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K1 - RFE - Civil Union

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I wanted to give some info here that some might find helpful as I have managed to find helpful here over the K1 process.

 

I am American and planning to marry my European fiance.  We lived together in Barcelona for 5 years submitted out I-129F at the end of January.  We waited patiently for 5 months, but 2 weeks ago we received an email that we had an RFE letter on our way.  This was very surprising considering our situation is non-typical as far as K1 visas go.  We have been living together for the last 7 years and are living together currently in Europe.  We spent months gathering documents and even felt that we provided a wealth of documentation including plane tickets and rental contracts spanning the last 5 years plus.  We had no idea why the I-129F was not approved.

 

The RFE arrived the other day and we were shocked to see that the request is due to the fact that we formed a civil union in Spain about 2 years ago.  If anything we felt this would only benefit our case. We provided documentation of the Civil Union (in Spain it is called Pareja de Hecho) to help establish proof of a bonafide relationship and our intent to marry.  Before submitted we searched forums and looked at official government websites.  On travel.state.gov we found the following in a FAQ:

 

Q: I am in a civil union or domestic partnership; will this be treated the same as a marriage?

 

A: At this time, only a relationship legally considered to be a marriage in the jurisdiction where it took place establishes eligibility as a spouse for immigration purposes.

 

Given that Pareja de Hecho is not considered to be a marriage in Spain, I am quite confused.  The RFE asks us to:

 

"explain this documentation and submit evidence that this civilly registered partnership has been terminated" and that we are free to marry.  

 

Again, I am confused because according to Spanish law, if one of us is to get married, it automatically annuls the civil union.  It is not a marriage, and people in a civil union in Spain are free to marry.  It is in fact considered a step in the direction of marriage for those couples who are not yet ready to marry.  I am not sure if the officer on the case is not familiar with Spanish law or what, but the US government has stated that this is not recognized as a marriage and therefore it does not prevent us from marrying.  If this was considered to be a marriage, we would have instead applied for IR1.

 

I wanted to inform people on this forum that this is definitely something that you should look into before filing in order to avoid a set back such as this.  

 

Additionally I wanted to ask if anyone else has had the same response (or a response the contrary).

 

Also, I wanted to seek advice from the people on the forum:  Do you think it would be best to annul our civil union and then provide evidence of it, or instead, should we provide evidence that this civil union in Spain does not prevent us from marrying?  According to US law it seems this is dictated by the law of country in which the union was registered.  I am sure I could provide such documentation.  But I am afraid that they will still deny my I-129F or ask for us to annul the union despite the fact that according to their own rules, this is not necessary.  Additionally, we are not in Spain and due to COVID we may not be able to travel there in the coming period in order to cancel our civil union.  Also it may take significant time to cancel the union as this is Spain we are talking about.  We have a deadline of only 2 months to provide this documentation.  So this needs to be taken into account as well.  We spent a ton of time and money and work putting all of this documentation together and we want to make sure we do this right to avoid having to start over again.

 

Additionally, the RFE asks us to explain how we met.  This is also a surprise because I provided a text (with affidavit) of over one page that explains how we met in detail including the circumstances of meeting as well as the exact date of the meeting and a detailed explanation of how this meeting progresses to a relationship.  I am not sure what more I can provide to explain this.  I can send the same document but with added details, but I am confused as to why this was requested.

 

Anyhow, thank you for any help you can provide and I hope someone benefits from hearing this example of a reason for RFE so they can avoid this delay.

 

Thanks!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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In your zeal to prove something that isn't a requirement of the petition,  you have now put yourself in a pretty big hole that might be difficult to get out of 


YMMV

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Agreed it wasn’t required, but one requirement is documenting intent to marry and the no ago de relationship - and given the vagueness as to how u can prove such condition , why would I not include it considering I followed the rules of the game that they set. I confirmed it with their one guidelines as well as the Spanish law. 
 

I was very careful with that. 
 

I am not having a typical wedding with reception and catering etc so without such evidence it seemed I needed something more than merely affidavit to show intent. 

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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A simple affidavit or statements of intent have have worked thousands of times, as the USCIS doesn't opine on the bonafide relationship issue.   


YMMV

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Haiti
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1 hour ago, KLL said:

Agreed it wasn’t required, but one requirement is documenting intent to marry and the no ago de relationship - and given the vagueness as to how u can prove such condition , why would I not include it considering I followed the rules of the game that they set. I confirmed it with their one guidelines as well as the Spanish law. 
 

