USA K-1 Fiancé Visa: A Guide to the Petition

Applying for the K-1 Fiance Visa Header

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

Even After Becoming Engaged, There is Still a Long Way to Go

Even After Becoming Engaged, There is Still a Long Way to Go

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

Supporting Documentation

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.

There is a Lot Of Paperwork to Fill Out For the K-1 Petition

There is a Lot Of Paperwork to Fill Out For the K-1 Petition

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:

You Will Need a Copy of a Recent Passport Photo Per Person

You Will Need a Copy of a Recent Passport Photo Per Person

  • 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.

Documents Such as Certificates of Naturalisation Must Be Provided

Documents Such as Certificates of Naturalisation Must Be Provided

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!

Once Your Petition is Approved You'll be able to Apply for the K-1 Visa

Once Your Petition is Approved You’ll be able to Apply for the K-1 Visa

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.

-Chelsea

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Chelsea Martin

Chelsea Martin is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI). She has been training dogs professionally since 2007. She met Chris on a trip to England in 2013, Married him on New Year's Eve - celebrating 2016 as husband and wife!

  • Darren

    Hi Chelsea,
    Thanks for this very straightforward and detailed blog post! I do however have a question for you. My Fiancée is an American Citizen, and I’m an Australian Citizen. We plan on closing the distance between us, and I will hopefully be moving across to America next year under this visa. Once the NVC forwards the petition on to the US Consulate, will they contact me with exact details (day/time) for the interview, or is that something that you schedule yourself? If it’s something you organise yourself, is there a time frame to do this by? I’m asking this because my Fiancée is currently a student, and will be finishing her degree in May of 2016. She doesn’t yet have a full time job (to prove financial support), but will do so after she graduates. If there isn’t a time frame then we would be able to wait until she has the job before I attend the interview, but if not we will need to work out another way to show I will be able to be financially supported. I hope that made sense?
    If you could provide any information/assistance that would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Darren,

      My apologies! Once the USCIS approves a K-1 petition and you hear from the NVC, you and your foreign fiancé have four months from USCIS’s date of approval to now act on the approved petition (i.e. obtain a K-1 visa). The K-1 visa then has its own legality terms after that. A consular officer has the discretion to extend that deadline (but not obligated). This is presumed that the consular believed that your delay is caused by circumstances beyond your reasonable control.

      We highly recommend to include a completed Form G-1145 with the petition. If you include this form with your petition USCIS will send an e-mail (and also a text message if you have a U.S. mobile number) containing your receipt number. You can use the receipt number to check the status of your petition online periodically.

  • Brooke

    Hi Chelsea,

    Going through the petition process at the moment, filing out all the forms.

    I was just wondering about the ‘Alien Registration Number’. What is it and where would I find mine?

    Thanks :)

    • Hi Brooke,

      I wish you all the luck in the world during your application process, it’s very daunting and tedious! Here is a great link provided by the US government website that explains in great detail about A-Numbers and how you can obtain one properly. I hope this helps!

      Kind regards,
      Chelsea

  • Rythik

    Hi Chelsea,

    Me and my fiance have just applied for the K-1 visa. She’s a US citizen and I am from India. We have been in a relationship for 2+ years. Now, we are on the process of documenting chat records and so on. I have read in a few forums that age difference can be a huge red flag in visa applications. Giving that she’s older than me, we are trying to get all the evidence to prove that our relationship is not fraudulent. Is it going to be a huge deal with our application? What all steps can we take to prove our sincerity? Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hi Rythik,

      I understand that having an age gap can present a red flag to any immigration officer looking over a petition or an application. If the evidence you provide is substantial it will prove that your relationship is genuine and the age is not a cause for concern. I would suggest sharing lots of photographs proving that you have not only met in person – particularly ones where you don’t look staged by posing next to each other. Anything that looks natural like hugging/ kissing/walking hand in hand together should be the majority of your photos so there is a clear indication of the love you have for each other. Paired with immense financial proof that a wedding is being planned e.g. venue hire contract, wedding dress & ring receipts, etc.

      The evidence you provide is always going to be the make or break in the final decision. It is up you as the applicants to provide your supporting documents, so just be conscientious of the ones you pick. These documents are what help the officer gauge the authenticity of your relationship.

      I hope this helps, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

      Only good things,
      Chelsea

  • Dinah

    Hello Chelsea,
    just wanted to know if a passport would suffice as prof of citizen ship in US?

    • Hi Dinah,

      So sorry for the delayed response! We’ve been so busy with the holiday season, our wedding, and my birthday. Passports are a great proof of American Citizenship in the US.

      Only good things,
      Chelsea

  • kanye

    hi,
    I live in Zambia and my feyance lives in US we wanted to apply for k1 visa and wante dthe pastor to give us the recommendation letter regarding our relation ship. can any one give me a sample of recommendation letter from a pastor?
    Thanks

    • Hi Kanye,

      I’m sorry but we do not have sample letters to provide for anyone as we need to protect ourselves against being held liable for any application that may be refused. We’d be more than happy to look at a completed draft that you share with us. We can comment about what you should add or remove, but we ourselves cannot go beyond that.

