After Receiving the NOA2
(The information below is specifically for those acquiring K1 Visas in the Dominican Republic; those who are obtaining Cr1/Ir1 Visas may find “some” of this information useful as well.
CONGRATS ON YOUR PETITION APPROVAL!!! Below are the steps you need to take next. Be ProActive! Don’t wait for anything! Please read the steps below. And don’t forget to BREATHE before reading this, it’s a lot.
K1 Flowchart: Here is a timeline of the K1 Process
Dominican Republic Embassy Information
After your case is approved it’s sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) where its re-checked and packaged. It’s then forwarded to the Embassy in Santo Domingo. You can now begin gathering evidence for your case and the "required documents" needed for the Interview. The wait time for your Interview is “usually” 2-3 months. The Embassy will then send the beneficiary (Dominican born) a list of K1 Visa INSTRUCTIONS for your upcoming Interview (Cita). Follow them exactly. The instructions on the Embassy’s website are nearly identical to the instructions the beneficiary will receive by mail (inside Packet 4). The link is below:
http://santodomingo.usembassy.gov/k1-k2_instructions.html (MOST IMPORTANT!!!!)
Additionally, follow the steps here. Again, it's a lot but, it’s worth it! After your case is forwarded to the Embassy in Santo Domingo most people just wait “unsure” of what’s going on. For you to get valid information just wait 1-2 weeks after receiving your NVC notice and call (toll-free) to the Visa Specialist (Department of State) in Washington D.C. (202-663-1225). Press Option 1 then Option 0 to speak to a visa specialist. (Do not waste your money calling the Embassy or Mexico Hotline number). The Visa Specialist will tell you when your case was mailed to the beneficiary and when your interview (Cita) date is scheduled. Also keep checking the Interview List to see when your interview is scheduled. The interview lists are posted 2 months at a time. Make sure you have Adobe Reader so you can view them. Once you open the file just type in the Case # that was printed on your NVC notice. Ex: NVC Notice (SDO2012...) to find your Interview date. If your date is not listed check the following month’s list.
Interview List (It’s updated the last week of every month).
Your packet (Packet 4) will be mailed by the mail service in Dominican Republic (Inposdom). Which may take forever (or it may never arrive at all). The mailing system in the Dominican Republic is “very bad” and many people never receive their packets. The website below may be of some help. Remember there is no Packet 3, only Packet 4!
Dominican Republic mailing system (Inposdom):
In the meantime (DURING the WAITING PERIOD), just keep calling the Visa Specialist and checking the Interview List. Since some people never receive their packets, you need to be proactive! This is huge problem for many Dominican residents who are in the visa process. You wait and wait and wait for something “so important” to arrive and it may never come. Follow these steps and take care of your business.
#1: Follow the K1 Instructions posted on the Embassy’s website
#2 Keep calling the Visa Specialist
#3 Keep checking the Interview List
If you receive your Interview Date before you receive your Packet 4 and your Interview Date is approaching (2 weeks before interview), you need to call the Embassy and schedule a day to pick up a duplicate Packet 4.
In order to knockout 2 birds with 1 stone, you need to plan wisely. When you go to pick up the duplicate Packet 4 from the Embassy, it is wise to go immediately to the Medical Office (Consultorios De Visa) and get your medical exam done. The medical cannot be done if you do not receive your Medical Appointment Letter that comes inside of Packet 4. The Medical results need to be picked up the day before your interview and taken with you to the Interview the next day.
*Preparing for Interview:
Follow the K-1 Visa INSTRUCTIONS. Your Dominican born fiancé/fiancée (beneficiary) needs to begin completing the required forms (for specifics, check the Interview Checklist further down).
Since you have at least a couple of months (varies from 1-3 months) before your interview, you can practice filling out the required forms and finalize them later; they are available on VJ and USCIS). Next you want to get the birth certificate (legalized long/extensa version), passport, passport photos, etc. If your partner does not have their Dominican passport yet, read “How to Obtain Dominican passport” below:
My fiancée and I did all of these things while waiting. Try not to drive yourself crazy. Just use this time to prepare. In addition, gather all the evidence you will need for your interview (phone records, emails, pics, travel documents, receipts, etc). The last thing my fiancée and I did was update/finalize our forms. She got her police report (30 days before her interview date), reprinted visa forms, and I updated my income/employment documents. NOTE: We decided to type (PDF file) all of our information instead of handwriting, it makes things a lot easier to read. My fiancée went to a local notary and had them type in her information and print.