I was very careful with that. 
 

I am not having a typical wedding with reception and catering etc so without such evidence it seemed I needed something more than merely affidavit to show intent. 

Unfortunately for the intent to marry you both only needed to provide a letter of no more than 2 sentences stating you intended to marry. You may be “too married” in the eyes of USCIS and may have to marry and file cr1 if they don’t accept whatever you send for a RFE.


Our K1 Journey    I-129f

Service Center : Texas Service Center   Transferred? California Service Center on 8/11/14

Consulate : Port au Prince, Haiti             I-129F Sent : 4/14/2014

I-129F NOA1 : 4/24/14                            I-129F NOA2 : 9/10/14

NVC Received : 9/24/14                          NVC Left : 9/26/14

Consulate Received : 10/6/14 CEAC status changed to ready

Packet 3 Received : 10/27/14 packet received by petitioner in USA ( beneficiary never received packet 3)

Medical: 10/30/14 Dr. Buteau                  Medical picked up: 11/3/14

Packet 3 Sent : 11/10/13.. Had to schedule interview appointment and attach confirmation receipt to packet

Interview Date : 12/1/14                           Interview Result : Approved !

Visa Received : 12/10/14 picked up at Jacmel location

US Entry : 12/15/14 Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Apply for Social Security Card: 12/30/14 Connecticut

Marriage: 1/26/15

 

Adjustment of Status

CIS Office : Hartford                                  Filed : 3/18/15

NOA : 3/25/15                                            Biometrics : 4/15/15

Approved: 8/31/15                                     Received: 9/8/15

 

EAD

CIS Office : Hartford                                  Filed : 3/18/15

NOA : 3/25/15                                            Approved: 6/12/15

Received: 6/20/15

 

Removal of Conditions I-751

Filed: 8/14/17 at VSC                                 NOA: 8/15/17 Received 8/21 by mail

Biometrics: Dated: 8/25/17   Received 9/2/17   Appointment 9/11/17 

Approved: 10/23/18 -no interview

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

looks like you provided more than the info required for K1 and brought yourself an RFE of "you might be too married' in the eye of USCIS 


31-Jan-2020 : I-485 Filed

17-Feb-2020: I-765/I-131 Filed

24-May-2020: I-765/I-131 approved

31-May-2020: EAD/AP Combo Card received

05-Oct-2020: Biometrics Scheduled

20-Oct-2020: Biometrics Complete

30-Nov-2020: EAD/AP Renewal Filed

04-Dec-2020: AOS Case Was Transferred And A New Office Has Jurisdiction 😂😂 - Transfer from CSC to Nebraska Service Center  

13-Jan-2021: EAD/AP USCIS processed renewal

25-Jan-2021: EAD/AP renewal TExt message for case received

30-Jan-2021: EAD/AP renewal Receipts received

15-Mar-2021: AOS Approved - Card Production Sent

20-Mar-2021: Card Received in Mailbox

 

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Kazakhstan
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USCIS doesn’t really care if your relationship is genuine or not, that’s for the consulates to decide on at the interview stage. As for the intent to marry, you literally  only need a few sentences declaring that you will marry within 90 days and that you’re legally free to marry, that’s it. The example of the letter is in the Guides section of this forum.


I’d advise to just do what the RFE tells you to do. Annul the civil union to avoid any more problems. And send another more detailed explanation of how you met.. it’s weird that they ask but just send it again to be safe.

 


 

 

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
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7 hours ago, KLL said:

documenting intent to marry

This is typically very easily provided by beneficiary and petitioner either writing separate or joint letters stating that they intend to marry.

 

It is very simple.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
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7 hours ago, KLL said:

I am not having a typical wedding with reception and catering etc so without such evidence it seemed I needed something more than merely affidavit to show intent. 

This is where you're wrong.  There is no way to "prove" intent.  A person can have everything booked and paid for, and still not intend to marry.

 

A simple statement of intent is literally all that is needed.

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Guys, I did not detail the full packet I submitted.  Of course I submitted an affidavit showing intent to marry.  I am not asking for advice on what I should have done.  The past is the past. I am asking for advice on what I should do.  

