status Online Tool is of no further use to you until after the beneficiary arrives in the United States, get's married, applies for the Adjustment of Status (AOS), Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and/or Advance Parole (AP) because this tool does not track the activity being performed at the NVC or the Manila Embassy (USE).

===================================================================

SECTION 4 - Post NOA2 (Approval Notice) Information

4.1 NOA2 EXPIRATION DATE - Don't be alarmed if the visa interview is scheduled after the NOA2 expiration date because the Consular Officer (CO) at the Manila Embassy will automatically revalidate the petition by extend the expiration date in four months increments until all actions are finalized . No actions by the USC and/or beneficiary are required.

4.2 The NATIONAL VISA CENTER (NVC) number is within my signature. NVC assigns a case number after a preliminary backgroud/name check has cleared, then forwards your case files electronic and via snail mail to the Manila Embassy. This normally takes approximately 14 - 30 days to complete. Have the USC (petitioner) call (the number is within my signature) or email your inquiry to NVCINQUIRY@state.gov (be sure to include the beneficiary's name, date of birth, place of birth, and receipt number). A NVC Processing Letter [SAMPLE HERE] (a.k.a. Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) letter) may or may not be sent to the USC (petitioner), which indicates the case number and approximate time when the case files will be sent to the Manila Embassy. This complimentary NVC Processing Letter (a.k.a. Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) letter) is not required for any stage in the immigration process.

4.3 The MANILA EMBASSY (USE) number is within my signature. Family and/or friends are prohibited from entering the facility, unless otherwise required. Once the USE has received the hard copy case file from the NVC, the K1 Visa Applicant/beneficiary's case will begin processing. The USE will subsequently send the beneficiary a Confirmation Letter [SAMPLE HERE] (Thx dbears) indicating that the hard copy case file has been received and that the visa interview may be scheduled. The USE Confirmation Letter is not Packet 3. THE USE ONLY ISSUES PACKET 4 WHICH IS NOW ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE. Please review this instructional visa interview/USE layout information/testimonial [CLICK HERE] (Thx Sillygirl).

K1/K2 Visa Application Fee: The K1/K2 visa application fee may be paid at anytime and the beneficiary has upto a year to attend a visa interview before the receipt becomes invalid. Packet 4 indicates that BPI and Citibank will validate the DS-156 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) form or the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Application) form. FYI - In the past, only the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Application) form was validated for K1/K2 visas.

Packet 4 (Visa Preparation Instructions and Forms): The Packet 4 (Fiance(e) (K1/K2) Visa Applicants’ Interview Preparation Instructions) released in March 2008 is ONLY available via the Manial Embassy website in [ENGLISH] / [TAGALOG], which means that Packet 4 will NOT be mailed to the beneficiary. As indicated by the USE Confirmation Letter, K1 visa applicants are now responsible for scheduling their own visa interview. In addition, the beneficaries are responsible for obtaining Packet 4 and the visa applications online.

Filing Out the Forms: None of the official K1/K2 visa application forms will not be mailed to the beneficiary, as of March 2008, but may be downloaded from the Department of State (DOS) website [CLICK HERE] which is indicated in the USE Confirmation Letter mailed to the beneficary once the hard copy case files has been received by the USE from the NVC. As of 01 November 2006, the DS-156 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) MUST be completed online via the Electronic Visa Application Form (EVAF) http://evisaforms.state.gov, which is sited on the DOS website. Completion of the DS-156K (Nonimmigrant Fiancé(e) Visa Application), the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application) and the I-134 (Affidavit of Support) can be done via computer (recommended), type-writer (just as good), or handwritten (last resort). To review the K1 Visa Forms (DS-156, DS-156K, DS-157, & I-134) most Frequently Asked Questions [CLICK HERE]. To review the Manila Embassy Thread's recommendations on what to bring (which directly corresponds with Packet 4) and sample questions asked by the Consular Officer during the visa interview [CLICK HERE]. All applications and/or back-up documentation referenced in Packet 4 should be presented during the visa interview and should NOT be mailed or faxed to the USE unless explicitly instructed to do so by the USE.

Scheduling the Visa Inerview and Medical Exam: The visa interview may be scheduled by calling 1-909-101-7878 (from the Philippines at a rate of US$0.98 per minute) or 1-888-877-9888 (from the United States for a toll of $18 for three calls - pin code access provided upon payment). Once the visa interview is scheduled, an official Confirmation Email will be sent [SAMPLE HERE] (Thx dbears). Check out Section 4.7, St. Luke's Medical Extension Clinic (SLMEC), on planning/scheduling the medical exam.

Petitioner/Beneficiary Change of Address: If the petitioner and/or beneficiary has a change of address after the petiton package is sent by the NVC to the USE and before the visa interview, please call the Manila Embassy in order for the new address to be annotated within the case file, and complete the application forms with the new address(es).