I had everything done 1 month before the interview but had to get new letters (dates closer to the interview). Remember, some interviews are scheduled much faster than others so you may have less time. U.S. citizens need to bring all documents for the interview with them. If possible, you may need to meet your Dominican-born fiancé/fiancée 1-2 days before the interview to double-check everything before traveling to the Embassy. Hotel accommodations and links are posted below if you plan on staying in a hotel close (and reasonably priced) to the Embassy.
Finally, during the waiting period, you should also be practice “interviewing” each other. Sample interview questions are posted further down. Make sure you know enough about each other. Names of close family members, first date details, how you first met, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It’s really important both of you have at least one common language that you communicate in. At the interview, they ask you which language you prefer to speak in (English or Spanish). Interview Experiences are also posted further down.
*The Medical Exam
The beneficiary’s medical exam will be completed by Consultorios De Visa in Santo Domingo (a few miles from the Embassy). The Medical exam must be done at least 5 business days before your scheduled interview. You will need to take with you the following: Dominican passport, your Cedula (national ID), 3 passport pictures, and your Medical Appointment letter. My fiancée was there ALL DAY (7am-5pm). It’s crowded and very busy. Make sure you bring the exact amount in US dollars (prices vary by age/gender) so you avoid any problems. It’s strongly recommended that you get your vaccinations too. For more information, check the links below. Remember results must be picked up the day before the Interview.
Medical Exam info:
http://santodomingo.usembassy.gov/examination-vaccines-e.html Prices of Exam & Vaccinations
http://www.consultoriosdevisa.com/index.html Consultorios De Visa official site (Includes videos)
Financial Docs: (Affidavits)
Once your NOA2 arrives, you need to complete the affidavit and get a letter from your current employer (stating you have a job with them and you make $$$ a year), also you need a letter from your bank (stating how much money you deposited in the past year), and also 3 months of your most recent pay stubs and last 3 years of tax returns. There are 2 affidavits (I-134 and I-864). The I-134 is very easy to complete and is usually needed for the K1 interview. The I-864 takes longer to complete and more evidence and its usually only needed for AOS but sometimes asked for during the K1 interview. For more information on the Affidavit of Support, see the link below:
To be safe just do them both and prepare. When your fiancé(e) gets his/ her Interview Packet, it will tell you what forms you need to bring to the interview. For now I would just complete them both and wait until 2 weeks before the interview date to get a letters from your employer and bank.
Interview Experiences: (PLEASE READ!!!)
Interview Questions: (Not Dom Rep. specific)
Note: If you are suspected of Visa Fraud, the questioning with be very, very personal and INTENSE! Dominican Republic is a High-Visa Fraud country, so be truthful!
Santo Domingo Embassy contact info:
*Things to Know on Interview Day:
-The interview line gets crowded pretty fast. People arrive in line as early as 5am. Just be careful and make sure there a policia in sight.
-Both beneficiary and petitioner must be there! (Automatic denial if both are not there)
-NO electronics are allowed (http://santodomingo.usembassy.gov/prohibited_items-e.html)
- Interview Documents & Evidence can be carried in many different ways (I used plastic seal-able organized folder with labels for each section). Bottom line is BE ORGANIZED. Know were your documents are and have them ready.
-It's best to be prepared because they look for organization and how well you interact with your partner (who must be there).
-Beware of the buscones! They are not Embassy employees and they will rip you off. Ignore them!
-Ask the guard outside what line you need to be in. There are separate lines for each visa-type. Men & women are separated when they enter the Embassy. You will go through metal detectors.
-You will receive a ticket but they are called in “random order.” So your interview time is not really important. Just don’t arrive too late because your number could be called at anytime.
-There are cameras there (and I think they watch how you couples interact with each other) so be aware of that. You may be there anywhere from 3-6 hours.
-Despite the many fans and water fountains, it gets hot in there and a bit uncomfortable (especially the benches). There is a cafeteria where you can buy food and drinks which is good.
-Dress appropriately...Suits for a K1 Visa is probably not necessary and you will may be too hot. I seen people who were very formal and some who look like they were going to a Club. Business-casual or Job-Interview-style is fine.
-Lastly, RELAX! If you’re a “real” couple and you have your things in order you should be fine. Interviews usually last no more than 5 minutes. Unless you’re at WINDOW 11 (Investigations for Fraud). If your case is sent to Administrative Processing, it may take from 6 months-2 years for approval.