 

I am receiving a lot of answers here which, quite honestly, are not helpful and are also quite frankly incorrect.  For example @Orangesapples and @SteveInBostonI130 , saying I should have filed a CR1 visa.  The official statements made by USCIS which I posted above specifically state that civil union is only recognized as marriage by USA for countries that recognize them as marriage.  In Spain civil union is not recognized as marriage ccording to law - as I stated previously.  So, no I should not have filed CR1 visa (spouse visa) as I am not married and my fiance is not my spouse.  That would have been specifically going against their own qualifications as posted on their website.  I would have been rejected for that visa as I am not married. I am not sure why you would be telling me to go against their recommendations. That is not helpful.  Also I understand that most people do K1 for the reason you stated, but considering I am not married and would like to get married, there are 2 options, get married together in the USA with a k1, or get married abroad and then file CR1.  Considering we want to get married in USA and not Europe and that marriage in Europe can take much time, plus that the K1 is a faster route to my fiance's visa, we selected K1 after consulting with an immigration attorney and friends who went through the CR1 and K1 process.  The fact that we are together does not rule out the K1 process as an option by any means.

 

Additionally @Jorgedig @payxibka and @Luckycuds I am aware that a statement of intent to marry is required, and yes I provided it.  We both signed an affidavit and had it notarized.  Again we spent months researching this and providing all the documentation requested.  I understand that simple statement is all that is "needed."  I also understand thousands of people have gotten approved with as much.  But I have also seen that many people have been denied or have been sent RFEs due to not providing enough documentation. To pretend that all that is "needed" - the bare minimum -  is all that one should send is not really accurate is it.  In fact, from what I have researched, people almost always send more than what is "needed" or "required" to avoid an RFE.  The instructions are very vague and provide a loose list of evidence that could be supplied in support of or as evidence of the relationship and intent to marry etc.  This is why people send plane ticket receipts, photos, documentation of cohabitation, text messages etc etc.  No this process is not "very simple." If it were, there would not be lawyers paid thousands of dollars and forums of thousands of people asking questions and companies that exist solely to provide help to people in the process.  Again, telling me that this is so simple is not helpful.

 

I asked for advice on what I should do moving forward.  Not what I should have done in the past (which can not be changed) and oversimplification as well as wisdom coming from people who already know I received an RFE and have all the answers looking back in time, but no advice on what should be done now is not helpful.  I already posted that indeed this was not "required" and I posted the reason for my inclusion of the documents.  If you do not have anything to add that can be helpful in terms of how to move forward in this process, I would ask that you do not comment as that is not the purpose of this thread.

 

Yes you can not "prove" intent.  But you can show evidence of intent and evidence of bonfide relationship status. This is what I intended with this documentation.  You can not prove the relationship either, but you can provide evidence in support of it.  That is the purpose of providing all the documentation requested.

 

@powerpuff Thank you for your advice.  I am intending to do this, but I am a bit nervous that it will not be complete in time for my deadline.  I was hoping someone might have some advice in regard to if there can be extension granted etc.

 

Again, I was happy to share my case in order to help people who may be in a similar situation in the future and may need advice, and I also would be happy to receive advice as to what should be done moving forward.  But please for anyone who is just looking to tell me what I should have done in the past, hindsight is 20/20.  Knowing what I know now, even I could tell myself that I should not have included that document despite the fact that I know that I am not married and that I am free to marry as stated in Spanish law.  

 

Thanks in advanced for any advice anyone can provide.

 

 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Haiti
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3 minutes ago, KLL said:

Guys, I did not detail the full packet I submitted.  Of course I submitted an affidavit showing intent to marry.  I am not asking for advice on what I should have done.  The past is the past. I am asking for advice on what I should do.  

 

I am receiving a lot of answers here which, quite honestly, are not helpful and are also quite frankly incorrect.  For example @Orangesapples and @SteveInBostonI130 , saying I should have filed a CR1 visa.  The official statements made by USCIS which I posted above specifically state that civil union is only recognized as marriage by USA for countries that recognize them as marriage.  In Spain civil union is not recognized as marriage ccording to law - as I stated previously.  So, no I should not have filed CR1 visa (spouse visa) as I am not married and my fiance is not my spouse.  That would have been specifically going against their own qualifications as posted on their website.  I would have been rejected for that visa as I am not married. I am not sure why you would be telling me to go against their recommendations. That is not helpful.  Also I understand that most people do K1 for the reason you stated, but considering I am not married and would like to get married, there are 2 options, get married together in the USA with a k1, or get married abroad and then file CR1.  Considering we want to get married in USA and not Europe and that marriage in Europe can take much time, plus that the K1 is a faster route to my fiance's visa, we selected K1 after consulting with an immigration attorney and friends who went through the CR1 and K1 process.  The fact that we are together does not rule out the K1 process as an option by any means.