      I would recommend checking out the Expat forum, you can specifically join the USA Forum to find letter samples to use in your K-1 Visa. In the past they have provided a wealth of information to us. As their members have applied from a wide variety of circumstances, the forum has a much greater collective knowledge about individual and specific situations.

      Only good things,
      Chelsea

  • sidou

    Hello authors. Thank you very much for helping everyone. I’m Algerian American and I’m planning to apply K-1 for my future fiance then wife. I live in the US and she lives in Algeria. My understanding is that I only need to file 129 form and g325, but just she doesn’t have to send her application until she gets notice from consulate. Is that right?
    Do I have to have letter of intent and how we met letter or how we met is enough?

    • Hi Sidou,

      |My understanding is that I only need to file 129 form and g325…
      Each of you need to complete a G-325A form, it’s one per person and provide a US sized passport photo from each of your for those forms. You as the American petitioner will need to fill out the I-129F form, but it’s one form for the both of you. So in total you will have two completed G-325A forms, one for you and one for your fiancé, and one I-129F form for you both as a couple.

      |she doesn’t have to send her application until she gets notice from consulate. Is that right?
      Yes. Once USCIS approves your petition it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will mail you a case number & a letter informing you that your petition will be sent to the US Embassy (or consulate) where your fiancé lives. At this point, following the steps included in your letter, your fiancé can then apply for her K-1 Visa and ready herself for her interview.

      |Do I have to have letter of intent and how we met letter or how we met is enough?
      A letter of intent is vital to your petition – this is how you convince the USCIS officer you are planning to marry. How you met is part of your required evidence and it will be more than just letter. You’ll want to include photographs you have together, previous flight or travel itineraries to see each other, letters/emails/cards you have sent each other, proof of how you communicate and maintain your relationship despite the distance, etc. The letter of intent and proof of having met are two separate things that need to be included in your petition, one does not replace the other.

      Please be sure to read through the guidance page thoroughly to ensure you have prepared your documents to their liking and expectation, http://1.usa.gov/1tso4hM. Especially double check the supporting documents that need to be included with your petition. Also please check out this amazing forum http://bit.ly/1OrsP55, it has really great information about the K-1 visa process and it also gives you access to example letters that you’ll want to include in your petition.

      Wishing you the best!

      Only good things,
      Chelsea

  • jasweet

    hi I have applied for my husband spouse visa from sheffield but not heard anything. Can you please send me the website link where i can check the progress of my visa application.Thanks

    • Hi Jasweet,

      Unfortunately the OISC has threatened to prosecute us for providing immigration advice as we are not solicitors (despite our legal disclaimers & that we try to only speak from personal experience). As such we have had to remove all visa guidance, articles and videos from our site & YouTube page. We are also unable to answer any questions about the visa process or else risk criminal prosecution.

      You can read our full statement here: http://bit.ly/2bml3qI.

      Apologies again.

      -Chelsea

  • jasweet

    hi I have applied for my husband spouse visa from sheffield but not heard anything. Can you please send me the website link where i can check the progress of my visa application.Thanks

  • ati ananda

    Hi! Thank you for your helpful blog. We are putting the K1 package together and wonder does the petitioner need to sign also the documents proving the relationship (boarding passes, travel initiatorys)? What about the copy of the passport, does he need to sign that ? Thank you!

    • Hello Ati,

      We apologise for the delay, we’ve moved across the UK and have had no internet up till now. May I ask if this is still a concern needing our assistance? We want to make sure we can help you if need be.

      Only good things,
      Chelsea

    • Rona

      Yes you have to sign every single paper. I’m also workning on the K-1 Petition now adays

  • Rona

    Hello dear Chelsea,

    Thanks for the helpful instructions and information!
    I, and my fiancé are working on our I-129F Package these days.
    I was so concern about the file I-129F signature.
    Does the petitioner need to sign all 6 pages or only the page that they mentioned to be signed !?

    2- After the application approved does the petition need to send the affidavit of support to the foreign fiancée directly? Or he has to send it to the USCIS so they approve that too then send it to the Alien fiancée!?

    I hope you can answer me ASAP

    • My apologies Rona,

      I’ve been ill and resting at home. I realise the urgency in your matter, however I do not want to assume that you’ve figured this out. Is this still needing to be answered?

      Only good things,
      Chelsea

  • Lynn

    Does it matter when we date our forms or letters that require a date? Let’s say if we are mailing out stuff on 1 March, can we date our stuff 15 January?

  • mel

    Hi this really helps we are planning on applying for the petition soon I just want to ask I am in the uk and he is in the usa when he and I signs I cant actually be there is there somehow he can send the forms or email to me and I can print off and sign then send it back in a email/scan? Also the first amount to pay is that when we send the petition off? How much is it now do you know?

    • Hi Mel,

      The petition form is filled out by your fiancé (the US petitioner) – as the applicant, you don’t need to sign this form. There is a filing fee of $535 that is payable by cheque when the petition is posted. Further details about sending off the petition & payment can be found by downloading the “Instructions for Form I-129” PDF here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-129f.

      Best,
      Chris

  • mrs mubshar

    thnks

  • mubshar majeed

    hi chris my question is that, i applied uk spous visa my wife before tow month,but no answer why, home office tow time interview his tow month period but no answer.what can the reason home office no ans after tow month please tell me i am very worry about that what will be.plz rep me thanks