Petitioners Attendance at the Visa Interview: The petitioner is NOT required to attend the visa interview with the beneficiary, and will NOT be asked any questions during the visa interview. In fact, some COs request for the petitioner to continue waiting in the lobby. Approximated 90% of the visa interviews are held WITHOUT the attendance of the petitioner, according to VJ member(s).

K1 Visa Pick-up Request: In order for the beneficiary to pick up the visa versus having it delivered by DELBROS (Section 5.1), make a verbal request to the Consular Officer (CO) at the conclusion of the visa interview. No written request is required. Honestly, the beneficiary has a 50/50 chance of picking up the visa. It also depends on the consular office that handles the case.

K1/K2 Visa Expiration: The K1/K2 Visa is valid for six months, which is good for a one-time entry into the United States. If the beneficiary is unable to depart for the United States immediately and the visa expires, a new one-time entry visa may be issued upon written request to the USE, which also requires the payment of another application and processing fee.

Calling the USE: The best time to call is between 7:30am – 8:30am Manila time. If the phone rings 4 times, the recording will start indicating that "the person on that extension is on the phone" simply hit the number 0 and it will re-dial the same extension (continue to do this until the phone is answered) (Thx CB). The Immigrant Visa Unit will handle the call even though the K1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa because of the beneficiary's intent to migrate and live permanantly in the United States.

USE Note: Effective 01 March 2007, cellphones and other electronic devices will NOT be permitted into the US Embassy and applicants who bring such devices will be DENIED entry, per the Manila Embassy. Be advised that on the visa interview date, the pre-screeners, at times, are very direct, rude, and mean. So do not be discouraged by them.

4.4 The DEPARTMENT OF STATE (DOS) number is within my signature. After the petition is approved (NOA2), the USC and/or beneficiary have the option of calling the DOS instead of the Manila Embassy to inquire when the electronic and/or hard copy case files have been sent out and received by the USE that we sent by the NVC. In addition the USC and/or beneficiary may call the DOS instead of the Manila Embassy to inquire when and if the medical exam and visa appointment dates are scheduled, which is very helpful when the Visa Interview Appointments website (Section 4.5) is down.

DOS Note: The DOS has no direct participation in the K1 process (only access to the computer system to view the status of cases).

4.6 The VISA INTERVIEW APPOINTMENT WEBSITE link is within my signature. While checking the visa appointment date and time via the website, please do NOT press enter after the case number is entered because that will not yield a result. Please click on the "Check Appointment" tab. If the appointments have been scheduled, the following will be available: Case Number, Visa Classification, St. Luke's appointment Date, and Embassy Appointment Date, but if the appointments are NOT scheduled yet, the result will be "Case Number Not Found on Appointment List."

VIAW Note: If the Visa Interview Appointments website is down (sometimes the site is down for a few days at a time every month normally for maintenance), the USC and/or beneficiary may call the USE (Section 4.3) or the DOS (Section 4.4) to inquire about the status of the visa appointment. It's very rare, however, there are occassions when the beneficiary's visa appointment is not registered or is incorrect in the database. If so, please follow-up with the USE immediately.

4.7 ST. LUKE'S MEDICAL EXTENSION CLINIC (SLMEC) information is within my signature. The beneficiary and derivative(s) are required to have medical exam(s) and vaccination shots before a visa can be issued (per the US Immigration Laws) and should be taken before the visa interview. Family and/or friends are prohibited from entering the facility, unless otherwise required.

The medical exam, adminstered by SLMEC, is a two days process:

Day 1 is the medical exam whereas the beneficiary's passport will be taken and sent to the USE along with the medical exam results and;

Day 2 is the vaccination whereas the beneficiary will be given the x-ray film and the DS-3025 Vaccination Worksheet/Record at the conclusion.

Planning/Scheduling the Medical Exam: Plan on a three night hotel stay in Manila to accomplish this part of the visa stage. Please review this instructional and layout information [CLICK HERE] (Thx Sillygirl), SLEC's Flowcharts for Day 1 and Day 2 of the Medical Exam [CLICK HERE] (Thx Rea).

Be advised, SLMEC works on a first come first served basis. Therefore, the beneficary may go at anytime to be administered the medical exam. Per the Manila Embassy Thread, we recommend that the beneficiary take the medical exam anywhere from 2 weeks to a month before the interview to ensure the results are available for the Consular Officer and to prepare in the unfortunate event of unfavorable medical results. If the medical exam is taken anytime too far beyond a month before the visa interview, there is a risk that the results could be invalid, which means the beneficiary will have to take another medical exam before the visa can be approved.

What does the beneficiary need to take to the medical exam? Check out the Manila Embassy Thread's recommendations on what to bring and sample questions asked [CLICK HERE]. Here are the basic required items that the beneficary needs to bring to the medical exam: (1) medical exam fee (payment accepted in pesos only), (2) passport (SLMEC will keep the passport and delivery it to the USE along with the medical exam results, so make a copy of the passport for your records), and (3) three 2x2 passport photos as stated on the DOS website [CLICK HERE] (referenced on page 3 of Packet 4). The beneficiary also needs to have the sponsors contact information (address, phone number, and ssn #) for the SLMEC forms. Please be sure to bring, at the least, the basic required items to the medical exam, but a more complete list is within the link for the Manila Embassy Threads recommendations listed above.

