THE K1 Fiance VISA
The K1 Fiancé visa allows the foreign fiancé to enter the US for marriage to a US citizen. Once a K1 visa is issued, the fiancé has roughly 4 months in which to enter the US, and then 90 days from the time she/he enters in which to marry the petitioner.
The K1 process is not terribly daunting, but it can be confusing and stressful. We strive to remove the confusion and stress from it. We break the process down into 3 parts. Each part is relatively straightforward, in and of itself, but if one tries to figure it all out at once is when it gets confusing. The three parts are submittal, interview preparation, and adjustment of status to get the green card.
To start the process, we first have you email us copies of your documents, such as birth certificate, divorce decrees, etc. With this information, we can fill out most of the forms. We then get online with you to complete the forms (about an hour) or ask you specific questions by email, then we will assemble a petition packet. Depending on where you and your fiancé are, we may opt to meet with you and/or the fiancé if at all possible, as this makes everything much more personal and allows plenty of opportunity for a question and answer period. We then create a petition packet, which we send to your fiance, who will sign it, insert pictures, and forward it to the US citizen petitioner if the petitioner is in the USA. The petitioner will sign it, insert a pics and a check for $535, and send it into USCIS. There will be clear instructions and post it notes to guide you along the way.
Then starts the waiting, NOA1 receipt should arrive in about 1-2 weeks. From that point, it will be 6 to 8 months, depending on which service center you must go through. During this time period we gather documents, make certain she has met all the requirements, etc. After the 6-8 months has elapsed your petition should be approved.
Please note, processing times vary widely. During most of 2016, the processing time for getting NOA2 from USCIS for a K1 fiance visa was only 1-3 months. However. as of January 2018, that same timeline is now 6-8 months. USCIS is claiming this is due to all the people under the DACA/DREAM act, filing petitions to be allowed to stay in the USA. At any time this timeline will change again, and hopefully, it will be shorter once again.
After approval of the petition, it goes first to NVC (National Visa Center in NH), where a MNL case number will be assigned, and it will then get sent to Manila Embassy. At that time she will need to pay the visa fee, and we will fill out the online visa application and set an interview date. We then will build another packet for her to take to the interview. When she goes to the medical and interview, she will have a packet of papers an inch or so thick, organized in such a way that she should be able to hand any document to the interviewer in 5 seconds. The way we set up the interview packet makes it easy for her to do so. We also coach her in preparation for the medical and interview, so that she knows what to expect and is not so intimidated by what she will be going through.
After the interview, we make sure she has attended the CFO seminar and has the needed sticker in her visa. We coach her also on the trip, what to expect at the port of entry, etc., to make it as easy and as stress-free for her as possible.
Once in the US and you marry, she must apply for Adjustment of Status.
The current government based fees for K1 Fiance visa are;
Petition $535, paid when you file the petition
Visa fee $265, paid after NOA2 is issued
Medical exam P17,025, paid at the time of medical, a few days before interview
Adjustment of status (once married in the US) $1225
Our fee for full service processing of a K1 fiance visa is $500, payable in two installments if you wish, half up front, half when NOA2 approval notice is issued.
There are many small fees also, such as for documents, pictures, transportation, etc. which do add up. Also, if she lives anywhere other than the National Capital Region you must figure in the cost of a trip to Manila for her, and her spending at least 3-4 days there.
Processing times vary according to how backlogged the USCIS Service Center that your petition is sent to is. Current processing times as of February 2018 for K1 fiancee visa is 6-8 months.
That is pretty much it in a nutshell. Please feel free to contact us and ask any questions you may have and/or express concerns.