-After you’re approved, pay your Domex fee and CELEBRATE! Felicidades!!!
K-1 Visa Interview Checklist
- Birth Certificate Inextensa
- Police Certificate
- Cedula (National ID Card)
- Medical Exam/Vaccination Results
- Banco Popular receipts ($350-visa + $16)
Effective Friday June 04, 2010, the application fee for K visas for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens will be $350, US$140 dollars to be paid at Banco Popular and US$210 to be paid in the Consular Section on the day of the interview.
- Two 2x2 photos (with name printed on the back)
- Letter of Intent (dated)
- DS-230 Part I (filled out and signed)
- DS-230 Part II (filled out - to be signed in front of CO)
- DS-156 (2 copies signed)
- DS-156K (1 copy to be signed in front of CO)
-DS-157 (for males only)
-Cita appointment letter/packet
-Any Marriage or Divorce Decrees from previous marriages.
- I-134 (also I-864 Affidavit of Support)
- Tax returns for (Last 3 years)
- Letter from Employer
- Recent pay stubs (last 3 months - 6 total)
- Bank account information
- Birth Certificate
- Letter of Intent (dated)
- Copy of I-129F packet sent
- Original and copy of NOA1
- Original and copy of NOA2
- Original and copy of NVC letter
- Trip receipts (boarding passes, luggage airline stickers)
- Hotel/resort receipts, reservations
- Cell Phone bills
- Calling Cards
- Western Union/Money Gram receipts
- Windows Instant Messenger/Vonage phone bill
- Printed out text messages
- Separate photo binder (with pics on a sheet put in plastic sheet protectors for easy removal)
- Last but not least - all of your prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Medical Exam = $180 USD
- Vaccines = $109 USD (optional, but highly recommended) Prices vary based on age.
- Banco Popular Visa Application Fee = $156 USD ($140 + $16 service fee) – 2 separate payments, 2 separate receipts
- Visa Fee paid day of interview at Consulate = $210 USD
- DOMEX Courier Service to approved Visa = $ 9.50 – 16.00 USD (depending on delivery location)
- Travel & Hotel Expenses = Varies
*Receiving K-1 Visa (Domex)
After your Visa is approved, you have to pay Domex (counter located inside of Embassy) to deliver your Visa, Passport, and Medical Results to you. To track your Visa you can use Domex’s website: (make sure you know your tracking #)
Also, NEVER purchase airline tickets for your partner until they have the VISA IN HAND. Once they receive their K-1 Visa from Domex make sure they understand the requirements. They can only use it once to enter the U.S.; and they have 6 months to use it. There will be an expiration date on it. Accompanied with the K-1 Visa is a sealed packet that must not be opened. It will be brought with them to the U.S. and given to the Customs agent once they arrive in the U.S.
Many beneficiaries have to travel to the States alone (unless accompanied with a child) and you meet them at POE. They should be fine going through Customs; just make sure they understand the LAW (you have to get married within 90 days of entering the U.S. then adjust status.) Let your partner know to “tell Custom’s agent” they are “entering on a K-1 Visa.” Make sure they do not lose their I-94 (stapled to passport), they will need this later for their Social Security card, Driver’s License, and AOS.
*Point of Entry (POE) Reviews:
After you are arm-&-arm with your loved one (you better be after all these months of waiting), relax and enjoy each other. Read up on how to obtain your partner’s Social Security Card and begin planning your marriage/wedding. Read up on State laws for Marriage Licenses. After you are legally married, you can immediately file for Adjustment of Status (AOS).
Note: K-1ers cannot legally work, go to school, or travel outside the U.S. until they receive legal documents (Work Authorization Card, Travel Documents and/or Green Card) through the Adjustment of Status process.
How to K1ers Get a Social Security Card:
This can be troublesome for some. Make sure you follow the link below. Around 7-10 days after arriving in the U.S. the K1ers status should be stored in the system. If you go too early, the Social Security office may not have your records. Since you are not married yet, your fiancée will have to get their Social Security card in their birth name. They can change it only after they get married and your have you marriage certificate. Make sure they bring the following documents (K1 Visa, passport, I-94, 2 proofs of address, SS-5 form).
Hope this helped. Have a great journey!
NEXT STOP ON YOUR JOURNEY: Adjustment of Status (AOS) -> -> ->