K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase Summary
To start the K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase application process, you first need to submit a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For this purpose, this page outlines the process with advice on how submit your K-1 Fiance(e) Visa application petition to USCIS.
The K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase process includes:
- Completing Forms
- Paying Fee
- Gathering and Submitting Supporting Documentation
- Mailing the Completed USCIS Petition Package
- USCIS Processing
Also, this section outlines the process of the K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase for any unmarried children under the age of 21 of the Fiance(e).
The following forms need to be completed as part of the K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase:
- I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e): This needs to be completed for the Beneficiary. Also, list any children of the Beneficiary if you are intending a K-2 Visa for them.
- G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance-(optional)- This form is for the Petitioner or applicant in order to receive an electronic notification (email) that USCIS has received the application. Thus, this is a good thing to do as it gives you your USCIS number.
- Form G-1450– (optional)- 2/17/18 Update: This form is for use if you are paying the USCIS fee by credit card. On the other hand, the fee can be paid by check or money order.
Always get your forms from the I-129F USCIS site so that you know that they are the most current. Therefore, click here for the USCIS webpage for the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance. This web page contains the forms, instructions, and checklist.
The forms are downloaded using the links above, printed out on a computer printer and filled in. Fill them out with a pen in black ink if your hand writing is neat and legible. On the contrary, if your handwriting is not neat or legible, fill them out electronically using PDF writing type software.
Amazon has several free PDF editor software available:
In addition, click here for USCIS’ Tips for filing forms with USCIS.
Follow the instructions for each of the forms in the K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase:
- I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e)
- G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
Always check the USCIS site and get your instructions from there so that you know that they are the most current. Therefore, click here for the USCIS webpage for the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance. This web page contains the forms, instructions, and checklist.
If this process seems too difficult for you, we recommend that you use a visa/immigration consultant. For this purpose, we recommend using Rapid Visa.
If you are able to do the application on your own and our site has been a great help to you, please consider donating to our site using the donate feature in the upper right. To this end, this helps us provide valuable content to you and others.
The fee for the K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase is the USCIS Filing Fee of $535 (as of December 2016). For example, a check or money order payable to USCIS are both acceptable forms of payment.
Gather together and prepare the following supporting documentation for your K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase petition:
- Your USCIS Filing Fee of $535 (as of December 2016). For example, a check or money order payable to USCIS are both acceptable forms of payment. Update 2/17/18: The USCIS fee may be paid by check, money order or credit card. If by check or money order, include the check or money order with the I-129F application. If paying by credit card, complete and sign Form G-1450. Then, place G-1450 at the of your petition package when subitting it. See our blog post, USCIS Accepts Credit Card Payentfor more information.
- Copy (certified) of the Petitioner’s (U.S. Citizen’s) birth certificate (front and back) or a copy of all pages of the US Citizen’s passport issued with a validity of at least 5 years or a copy of the US Citizen’s naturalization certificate (front and back). These are to establish proof of citizenship.
- Evidence of Legal name change- If either you or your beneficiary use a name other than the one shown on evidence submitted in support of your petition, you must submit copies of the legal documents (such as a marriage certificate, adoption decree, or court order) reflecting the legal name change.
- Proof of legal termination of all prior marriages for both the Petitioner and the Beneficiary, if applicable. For example, a certified copy of a divorce decree is acceptable.
- Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record if your fiance has been to the United States before.
- Passport Type Photographs- Obtain one passport type photograph (see photo specifications)of the petitioner (U.S. Citizen) and the beneficiaries (Fiance(e) and children, if applicable). Next, write the full name of the person on the back of each photo. Finally, place the photos in a zip lock bag and include in the submission package.
- Declaration of how you met in person in the last two years. Click here for an example of a Declaration of How We Met for your use to edit specifically for your own Form I-129, Petition for Alien Fiance. This should be a single typed page. Make sure to sign and date your declaration. If you have not met in person because of a religious or medical reason, then declare that and include a signed letter from your religious officer or doctor.
- Intent to Marry Statements: Include a one page statement with signature by both the Petitioner and Fiance(e) that you intend to marry within 90 days of entering the U.S. Most importantly, sign and date all of your statements. Click here for an Intent to Marry Letter example for your use to edit specifically for your own Form I-129, Petition for Alien Fiance.
- Photographs: Include 9-12 photographs of you with your Fiance(e). Don’t send USCIS a large photo album. Without doubt, USCIS returns any albums. On the other hand, a photo album is a perfect thing for the embassy interview. For example, the best way is to use a blank sheet of paper and tape 3 photos per page. In addition, below each photo, name each person in the photo, the place and date. Also, include photos of you and your fiance(e) with some of your fiance(e)’s family as a bonus. Click here for examples of the photographs and other evidence of how you met in person.
- Other evidence proving that you have met in person. For example, plane tickets, visa stamps, and hotel reciepts.
- Evidence of how long you have known your fiance(e). For example, this includes copies of your beginning chats on email, Facebook, Skype or photos of you and your fiance(e) on a date, ect….
- Evidence that your relationship is on-going: For example, this includes several copies of chats on email, Facebook or Skype throughout your relationship history up to date.
