Fiance(e) Visas (K-1)
A successful Fiancée Visa application has two basic parts:
Part I is The USCIS filing and approval and, Part II is the Embassy/Consulate review, interview and issuance of the Fiancée Visa.
Part I for the Fiancée visa has several steps. An example might be helpful here, so: Suppose Jim is a US citizen and wishes to petition for his fiance Lola, to come from the
Philippines, marry here and get a green card as a permanent resident.
Jim sees AmeriLawGroup (ALG) on the web, likes what he sees, and arranges for a consultation with AmeriLawGroup immigration attorney (Atty).
At the initial consultation Atty and Jim determine what the issues are in the case, discuss qualification requirements for he and Lola, and talk about time and costs to get Lola’s Fiancée visa.
- After talking it over with Lola, Jim tells. California fiancé visa attorney he wants to proceed. The visa lawyer tells Jim about the various payment plans available and obtains the initial personal information he needs to open their electronic file.
- Since the attorney will need detailed personal information to enter into your USCIS Fiancée visa petition you and your fiancée will complete our detailed electronic questionnaire right on your computer or another device. Since your security and privacy are of the utmost consideration, we provide you a personal entry code for your file and you complete our questionnaire online, on your screen or device. Note: Since this petition is really a “joint venture” between you, your fiancé and your California visa lawyer we can set things up so you, the U.S. citizen, receive all paperwork or both you and your fiancé receive copies of USCIS communications or those from your California visa attorney Your choice.
- Based on your questionnaires we complete the forms required by the USCIS for a fiancé visa and send them to you and your fiancé for signature. Prior to this we have reviewed the questionnaires and forms, line by line, requested further information if needed, edited the forms for accuracy and sent them electronically to you and your fiancé to print out and sign. We will make sure they are correct in every respect.
- Meanwhile, your visa lawyer has sent you a booklet AmeriLawGroup has written, based on our 40 years of experience, which tells you exactly what documents we have to submit with the forms. We cannot just “send in a couple of forms”; we must create a complete package meeting all USCIS requirements. We have found over the years that certain items are particularly important, including, but not limited to, proving that your relationship is not a mere sham for immigration purposes; but is one based on love and a real intent to marry and live together into the future. You will scan or fax any of these supporting documents to us for review. It they are correct, great, if not, we will tell you why not, what else is needed, and where to get it.
- After the entire Part I package is assembled and approved by your visa attorney, it is filed with the USCIS.
- Within approximately 10 days you will receive a form 797C from the USCIS saying they have received all forms, documents, and fees, and are processing same for you both.
- Then, if the USCIS has no other questions, they will issue a form 797 Approval of your petition. If they have any further questions we will help you answer them and move things along.
Now comes Part II of the process:
- Your approved file will then be sent to the US State Department who will ask you to complete some additional forms. We will help you complete these forms. Thereafter, the US State Department will send your file to the consulate or Embassy in your fiancé’s country for further processing. In our hypothetical, Lola will then receive notice to provide some further information, pay some incidental fees, obtain a medical examination, and appear for an interview. We will assist her with this process. For the interview, AmeriLawGroup has written a booklet which we have has found very helpful in preparing for the interview. We are not satisfied with the information put out by the USCIS so we have written our own booklet on this and other subjects. Jim and Lola will go over the booklet together and if they have questions your visa attorney will answer them; he can and will schedule a conference call with Jim and Lola as “interview preparation” as needed.
- Lola must take Jim’s financial affidavit to the interview, along with supplemental documents from Jim, proving his ability to support her when she comes to the US and marries Jim. Jim must prove that he can support Lola when she gets here. This “proof” depends on many factors such as Jim’s household size, gross income, time on job, nature of employment, etc. We will help Jim prepare his financial affidavit and documents for Lola to take to the interview. Note: these documents can be sent privately, directly to the Embassy/Consulate, if desired.
- Lola, being fully prepared and comfortable with the process, will “pass” her interview and receive her fiancé visa at that time or within 2 weeks after the interview. If the Embassy/Consulate has any further questions which cannot be answered by Lola at the interview, we will help her answer them. Note: while Jim may want to be at the Embassy/Consulate at the time of the interview to show support, it is not necessary, and he will not be allowed into the interview room. Lola can, however, bring a friend or other person as “interpreter” if needed.