SLMEC Note: St. Luke's will forward the medical exam results along with the passport to the Manila Embassy in preparation for the visa interview.

===================================================================

SECTION 5 - Post Visa Approval Information

5.1 The DELBROS website is within my signature. DELBROS is the company responsible for delivering the beneficiary's Visa and POE information. The DELBROS delivery fee is paid subsequent to the beneficiary's visa interview at the Manila Embassy. Per the Manila Embassy website, the current delivery time is as follows:

* Metro Manila Areas, Delivered one (1) to three (3) business days after release of visaed passport to the courier

* Provincial Key Cities (ex. Cebu City, Davao City, etc.) Delivered three (3) to five (5) business days after release of visaed passport to the courier

* Outside Provincial Key Cities, (ex. Capiz, Leyte, Bukidnon, etc.), Cost depends on area/location, Delivered five (5) to seven (7) business days after release of visaed passport to the courier

Per the DELBROS staff, the Manila Embassy can take as much as three (3) business days to release the visa and POE package, which is NOT included in the deliver times above. You may also call the Manila Embassy, dial 0 for the operator, and ask for Delbros, after the visa is approve, to acquire about the status of your visa delivery.

Online Visa Tracking Option: The DELBROS website (cited within my signature below) offers a shipment tracking option. However, some VJ members attempts did not yeild any results.

K1 Visa Pick-up: The only way to pick up the approved K1/K2 Visa is by permission of the CO through a verbal request at the conclusion of the visa interview (no written request is required). If the beneficiary has paid the visa delivery fee before leaving the USE, then they must wait for the visa to be delivered.

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SECTION 6 - Post Visa Delivery Information

6.1 K1 VISA AND PORT OF ENTRY (POE) PACKAGE - The package delivered by DELBROS to the beneficiary is enclosed in clear plastic, for which the visa, CFO instructions (see Section 6.2), and POE package (Brown Envelope) can be seen. The beneficiary may OPEN THE CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY. The brown envelope, which has the top left corner cut off, is the POE package that clearly has printed in big bold letters, "DO NOT OPEN" in Tagalog and English. And for some strange and peculiar reason, folks open the brown envelope despite the warning stating not to do so. So please do not open the brown envelope or the beneficiary WILL BE denied entry upon arriving into the US after the 13 - 18 hour flight. If for some reason the brown envelope is "inadvertantly" opened, please return to the USE ASAP and have them re-package the POE package. FYI - The visa is posted within one of the pages of the beneficiary’s passport.

6.2 The COMMISSION OF FILIPINOS OVERSEAS (CFO) - Beneficiaries are required to attend a GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SEMINAR that are held in Manila and Cebu, whichever is more convenient, before traveling abroad (the corresponding links within my signature). Please check out this instructional information on the PRISM Guidance and Counceling Seminar experience [CLICK HERE] (Thx Sillygirl). Family and/or friends are prohibited from entering the facility, unless otherwise required.

The CFO requirement consists of two parts:

Part 1, Guidance and Counseling Seminar (a certificate of completion is given at the conclusion); and

Part 2, a CFO Sticker placed inside of the passport/visa (requires the Guidance and Counseling Certificate).

The beneficiary is NOT required to have the visa in-hand in order to attend the Guidance and Counceling Seminar. However, the Guidance and Counseling Certificate along with the visa are required in order to have the CFO Sticker placed inside the K1 Visa for both the Cebu and Manila CFO locations. If the beneficiary is going to take the Guidance and Counceling Seminar before the visa is in-hand, consider calling the CFO beforehand to avoid any potential problems. In Cebu, the Guidance and Counseling Seminar is adminstered by St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation-Center for Overseas Workers (SMEF-COW) located at 3F Aya-ay Arcade, 60 Mango Avenue, Cebu City (near San Carlos Boys High). Conversely, in Manila, the Guidance and Counseling Seminar is administered at People's Reform Initiative for Social Mobilization Inc. (PRISM). For both the CFO in Cebu located at Causing-Lozada Bldg., Osmeña Blvd. corner M.J. Cuenco Avenue, Cebu City (near DFA Cebu) and the CFO in Manila location, the CFO Sticker will be applied to the visa despite the location where the Guidance and Counseling Certificate was issued.

Planning/Scheduling for the Guidance and Counseling Seminar and CFO Visa Stamp: These services are based upon a first come first served basis. However, there is a schedule for the Guidance and Counseling Seminar (the link is provided within my signature block). There is no schedule for the CFO stamp beyond normal business hours.