- Other evidence include copies of airline tickets for your visits, hotel receipts, receipt for engagement ring, or anything else that shows proof that your relationship is true, you have met at least once within 2 years and that you intend to marry.
- Multiple File Waiver Request- You must request a waiver of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) filing limitations if: a. You are filing this petition on behalf of your fiancé(e) and you previously filed Form I-129Fs on behalf of two or more fiancé(e) beneficiaries; orb. You are filing this petition on behalf of your fiancé(e), you have previously had a Form I-129F approved, and less than two years have passed since the filing date of your previously approved petition.
- USCIS will do a background check of the Petitioner and the Beneficiaries. If you have a criminal record, it is best to disclose that at this point. Provide criminal records. If you do have a criminal record or any other legal issues, it is best to consult a visa/immigration attorney.
Click here to see our blog post on K-1 Visa Application Assembly Tips- I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance.
In addition, Click here for USCIS’ General Tips on Assembling Applications for Mailing.
Also, a visa/immigration consultant can assist you in assembling your K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase supporting documentation. For this purpose, we recommend using Rapid Visa for your K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase.
USCIS also provides a checklist for the application.
Click here for a USCIS cover letter example for the purpose to help send the Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance (K-1 Fiance Visa).
Assemble all of the forms and the supporting documents into one package with a fastener or a large binder clip. Hence, this is your Petition for K-1 Fiance(e) Visa. See our blog post on I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance Assembly Recommendations.
- Do not use binders or folders that cannot be easily disassembled. Use file folders with top fasteners.
- Use ACCO fasteners or binder clips to hold together thick or bulky applications or petitions. Two-hole punching the top of the material for easy placement in the file is appreciated.
- The use of tabs assist in locating items listed as attachments. The tabs should be placed on the bottom and not the side for ease in filing.
Avoid using heavy-duty staples; instead use ACCO fasteners or heavy clips. We like using the heavy clips versus the ACCO fasteners as the clips can grasp the check to USCIS and passport photographs.
Very Important: Make a copy of everything that you have assembled. Send to USCIS using the address below in the next section.
Place the petition in a large envelope.
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Mailing the Package
The petition package needs to be mailed to the USCIS lock box in Texas.
If sending by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), mail to:
P.O. Box 660151
Dallas, TX 75266
If sending by FedEx, UPS, and DHL, send to:
2501 South State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
Service Center Assignment
If you included Form G-1145 in your petition, USCIS sends you an email confirm that they received your petition. At the same time, call to check and see if your petition has been received toll-free at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TDD for the deaf or hard of hearing). Get your USCIS number from the email or by calling. For example, this number helps you track your petition at USCIS.
After the USCIS lock box receives your petition, they send your application to one of it’s Service Centers for processing. For example, below are the USCIS Service Centers:
- California Service Center (CSC) (WAC)
- Vermont Service Center (VSC) (EAC)
- Nebraska Service Center (NSC) (LIN)
- Potomac Service Center (PSC) (YSC)
- Texas Service Center (TSC) (SRC)
- National Benifits Center (NBC) (MSC)
The USCIS lock box sends your petition to a certain service center depending upon which service center is processing which type of visas and their current workload or availability. Subsequently, the processing service center receives your petition within 2-3 weeks.
USCIS Receipt Number
You are assigned a USCIS Receipt Number corresponding to the service center that your case is assigned to. Specifically, the receipt number consists of three letters (WAC, EAC, LIN, YSC, SRC or MSC) corresponding to the service centers above and 10 numbers corresponding to the year, computer workday and case number processed that day. Call USCIS (1-800-375-5283) to get your receipt number and write it down to remember it. For example, you need this number whenever you want to contact USCIS or to check the status of your case.
Sign up for USCIS Case Status On-line. You use this to identify and track your case. Firstly, enter your receipt number. Then, your case status is shown. If you get an error message, it probably means that your case has not been uploaded yet. Subsequently, wait a few days. Also, sign up for email and text notifications.
After the service center receives your petition, they mail the petitioner a notification called Notice of Action 1 (NOA1). Specifically, this notification indicates that the service center has received your petition and has opened it.
Processing Time Frame and What do Now
The K-1 Fiance(e) Visa USCIS Phase is the most frustrating phase because it is the longest phase at 3-5 months duration for I-129F Fiance(e) Visas. The next phases (NVC and Embassy) go much faster, but there is a lot you need to do to prepare for these phases. If you want to shorten your overall time frame, the best thing to do while waiting on USCIS approval is to gather and prepare your supporting documents for the NVC and Embassy phases.
USCIS Approval, RFE or Denial
If your petition is approved, USCIS issues an approval via a Notice of Action (NOA) 2.
If USCIS deemed that it needs more information to approve your application, it sendsthe Petitioner a Request for Information (RFE) listing the items that it needs. Receiving an RFE could add time to your overall application by several weeks or months. For example, one way to reduce the likelihood of receiving an RFE is to use a visa/immigration professional like RapidVisa.
If USCIS denies your petition, it sends you a denial letter. In addition, they state the reasons why and explain your options for appeal.