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K-1 Requirements

Title: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: jb on June 17, 2006, 08:06:06 AM
For the purposes of this discussion I will assume the questioner is a citizen of the USA.

The K-1 Fiancée Visa is a non-immigrant, family based visa, the object of which is to allow the petitioner to bring into the USA for a period of 90 days, an individual of foreign nationality for the purpose of marriage. The K-1 visa is not intended to replace the B-1 Tourist visa as a extended method of courtship.

The paperwork requirements for the K-1 visa are fairly straight forward, and the instructions that accompany the form I-129F are written with the do-it-yourselfers in mind. Virtually anyone who can read and follow instructions can file this package by themselves. There may be some circumstances where a man may want to use the services of an attorney for the preparation of total petition package; however, unless your life is extraordinarily complicated I recommend you give this a try on your own first.

There are new requirements that are directly related to the International Marriage Broker Act, the specifics as yet are not clear. This is a new wrinkle in the paperwork, and so far I've not seen or heard from anyone who has successfully complied with the new demands. However, any man who has a public record of spousal abuse will probably not be eligible for a K-1 visa. The thrust of this new K-1 visa requirement is quite clear, wife beaters need not apply ~!

The Form I-129F and all other needed forms may be downloaded for free at the following: And specifically, the Fiancée Visa form, I-129F at:
There is a $170.00 non-refundable fee charged for filing this form.

The physical requirements for filing this petition are also fairly straight forward in that the petitioner and the Fiancée must have met in a face-to-face situation within the previous two year period, photographic proof of the meetings, i.e., pictures showing the two people together should be provided with the filing. Both parties must be single and free to marry and show evidence of that fact, usually this is done by providing photocopies of divorce decrees. Additionally, the couple will also submit personal biographical data using the USBIS Form G-325A. The couple must have come to a mutual agreement to marry, submit a sworn affidavit to that effect, and be prepared to do so within the allotted 90 days granted by the terms of the visa. Should the couple not marry within the 90 days, the visa expires, and the foreign national must return to her/his country of origin.

There will be additional documents required by the U.S. Department of State at the time of the Embassy interview before the Fiancée Visa will be granted; notable is that the petitioner must show evidence of an ongoing relationship with the fiancee, this is usually accomplished with photocopies of airline ticket receipts, phone bills, copies of e-mails, and other documents showing the close personal relationship between the American citizen and the foreign born national. One must also demonstrate financial responsibility and the ability to support the new immigrant at some level of lifestyle above that of the National Poverty Guidelines. This will be accomplished with the use of IRS Form 1040's, bank statements, or other documentation showing the fiscal solvency of the petitioner. That number is currently pegged at 125% of the minimums, however I urge anyone earning that level of income think carefully about the financial burden you are willing to undertake. The total number of dollars invested, start to finish, will be many hundreds, if not many thousands, before your bride-to-be becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident. If you do not have adequate savings and funding in hand, you will likely find the entire process of immigration sponsorship to be mentally frustrating and financially back breaking. Many good loves have been lost for lack of money.

The US Citizenship and Immigration website is an excellent source of information with many links to pertinent information, most useful is the Immigration Laws and Guidelines. This area of the website provides information on laws, regulations and interpretations controlling immigration and the work of the immigration-related bureaus of the Department of Homeland Security. You can learn how immigration laws are made and how regulations are developed. You can explore agency and judicial interpretations of those laws. You can also find the handbooks and guidelines used by immigration officers in the performance of their duties as well as guides created to help you through the immigration process. As you embark on what will ultimately be a 5 to 8 year journey with your foreign born spouse, from the initial filing of the I-129F, right up to the time she is sworn in as a citizen of this country, this website will be one of your most valuable resources. I strongly suggest that you bookmark the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration website among your favorites, and get to know how to navigate through it. There is even a section in the handbook which describes what kind of folder and binder you should use when submitting this form.

Title: Re: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: engaged on August 12, 2006, 04:28:06 PM

Helpfull to those starting.

Visa Journey proves helpful too.