CFO NOTE: The CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar is not stated as a requirement within the Packet 4 instructions. However, after the visa is approved, instructions on attending the CFO Guidance and Counseling seminar are included in the visa and Port of Entry (POE) package delivered by DELBROS to the beneficiary. Travel abroad is prohibited without the CFO sticker within the beneficiary's visa (the visa is within the passport, as stated in Section 6.1). Attending the CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar is a Philippine government requirement which states, "Per Republic Act 8239 and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Order 28-94, Filipinos proceeding abroad as fiancé(e)s and spouses of foreign nationals are required to attend the CFO's guidance and counseling programs... " For more info [CLICK HERE].

6.3 The I-94 ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE RECORD form is within my signature and for more information please visit the Customs and Border Patrol website [CLICK HERE]. Foreigners (beneficiaries) complete the I-94 and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer stamps the applicant's visa as well as the arrival / departure portions of the I-94 at the Port of Entry (POE) when entering the United States. The CBP Officer will keep the arrival portion and staple the departure portion of the I-94 to beneficiary's visa where they stamped the arrival date. The beneficiary will need this for the Adjustment of Status stage.

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SECTION 7 - Final Notes and Closing

7.1 Please...

  • * review the entire guide thoroughly because many basic questions are covered

* most sections conclude with additional notes/comments that may be of some relevance to the beneciary's case

* check out this list of things to consider in "Preparation for Adjusting to Life in the United States" [CLICK HERE]

* review the signature and story tab of my wife's VJ profile [Deputy Uling] for information on the Adjustment of Status (AOS) stage

* let me know if there are any suggestions/errors/updates.

Cheers!!!

Sheriff Uling

p.s. A special thanks goes out to VJ and all the members that helped to forge this guide into existence. Hopefully this guide helps...

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No more document verification since August 2008. You are now required to secure CENOMAR and BC in security paper from the NSO for your interview. Hope this helps.

Oh! Thank you HappyDancer!!! very nice of you to pin down on what I wanted clarified... The first post by the Sheriff didn't show the update yet though although I've read it somewhere else but I just wanted to make sure. Thank you so much again!

To sunandmoon,

Thank you so much for updating the guidelines!!! Thank God for you guys!... The guidelines definitely stands for what it is... it has help us all a lot!!!

:wow: if there was an emoticon bowing down... I would've included it here... Thank you so much once again!!!

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Manila Embassy K1 Visa Guide… (Please read thoroughly)

TABLE OF SECTIONS

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECTION 1

Overview

Section 1.1
Five Stages of the K1 Visa Immigration Process

SECTION 2

Introduction

Section 2.1
K1 Visa Introduction

Section 2.2
K2 Visa Derivative Status for Children of K1 Visa Applicants

SECTION 3

Post NOA1 (Receipt Notice) Information

Section 3.1
Petition Case Status

SECTION 4

Post NOA2 (Approval Notice) Information

Section 4.1
NOA2 Expiration Date

Section 4.2
The National Visa Center (
NVC
)

Section 4.3
The Manila Embassy (USE)

Section 4.4
The Department of State (DOS)

Section 4.5
Document Verification

Section 4.6
Visa Interview Appointments website

Section 4.7
St. Luke's Medical Extension Clinic (SLMEC)

SECTION 5

Post Visa Approval Information

Section 5.1
Air21

SECTION 6

Post Visa Delivery Information

Section 6.1
Visa and Port of Entry (POE) Package

Section 6.2
CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar

Section 6.3
The I-94 Arrival / Departure Record

SECTION 7

Final Notes and Closing

Section 7.1
Closing Remarks

===================================================================

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Document Verification Fee not needed at present time

SA2: Per the Manila Embassy website, as of March 2008, there is an updated Packet 4 [ENGLISH / TAGALOG] for K1/K2 visas (see Section 4.3 for more details).

SA3: Per the Manila Embassy website [CLICK HERE], "...starting March 10, 2008, there will be an increase in the delivery fee from PhP 135 to PhP 250 per visa packet for Metro Manila and other key cities..."

SA4: Per the Manila Embassy website (closer to the bottom) [CLICK HERE], starting March 14, 2008, those applying for K1, K2, K3 and K4 visas who have been notified by the Embassy to prepare for their interview can call a Visa Information Service operator to schedule an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy.

===================================================================

SECTION 1 - Overview

1.1 K1 VISA IMMIGRATION STAGES - A simplified and theoretical overview of the Five Stages of the K1 Visa process, according to Sheriff Uling [CLICK HERE].

===================================================================

SECTION 2 - Introduction/Starting Line

2.1 K1 Visa INTRODUCTION - Just starting out, then please review the information within post #1 of VJ's General K1 Guides and Info thread [CLICK HERE].

