This is our guide to the tedious K1-Fiancé Visa I-129F petition. Both the petitioner and foreign fiancé will have to provide a significant amount of documentation to prove to immigration officials that your relationship is not fraudulent. We would recommend starting to plan out what you intend to provide at least six months ahead of your application submission.
Disclaimer: this is only our interpretation of the requirements. This is the guide that we would be following with our own application, but that does not mean it is complete or perfect. There is a lot to become knowledgeable about throughout the I-129F petition. So we would urge you to undertake your own research as well, and make sure you are familiar with the US Department of State’s guide to the application as well. If you have decided to go ahead with the process, congratulations, we hope that this guide helps you with your petition filing process.
K-1 Visa Petition Pre-requisites
Who Can File For The I-129F Petition?
- You must be a US citizen through birth or naturalisation in order to apply
- Both you and your fiancé must be legally able to marry within 90 days of your fiancé’s arrival into the United States
- You must have met at least once within a two year time period before applying
- You must be able to pay the $340 filing fee for the 129-F Petition
Proving You’re Eligible For K-1 Classification
- Submit any or all evidence that prior marriages have been terminated
- Evidence that you and your fiancé intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé’s entry
- This evidence may include a statement of intent to marry
- You and your fiancé have met in person during the 2 years preceding your filing
Cover Letter: This states who you both are. The US citizen applicant is the petitioner, and the potential immigrant (foreign fiancé) is the beneficiary. In your cover letter you’ll want to include a detailed index, listing each topic and page number. It should provide information for everything included in the packet. Be sure that the US citizen petitioner signs and dates every page.
Filing Fee (Payment): Check or money orders are accepted forms of payment. To prevent any delay of filing your forms, always refer back to the USCIS webpage to confirm the most recent cost quote, because It can change at any time. Regardless if you underpay or overpay, the incorrect amount will result in a referral for evidence RFE which will prevent your forms acknowledgement for approval.
Form I-129F Petition For Alien Fiancé: This form will need to be completed by the US citizen petitioner. It would be recommended that the foreign fiancé beneficiary is available to answer any questions the petitioner may have while this form is being completed. It will require information that the petitioner may not entirely know yet, and you really don’t want to provide inaccurate answers since there will be an interview at the beneficiary’s nearest US consulate.
Form G-325A Biographic Information: This will need to be completed individually by both the US citizen petitioner and the foreign fiancé beneficiary. Keep in mind that you’ll both be asked about your residential and employment history during the last 5 years. If your history exceeds any of the space allotted, you can add an additional page to continue to record your history. G-325 A will ask for basic personal details such as:
- Social Security Number
- Contact Information
- Family History
- Marital History
- Housing History
- Employment History
Form G-1145 E-Notification Of Application: The G-1145 form is optional to provide, but is highly recommended. Considering this petition gets you on the path to closing the distance, you will want to receive instant notifications along the way. This will get you updates through email or text correspondence as opposed to letters by post. Be mindful that notifications may not be received right away; it can take some time between notifications.
How You Met: This in compliance to question #18 on Form I-129F. Make sure your title acknowledges this. Providing a few sentences is fine, but it would be best to write a formal letter explaining in as much detail as to how you first met one another in the last 2 years. Be sure that the US citizen petitioner signs and dates this page.
Letters Of Intent: Both of you, the US citizen petitioner and the foreign fiancé beneficiary will need to provide individual declarations, stating that you intend on marrying this person and therefore are petitioning to do so. These declarations must be very clear and concise, proving your intent to marry within 90 days of arrival into the USA on your approved K1 Visa. Be sure that the US citizen petitioner signs and dates their page, and the foreign fiancé beneficiary signs and dates their page.
Passport photo: The US citizen petitioner and the foreign fiancé beneficiary will both need to provide passport photographs of themselves. These should clearly show your faces, and conform to USA passport photo regulations. The exact requirements state that these photographs should be:
- In full colour
- Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
- 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
- Taken within 30 days of the filing date
- Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
- Lightly print names on reverse (in pencil or felt pen)
For exact guidelines on these photographs, you can find more information on the US Government website here. This page even provides photo examples of what is accepted and what is not. Despite all of the small details, passport photo regulations are relatively similar between countries, and you are able to have these taken either by a photographer, or automated booth for a very reasonable price. We would recommend to insert each photo into its own clear plastic sleeve or zip lock bag. Label that sleeve/bag ex. ‘photo of US citizen’. Staple or attach the sleeve/bag with a paperclip behind or in front of each person’s own Biographic Information pages, the G-325A forms.
Proof Of US Petitioners Citizenship: Provide a certified copy of the US citizen petitioners birth certificate or naturalization certificate. This will verify that you are in fact legally able to sponsor a immigrant person, like your foreign fiancé beneficiary, to enter the States.
Dissolution Of Previous Marriages: Provide certified copies of any divorce or death decree’s that prove any previous marriages (for either person) have been dissolved.
Evidence Of Ongoing Relationship
This is really a joint responsibility for couples to provide, as it significantly affects the foreign fiancé beneficiary more than the US citizen petitioner. This is probably the most vague aspect of the application, and the one that couples often worry about the most. And, unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules about what counts as evidence of a substantive and ongoing relationship. So, it can be tempting to include as much information as possible, but we would recommend steering clear of this approach.
Instead, be selective of what you include, and focus on the items that you believe are most convincing in regards to your relationship. Below, we have listed some of the best forms of evidence that you can provide. Remember, not to use this as a checklist, but as a guide to help you decide on the evidence you have available to you, and that you believe is worth including.
- Photographs of you & your partner together, including detailed descriptions
- Photographs of you & your partner together with friends/ family, including descriptions
- Flight tickets/ itineraries of applicant & sponsor travel
- Receipts for engagement ring purchase
- Hotel bookings/ other transport bookings
- Selective excerpts of Skype logs
- Selection of emails to/ from your partner
- Screen captures of text messages or instant messages to/ from your partner
It may seem a lot, but that concludes our list of documents that any K-1 fiancé visa petitioner is responsible for providing as a part of the process. Our main recommendation is to keep everything simple. Labelling and organising as much as you can to reduce any processing times. These should be provided in conjunction with your partner’s (foreign fiancé beneficiary’s) documents, as a single application. When you put the all of the parts together, it can seem like an overwhelming amount of paperwork.
That is why we recommend starting to collect these documents early, and getting as much information on the process as possible before you apply. It doesn’t hurt to add in as your last page to your paperwork, a formal thank you letter from you both, thanking the immigration officer for their time. Hopefully, with some of the tips we have given you in these guides you should be in a great position to get started with your application!
After USCIS approves your petition, it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will give you a case number and send your petition to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your foreign fiancé beneficiary lives. If you have any questions on the K-1 Fiancé Visa process, let us know in the comments below! We certainly aren’t experts, but are always willing to help people in a similar position, or a least point you in the right direction for further help.