 

Additionally @Jorgedig @payxibka and @Luckycuds I am aware that a statement of intent to marry is required, and yes I provided it.  We both signed an affidavit and had it notarized.  Again we spent months researching this and providing all the documentation requested.  I understand that simple statement is all that is "needed."  I also understand thousands of people have gotten approved with as much.  But I have also seen that many people have been denied or have been sent RFEs due to not providing enough documentation. To pretend that all that is "needed" - the bare minimum -  is all that one should send is not really accurate is it.  In fact, from what I have researched, people almost always send more than what is "needed" or "required" to avoid an RFE.  The instructions are very vague and provide a loose list of evidence that could be supplied in support of or as evidence of the relationship and intent to marry etc.  This is why people send plane ticket receipts, photos, documentation of cohabitation, text messages etc etc.  No this process is not "very simple." If it were, there would not be lawyers paid thousands of dollars and forums of thousands of people asking questions and companies that exist solely to provide help to people in the process.  Again, telling me that this is so simple is not helpful.

 

I asked for advice on what I should do moving forward.  Not what I should have done in the past (which can not be changed) and oversimplification as well as wisdom coming from people who already know I received an RFE and have all the answers looking back in time, but no advice on what should be done now is not helpful.  I already posted that indeed this was not "required" and I posted the reason for my inclusion of the documents.  If you do not have anything to add that can be helpful in terms of how to move forward in this process, I would ask that you do not comment as that is not the purpose of this thread.

 

Yes you can not "prove" intent.  But you can show evidence of intent and evidence of bonfide relationship status. This is what I intended with this documentation.  You can not prove the relationship either, but you can provide evidence in support of it.  That is the purpose of providing all the documentation requested.

 

@powerpuff Thank you for your advice.  I am intending to do this, but I am a bit nervous that it will not be complete in time for my deadline.  I was hoping someone might have some advice in regard to if there can be extension granted etc.

 

Again, I was happy to share my case in order to help people who may be in a similar situation in the future and may need advice, and I also would be happy to receive advice as to what should be done moving forward.  But please for anyone who is just looking to tell me what I should have done in the past, hindsight is 20/20.  Knowing what I know now, even I could tell myself that I should not have included that document despite the fact that I know that I am not married and that I am free to marry as stated in Spanish law.  

 

Thanks in advanced for any advice anyone can provide.

 

 

You should provide what they are asking for..A statement how you met and showing the union has ended. Did you provide a translation of the civil union as well as any government paperwork that stated what a civil union is in Spain? The officer working your case isn’t supposed to be privy to the thousands of laws in other countries. Based on the wording Of the RfE it sounds as if you did not. Some countries have a certificate that shows they are single which is acceptable but haven’t seen a document that has TWO people listed on it other than a marriage one so I can see how this hindered your case. If you can’t/unable to provide the document or if USCIS doesn’t accept it you may have to get married and file CR1.


Our K1 Journey    I-129f

Service Center : Texas Service Center   Transferred? California Service Center on 8/11/14

Consulate : Port au Prince, Haiti             I-129F Sent : 4/14/2014

I-129F NOA1 : 4/24/14                            I-129F NOA2 : 9/10/14

NVC Received : 9/24/14                          NVC Left : 9/26/14

Consulate Received : 10/6/14 CEAC status changed to ready

Packet 3 Received : 10/27/14 packet received by petitioner in USA ( beneficiary never received packet 3)

Medical: 10/30/14 Dr. Buteau                  Medical picked up: 11/3/14

Packet 3 Sent : 11/10/13.. Had to schedule interview appointment and attach confirmation receipt to packet

Interview Date : 12/1/14                           Interview Result : Approved !

Visa Received : 12/10/14 picked up at Jacmel location

US Entry : 12/15/14 Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Apply for Social Security Card: 12/30/14 Connecticut

Marriage: 1/26/15

 

Adjustment of Status

CIS Office : Hartford                                  Filed : 3/18/15

NOA : 3/25/15                                            Biometrics : 4/15/15

Approved: 8/31/15                                     Received: 9/8/15

 

EAD

CIS Office : Hartford                                  Filed : 3/18/15

NOA : 3/25/15                                            Approved: 6/12/15

Received: 6/20/15

 

Removal of Conditions I-751

Filed: 8/14/17 at VSC                                 NOA: 8/15/17 Received 8/21 by mail

Biometrics: Dated: 8/25/17   Received 9/2/17   Appointment 9/11/17 

Approved: 10/23/18 -no interview

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