2.2 Children Have DERIVATIVE STATUS - The unmarried minor child of a fiancé(e) may receive a derivative K-2 Visa from his/her parent’s fiancé(e) approved I-129F petition. The USC / petitioner must make sure the beneficiary’s child(ren) name(s) is/are on the I-129F petition. The child(ren) may travel with (accompany) the K-1 parent/fiancé(e) or travel later (follow-to-join) within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa to his/her parent. A separate petition is not required if the child(ren) accompany or follow the alien fiancé(e) within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa. If it is longer than one year from the date of visa issuance, a separate immigrant visa petition is required. Remember that in immigration law a child(ren) must be unmarried. A separate visa fee and medical exam is required for each visa applicant. The stepparent/stepchild(ren) relationship must be created before the child(ren) reaches the age of 18. After the marriage of the child(ren)’s parent (beneficiary) and the USC, the child(ren) will need a separate form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence in order to Adjust Status from nonimmigrant to permanant resident.

Following-to-join applicants may derive immigration benefits only if:

1) The spouse or children were acquired before the principal applicant’s admission into the United States; and

2) The principal applicant gained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status or was issued an immigrant visa under the family-preference or employment-based visa categories or was issued a non-immigrant K or V visa. Foreign nationals who immigrated to the U.S. under an immediate relative (IR) visa category need to file a separate Form I-130 visa petition on behalf of their spouses and children.

3) The principal applicant has not naturalized. Once the principal applicant becomes a U.S. citizen, a separate visa petition needs to be filed on behalf of the spouse and/or children to qualify for immigration benefits again.

Following-to-join derivative beneficiaries must present documentation establishing the principal applicant’s immigration status in the United States and their relationship to their principal. These include:

1) A copy of the child’s birth certificate issued by the National Statistics Office

2) A copy of the marriage certificate issued by the National Statistics Office

3) A copy of the principal alien’s registration receipt card or I-551 or a copy of the principal alien’s passport pages indicating admission to the U.S. as an immigrant

4) If applicable, Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition

DS Note: Once the Embassy ascertains the eligibility for following-to-join derivative status, it will provide instructions on how to apply for the visas. To learn more about travel clearance for minors [CLICK HERE] (Thx Roy and Yazi). Please also review the follow-to-join information provided by the Manila Embassy (USE) website [CLICK HERE]. The derivative status information is a compilation of information extracted from the Deparment of State website (Section 2.1), the Packet 4 supplied by the Manila Embassy (Section 4.3), and information provided on the Manila Embassy website.

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SECTION 3 - Post NOA1 (Receipt Notice) Information

3.1 PETITION CASE STATUS - Once the US Citizen (USC) / "petitioner" has filed the petition (I-129F) and received a "receipt number" (listed on the NOA1), please register on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website using the Case Status Online Tool [CLICK HERE] to receive emailed updates concerning the status of the petition. NOTE: If you want emailed updates to multiple addresses then you must create multiple customer portfolio accounts. When the petition is approved (NOA2), the USCIS forwards the case files to the NVC normally within 14 - 30 days. The Case Status Online Tool is of no further use to you until after the beneficiary arrives in the United States, get's married, applies for the Adjustment of Status (AOS), Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and/or Advance Parole (AP) because this tool does not track the activity being performed at the NVC or the Manila Embassy (USE).

===================================================================

SECTION 4 - Post NOA2 (Approval Notice) Information

4.1 NOA2 EXPIRATION DATE - Don't be alarmed if the visa interview is scheduled after the NOA2 expiration date because the Consular Officer (CO) at the Manila Embassy will automatically revalidate the petition by extend the expiration date in four months increments until all actions are finalized . No actions by the USC and/or beneficiary are required.

4.2 The NATIONAL VISA CENTER (NVC) number is within my signature. NVC assigns a case number after a preliminary backgroud/name check has cleared, then forwards your case files electronic and via snail mail to the Manila Embassy. This normally takes approximately 14 - 30 days to complete. Have the USC (petitioner) call (the number is within my signature) or email your inquiry to NVCINQUIRY@state.gov (be sure to include the beneficiary's name, date of birth, place of birth, and receipt number). A NVC Processing Letter [SAMPLE HERE] (a.k.a. Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) letter) may or may not be sent to the USC (petitioner), which indicates the case number and approximate time when the case files will be sent to the Manila Embassy. This complimentary NVC Processing Letter (a.k.a. Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) letter) is not required for any stage in the immigration process.

4.3 The MANILA EMBASSY (USE) number is within my signature. Family and/or friends are prohibited from entering the facility, unless otherwise required. Once the USE has received the hard copy case file from the NVC, the K1 Visa Applicant/beneficiary's case will begin processing. The USE will subsequently send the beneficiary a Confirmation Letter [SAMPLE HERE] (Thx dbears) indicating that the hard copy case file has been received and that the visa interview may be scheduled. The USE Confirmation Letter is not Packet 3. THE USE ONLY ISSUES PACKET 4 WHICH IS NOW ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE. Please review this instructional visa interview/USE layout information/testimonial [CLICK HERE] (Thx Sillygirl).