Title: Re: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: Turboguy on August 12, 2006, 05:32:41 PM
excellentwas an excellant overview of the K-1 process, Great job. I would like to re interate what jb said about lawyers and K-1's. Most people who use one do so because they think it will be faster and easier. Actually it most always turns out to be harder and slower not to mention more expensive. When you check with a lot of people who have done K-1's everyone seems to have had a bad experience. One of the delays is that instead of just sending things in you send them to your attorney who leaves them sit on his desk till he gets around to them and them does so many he is more likely to make a mistake. Not sure why other than that but if you check you will find that jb and I are right. The exception might be if you have some complications.

The one thing I am not so sure jb is exactly right about is when he talked about the new requirements under IMBRA. When he said someone with a record of spousal abuse will probably not be eligible for a K-1. The same problems apply to someone with felony convictions, convictions for drug use or Alcohol abuse and some other things. I have been working on reading Gary Bala's blog about IMBRA but there is about 8 hours of reading and I am only 1/4th of the way through. I can be wrong and if I find I am, I will correct this. I do not think someone with lets say a conviction or charge for abuse (charges that are dismissed also apply) is not totally banned from a K-1 visa. The gal you are sponsoring must be totally aware of your history and all the details of any problems in your file. Regardless of problems or not, you will need a criminal background check for any state you lived in as an adult. They will question the gal about the charges in detail and she must be fully aware. I am sure the application will be looked at much harder. It is not from what I have read totally banned. I think too they will look at the details, and if you have more than one area of problems you might have a bigger problem getting it approved.

Title: Re: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: engaged on August 12, 2006, 06:04:32 PM

My understanding also, it is mostly a disclosure. The government decides on approving the visa. The more serious crimes probably result in automatic denial. Oddly, even accusations must be included. However, OJ could probably sue for a visa :o.

Title: Re: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: Turboguy on August 12, 2006, 08:41:09 PM
Yes, it is the only thing I have ever heard of where it does not matter if you were innocent or guilty. Just having been charged with the crime is enough. I am sure someone who shoplifted a cd at age 18 will have a better chance than someone who killed his wife and that someone with 3 DV charges might want to chase AW.

Title: Re: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: engaged on August 13, 2006, 09:54:09 PM
The K-1 RFE only requests disclosure on convictions not accusations. But I guess the IMBRA rules requires guys to include all info on accusations. Well, a just God punishes the false accusers...

Title: Re: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: groovlstk on September 01, 2006, 03:57:23 PM
One thing that I'd like to add is that evidently, sending a few photos of you and your girl along with your I129F is not enough proof to establish having met in the past two years. On, a number of people reported getting RFEs (Request for Evidence, i.e., more proof) because they sent only photos as proof of meeting. Photos are considered secondary evidence. Examples of primary evidence are copies of your boarding passes, stamped Russian visa, hotel receipts, etc. I was fortunate in that I saved all my airline tix/boarding passes just in case my carrier didn't credit my frequent flyer miles and then forgot to toss them in the trash once I was credited.

Title: Re: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: Turboguy on September 01, 2006, 06:33:21 PM
In my case I had all that and more and they still gave us problems. With us, (the former us anyway) they looked hardest at phone bills. They also wanted letters and e-mails but don't seem to rate e-mails too high.

Title: Re: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: ronin308 on September 05, 2006, 12:13:59 AM
While I wouldn't recommend a lawyer to my worst enemy, it can be valuable to have someone who's done the K-1 process look over your packet to make sure everything is correct. My application was reviewed by the agency we met through and we didn't have an RFE problem.

I would also recommend to not make changes in your life that require any corrections to your original filing. In my case I changed my address before they had started processing. Instead of a 5 month process it turned into a 13 month process with the idiots sending the paperwork to another service center on the opposite coast. I only moved about 60 miles and was even in the same county.

Title: Re: What are the requirements for a K-1 Visa?
Post by: Turboguy on September 05, 2006, 03:16:39 PM
Anyone who uses a lawyer unless they have special circumstanses is making a big mistake. Those who do use one expect it to be faster and easier. Most of the time it is slower and harder. The exception to not using a lawyer is when there are complications to deal with.

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