- Lola comes to the US on her new K-1 fiancé visa, marries Jim, applies for her green card and is now a permanent resident of the US. Note: a K-1 fiancé visa is good for one entry only into the US, it expires in 90 days from US entry, and Lola’s marriage to Jim and her application for her green card, must occur within 90 days of her arrival in the US. Further Note: a fiancé visa, once issued by an Embassy or consulate, is generally good for use for 6 months from the time it is issued to Lola by the Embassy/Consulate; this time can be extended for another 6 months or even more. Extensions must be formally requested in advance; ask us how we do this in your initial consultation.
- Children: Suppose Lola has a daughter she wants to bring to the US to live here permanently with Lola and her new spouse, Jim. What to do? Natural children, and some adopted children or even step-children, can accompany Lola when she uses her K-1 fiancé visa, or even who need to follow her on later. Each child will need his/her own K-2 visa. It is good for the same times, or extended times, as Lola’s. If properly filed we can obtain a K-2 children’s visa for each child without having to charge Jim and Lola any additional attorney fees; and, we can also avoid any further USCIS filing fees for a K-2 visas for the kids.
- Criminal records (bad rap sheet): does this affect filing for, or receiving, a fiancé visa? In order to file for a fiancé visa Jim must show his current good character and that he will not be a threat or danger to Lola or any children. There is a list of criminal offenses which may disqualify Jim from filing. Atty. will go over this list with Jim, if applicable, during the initial consultation. Most recently criminal offenses which are most likely to disqualify Jim are those involving sex offenses, domestic violence, or any offense in which any of these issues are directly or indirectly involved. Anything to do with children, persons (victims) under age 18 at the time of the offense, will raise a substantial block to the fiancé visa process under what are known as the IMBRA laws. IMBRA, a Federal immigration law, is very likely to disqualify Jim from sponsoring Lola; but Jim can overcome this by filing a formal petition for a waiver and properly documenting strong reasons why this waiver should be granted. AmeriLawGroup has had substantial experience and success in obtaining these wavers for its clients. So, even if this might be an issue for you then be sure to bring it up at your initial consultation. Your privacy is protected by the attorney-client privilege and information cannot be disclosed without your permission. Lola may also have these types of issues so make sure to discuss this with your Atty., if applicable.
- Costs and fees: there are two basic types of fees in this process; those paid as attorney fees to AmeriLawGroup and those paid to the USCIS as filing fees and or the US Department of State at the embassy/consulate level, usually just before the interview at the end of the process of obtaining the fiance visa. AmeriLawGroups attorney fees are flat, one time fees. If you need some help along the way there will be no additional fees. We will tell you the flat fee and the beginning and back it up with a written fee agreement. Please click this link to see a Sample Fee Agreement. This will be agreed to by you and your Atty. before we start the process. You may see our Flat Fee Schedule by clicking this link.
- Payments for Attorney Fees: the link above to our Flat Fee Schedule also takes you to information about attorney fee payment plans and available fee discounts.
- USCIS filing fees: These fees are paid after we have completed preparing your Petition and all supporting documents and are ready to file it with the USCIS. The USCIS does not accept payment plans. You will provide your personal check or money order, made out to the “US Department of Homeland Security” for inclusion with your initial filing. USCIS fees vary from time to time so we include a link to today’s Form Fee Schedule here. AmerLawGroups forms and fee schedules are kept up to date, 24/7, by our computerized Attorney Services System. Any changes or additions are added immediately, and noted electronically, to make a maximum effort to avoid any possible problems with our client’s filings.
- Fee Waivers: for those clients who cannot afford the USCIS’s filing fees, and can clearly establish this based on a wide variety of factors, they have established a Fee Waiver Program. See this link for information and to this link for updates and further discussion of this topic.
Let us know if we can answer any further questions or be of service. Your email or phone consultation appointment will get our immediate response. Best, The Attorneys at AmeriLawGroup