K1/K2 Visa Application Fee: The K1/K2 visa application fee may be paid at anytime and the beneficiary has upto a year to attend a visa interview before the receipt becomes invalid. Packet 4 indicates that BDO will validate the DS-156 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) form or the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Application) form. FYI - In the past, only the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Application) form was validated for K1/K2 visas.

“K” Visa Application Fee Accepted at Banco De Oro (BDO)

Payment for “K” nonimmigrant visa application fee is now accepted at 210 Banco de Oro (BDO) branches within Metro Manila and other key cities in the Philippines. By January 2009, application fee payment will be accepted in all BDO branches nationwide. For a complete list of BDO branches currently accepting payment, you may visit BDO’s web site at http://www.bdo.com.ph/Promos/US_payment.htm.

Packet 4 (Visa Preparation Instructions and Forms): The Packet 4 (Fiance(e) (K1/K2) Visa Applicants’ Interview Preparation Instructions) released in March 2008 is ONLY available via the Manial Embassy website in [ENGLISH] / [TAGALOG], which means that Packet 4 will NOT be mailed to the beneficiary. As indicated by the USE Confirmation Letter, K1 visa applicants are now responsible for scheduling their own visa interview. In addition, the beneficaries are responsible for obtaining Packet 4 and the visa applications online.

Filing Out the Forms: None of the official K1/K2 visa application forms will not be mailed to the beneficiary, as of March 2008, but may be downloaded from the Department of State (DOS) website [CLICK HERE] which is indicated in the USE Confirmation Letter mailed to the beneficary once the hard copy case files has been received by the USE from the NVC. As of 01 November 2006, the DS-156 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) MUST be completed online via the Electronic Visa Application Form (EVAF) http://evisaforms.state.gov, which is sited on the DOS website. Completion of the DS-156K (Nonimmigrant Fiancé(e) Visa Application), the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application) and the I-134 (Affidavit of Support) can be done via computer (recommended), type-writer (just as good), or handwritten (last resort). To review the K1 Visa Forms (DS-156, DS-156K, DS-157, & I-134) most Frequently Asked Questions [CLICK HERE]. To review the Manila Embassy Thread's recommendations on what to bring (which directly corresponds with Packet 4) and sample questions asked by the Consular Officer during the visa interview [CLICK HERE]. All applications and/or back-up documentation referenced in Packet 4 should be presented during the visa interview and should NOT be mailed or faxed to the USE unless explicitly instructed to do so by the USE.

Scheduling the Visa Inerview and Medical Exam: The visa interview may be scheduled by calling 1-909-101-7878 (from the Philippines at a rate of US$0.98 per minute) or 1-888-877-9888 (from the United States for a toll of $18 for three calls - pin code access provided upon payment). Once the visa interview is scheduled, an official Confirmation Email will be sent [SAMPLE HERE] (Thx dbears). Check out Section 4.7, St. Luke's Medical Extension Clinic (SLMEC), on planning/scheduling the medical exam.

Petitioner/Beneficiary Change of Address: If the petitioner and/or beneficiary has a change of address after the petiton package is sent by the NVC to the USE and before the visa interview, please call the Manila Embassy in order for the new address to be annotated within the case file, and complete the application forms with the new address(es).

Petitioners Attendance at the Visa Interview: The petitioner is NOT required to attend the visa interview with the beneficiary, and will NOT be asked any questions during the visa interview. In fact, some COs request for the petitioner to continue waiting in the lobby. Approximated 90% of the visa interviews are held WITHOUT the attendance of the petitioner, according to VJ member(s).

K1 Visa Pick-up Request: In order for the beneficiary to pick up the visa versus having it delivered by DELBROS (Section 5.1), make a verbal request to the Consular Officer (CO) at the conclusion of the visa interview. No written request is required. Honestly, the beneficiary has a 50/50 chance of picking up the visa. It also depends on the consular office that handles the case.

K1/K2 Visa Expiration: The K1/K2 Visa is valid for six months, which is good for a one-time entry into the United States. If the beneficiary is unable to depart for the United States immediately and the visa expires, a new one-time entry visa may be issued upon written request to the USE, which also requires the payment of another application and processing fee.

Calling the USE: The best time to call is between 7:30am – 8:30am Manila time. If the phone rings 4 times, the recording will start indicating that "the person on that extension is on the phone" simply hit the number 0 and it will re-dial the same extension (continue to do this until the phone is answered) (Thx CB). The Immigrant Visa Unit will handle the call even though the K1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa because of the beneficiary's intent to migrate and live permanantly in the United States.

USE Note: Effective 01 March 2007, cellphones and other electronic devices will NOT be permitted into the US Embassy and applicants who bring such devices will be DENIED entry, per the Manila Embassy. Be advised that on the visa interview date, the pre-screeners, at times, are very direct, rude, and mean. So do not be discouraged by them.

