Law Office of Irwin M. Avelino

Fiancee K1 Visa Process

Fiancee_Visa_Immigration_Attorney_Lawyer_Avelino_Los_AngelesIllustrative Example Regarding the Fiancee K1 Visa

Aamir and Kareena were friends and classmates in Mumbai, India.  Soon after graduation, Aamir immigrated with his parents to the United States and Kareena started working for an engineering firm in Mumbai.

Busy working on their careers, a few years went by without any contact between them.  One night while checking his Facebook, Aamir got a friend request from an old friend…  It was Kareena.

Eventually, their relationship grew and Aamir traveled back to India to spend some quality time with Kareena.  Everything felt so perfect when they were together and Aamir ended up proposing to Kareena on the beach in Kovalam.  Kareena felt the same and happily agreed to be bound to him in marriage.

The couple agreed that it would be best if Kareena joined Aamir in the US with a Fiancee K1 Visa rather than Aamir moving back to India.  Aamir also convinced Kareena that it would be best if they got married in the States because he wanted her to meet his family before they got married.

Soon after arriving from his amazing trip to India, Aamir came to see me.  I congratulated and told him that bringing his fiancee here on a Fiancee K1 Visa could be understood as a three-step process. Careful planning, analysis, and document preparation in all three steps in the Fiancee K1 Visa process is essential.

Step 1: Aamir Must File Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancee with USCIS

The petition must include evidence to establish that:

  • Aamir is a US citizen;
  • He and Kareena have met within the two-year period preceding the filing of the petition;
  • They have a bona fide intention to marry; and
  • They are legally able and willing to marry within 90 days of Kareena’s arrival in the US.

The filing fee for the Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancee is currently $340.

Processing times vary depending on which office your petition is processed. The California Service Center is currently processing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancee in about five months.  Once the petition is approved, it is eventually forwarded to the local U.S. Embassy of the foreign fiancee for the Fiancee K1 Visa interview.

Step 2: Kareena Must Prepare For and Pass The Fiancee K1 Visa Interview at the US Embassy

Once the petition is approved and eventually forwarded to the U.S. Embassy, Kareena must:

  • Pay the Fiancee K1 Visa Application Fee which is presently $265;
  • Schedule a Fiancee K1 Visa Interview Appointment;
  • Prepare all the necessary supporting documents, such as birth certificate, Police Clearance, etc.;
  • Obtain a medical examination; and
  • Attend and pass the Fiancee K1 Visa Interview.

Usually this step can be completed within 2-3 months or less as long as the applicant is prepared for the interview and eligible.

Step 3: Kareena  Files the Application to Adjust Status

After Kareena enters on her Fiancee K1 Visa and the couple gets married, Kareena will file the I-485, Application to Adjust Status.

  • The I-485 Application must include evidence to establish that:
  1. Kareena entered the US lawfully;
  2. Kareena is not a danger to society;
  3. Kareena will not become a public burden; and
  4. A variety of additional evidence showing Kareena is otherwise admissible.

The current filing fees for the I-485  is $1,070.

Around 1-2 months after filing the application with the Chicago Lockbox, Kareena will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment (fingerprinting for background check).  Presently, in Los Angeles, adjustment interviews are being scheduled between 5-6 months of filing.  The main purpose of the interview is for the USCIS officer to determine whether  and Kareena are in a bona fide marriage and whether Kareena is otherwise admissible as a permanent resident.  If the officer is satisfied, Kareena will obtain her conditional permanent resident card.

I also explain to Aamir that since their marriage will be less than two years old at the time he petitions her, her permanent residency will be conditional.  This means that her permanent residency will expire unless they jointly file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence within the 90-day period prior to her residency expiring.  In this petition, they will have to prove to USCIS that they are still in a bona fide marriage.  Once approved, the conditions will be removed from Kareena’s permanent residency.

Disclaimer. The above fictional story is intended only to give you a general idea of the topic.  It is NOT intended to be legal advice nor does it cover all the specific detailed requirements and procedures. Everyone’s goals and situations are unique as they apply to the law and they all cannot be covered in a simple writing such as this. Please consult an experienced immigration attorney to determine which method is best for your specific circumstances and goals.