4.4 The DEPARTMENT OF STATE (DOS) number is within my signature. After the petition is approved (NOA2), the USC and/or beneficiary have the option of calling the DOS instead of the Manila Embassy to inquire when the electronic and/or hard copy case files have been sent out and received by the USE that we sent by the NVC. In addition the USC and/or beneficiary may call the DOS instead of the Manila Embassy to inquire when and if the medical exam and visa appointment dates are scheduled, which is very helpful when the Visa Interview Appointments website (Section 4.5) is down.

DOS Note: The DOS has no direct participation in the K1 process (only access to the computer system to view the status of cases).

4.6 The VISA INTERVIEW APPOINTMENT WEBSITE link is within my signature. While checking the visa appointment date and time via the website, please do NOT press enter after the case number is entered because that will not yield a result. Please click on the "Check Appointment" tab. If the appointments have been scheduled, the following will be available: Case Number, Visa Classification, St. Luke's appointment Date, and Embassy Appointment Date, but if the appointments are NOT scheduled yet, the result will be "Case Number Not Found on Appointment List."

VIAW Note: If the Visa Interview Appointments website is down (sometimes the site is down for a few days at a time every month normally for maintenance), the USC and/or beneficiary may call the USE (Section 4.3) or the DOS (Section 4.4) to inquire about the status of the visa appointment. It's very rare, however, there are occassions when the beneficiary's visa appointment is not registered or is incorrect in the database. If so, please follow-up with the USE immediately.

4.7 ST. LUKE'S MEDICAL EXTENSION CLINIC (SLMEC) information is within my signature. The beneficiary and derivative(s) are required to have medical exam(s) and vaccination shots before a visa can be issued (per the US Immigration Laws) and should be taken before the visa interview. Family and/or friends are prohibited from entering the facility, unless otherwise required.

The medical exam, adminstered by SLMEC, is a two days process:

Day 1 is the medical exam whereas the beneficiary's passport will be taken and sent to the USE along with the medical exam results and;

Day 2 is the vaccination whereas the beneficiary will be given the x-ray film and the DS-3025 Vaccination Worksheet/Record at the conclusion.

Planning/Scheduling the Medical Exam: Plan on a three night hotel stay in Manila to accomplish this part of the visa stage. Please review this instructional and layout information [CLICK HERE] (Thx Sillygirl), SLEC's Flowcharts for Day 1 and Day 2 of the Medical Exam [CLICK HERE] (Thx Rea).

Be advised, SLMEC works on a first come first served basis. Therefore, the beneficary may go at anytime to be administered the medical exam. Per the Manila Embassy Thread, we recommend that the beneficiary take the medical exam anywhere from 2 weeks to a month before the interview to ensure the results are available for the Consular Officer and to prepare in the unfortunate event of unfavorable medical results. If the medical exam is taken anytime too far beyond a month before the visa interview, there is a risk that the results could be invalid, which means the beneficiary will have to take another medical exam before the visa can be approved.

What does the beneficiary need to take to the medical exam? Check out the Manila Embassy Thread's recommendations on what to bring and sample questions asked [CLICK HERE]. Here are the basic required items that the beneficary needs to bring to the medical exam: (1) medical exam fee (payment accepted in pesos only), (2) passport (SLMEC will keep the passport and delivery it to the USE along with the medical exam results, so make a copy of the passport for your records), and (3) three 2x2 passport photos as stated on the DOS website [CLICK HERE] (referenced on page 3 of Packet 4). The beneficiary also needs to have the sponsors contact information (address, phone number, and ssn #) for the SLMEC forms. Please be sure to bring, at the least, the basic required items to the medical exam, but a more complete list is within the link for the Manila Embassy Threads recommendations listed above.

SLMEC Note: St. Luke's will forward the medical exam results along with the passport to the Manila Embassy in preparation for the visa interview.

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SECTION 5 - Post Visa Approval Information

Visa Delivery

The issued visa will be delivered to the applicant's designated address by Air 21 (the Embassy's authorized courier service provider) within 7 to 10 working days. The visa delivery fee, which is determined by the courier service, is paid by the applicant. This fee to the courier service is separate from any fees paid to the U.S. Government. Applicants do not need return to the Embassy to pick up their issued visas.

You may direct visa delivery inquiries to Air21 U.S. Embassy service hotline at 879-4747 or to the U.S. Embassy page at the Air21 website http://www.air21.com.ph/

K1 Visa Pick-up: The only way to pick up the approved K1/K2 Visa is by permission of the CO through a verbal request at the conclusion of the visa interview (no written request is required). If the beneficiary has paid the visa delivery fee before leaving the USE, then they must wait for the visa to be delivered.

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SECTION 6 - Post Visa Delivery Information

6.1 K1 VISA AND PORT OF ENTRY (POE) PACKAGE - The package delivered by DELBROS to the beneficiary is enclosed in clear plastic, for which the visa, CFO instructions (see Section 6.2), and POE package (Brown Envelope) can be seen. The beneficiary may OPEN THE CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY. The brown envelope, which has the top left corner cut off, is the POE package that clearly has printed in big bold letters, "DO NOT OPEN" in Tagalog and English. And for some strange and peculiar reason, folks open the brown envelope despite the warning stating not to do so. So please do not open the brown envelope or the beneficiary WILL BE denied entry upon arriving into the US after the 13 - 18 hour flight. If for some reason the brown envelope is "inadvertantly" opened, please return to the USE ASAP and have them re-package the POE package. FYI - The visa is posted within one of the pages of the beneficiary’s passport.

6.2 The COMMISSION OF FILIPINOS OVERSEAS (CFO) - Beneficiaries are required to attend a GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SEMINAR that are held in Manila and Cebu, whichever is more convenient, before traveling abroad (the corresponding links within my signature). Please check out this instructional information on the PRISM Guidance and Counceling Seminar experience [CLICK HERE] (Thx Sillygirl). Family and/or friends are prohibited from entering the facility, unless otherwise required.

The CFO requirement consists of two parts:

Part 1, Guidance and Counseling Seminar (a certificate of completion is given at the conclusion); and

Part 2, a CFO Sticker placed inside of the passport/visa (requires the Guidance and Counseling Certificate).

The beneficiary is NOT required to have the visa in-hand in order to attend the Guidance and Counceling Seminar. However, the Guidance and Counseling Certificate along with the visa are required in order to have the CFO Sticker placed inside the K1 Visa for both the Cebu and Manila CFO locations. If the beneficiary is going to take the Guidance and Counceling Seminar before the visa is in-hand, consider calling the CFO beforehand to avoid any potential problems. In Cebu, the Guidance and Counseling Seminar is adminstered by St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation-Center for Overseas Workers (SMEF-COW) located at 3F Aya-ay Arcade, 60 Mango Avenue, Cebu City (near San Carlos Boys High). Conversely, in Manila, the Guidance and Counseling Seminar is administered at People's Reform Initiative for Social Mobilization Inc. (PRISM). For both the CFO in Cebu located at Causing-Lozada Bldg., Osmeña Blvd. corner M.J. Cuenco Avenue, Cebu City (near DFA Cebu) and the CFO in Manila location, the CFO Sticker will be applied to the visa despite the location where the Guidance and Counseling Certificate was issued.

Planning/Scheduling for the Guidance and Counseling Seminar and CFO Visa Stamp: These services are based upon a first come first served basis. However, there is a schedule for the Guidance and Counseling Seminar (the link is provided within my signature block). There is no schedule for the CFO stamp beyond normal business hours.

CFO NOTE: The CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar is not stated as a requirement within the Packet 4 instructions. However, after the visa is approved, instructions on attending the CFO Guidance and Counseling seminar are included in the visa and Port of Entry (POE) package delivered by DELBROS to the beneficiary. Travel abroad is prohibited without the CFO sticker within the beneficiary's visa (the visa is within the passport, as stated in Section 6.1). Attending the CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar is a Philippine government requirement which states, "Per Republic Act 8239 and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Order 28-94, Filipinos proceeding abroad as fiancé(e)s and spouses of foreign nationals are required to attend the CFO's guidance and counseling programs... " For more info [CLICK HERE].

6.3 The I-94 ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE RECORD form is within my signature and for more information please visit the Customs and Border Patrol website [CLICK HERE]. Foreigners (beneficiaries) complete the I-94 and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer stamps the applicant's visa as well as the arrival / departure portions of the I-94 at the Port of Entry (POE) when entering the United States. The CBP Officer will keep the arrival portion and staple the departure portion of the I-94 to beneficiary's visa where they stamped the arrival date. The beneficiary will need this for the Adjustment of Status stage.

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SECTION 7 - Final Notes and Closing

7.1 Please...

  • * review the entire guide thoroughly because many basic questions are covered

* most sections conclude with additional notes/comments that may be of some relevance to the beneciary's case

* check out this list of things to consider in "Preparation for Adjusting to Life in the United States" [CLICK HERE]

* review the signature and story tab of my wife's VJ profile [Deputy Uling] for information on the Adjustment of Status (AOS) stage

* let me know if there are any suggestions/errors/updates.

Cheers!!!

Sheriff Uling

p.s. A special thanks goes out to VJ and all the members that helped to forge this guide into existence. Hopefully this guide helps...

If there any other updates or changes, please feel free to post them...

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Visa Delivery

The issued visa will be delivered to the applicant's designated address by Air 21 (the Embassy's authorized courier service provider) within 7 to 10 working days. The visa delivery fee, which is determined by the courier service, is paid by the applicant. This fee to the courier service is separate from any fees paid to the U.S. Government. Applicants do not need return to the Embassy to pick up their issued visas.

You may direct visa delivery inquiries to Air21 U.S. Embassy service hotline at 879-4747 or to the U.S. Embassy page at the Air21 website http://www.air21.com.ph/

hopefully we'll get some more input.

hi there how much did you pay air 21 to deliver the visa to you

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