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K1 (Fiancée) visa information

NathiasNathias Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Just curious if anyone here has dealt with getting a K1 (Fiancée) visa for their loved one to get them into the US so you could marry them and live here with them. I’m probably going to be starting this process soon and was just wondering if anyone had any tips or experience with this. I’ve read tons online, but still looking for anyone with some personal experience with this type of visa.

I’ve seen tons of places online offering their services for the K1 visa, but I think I’m going to find a local law firm that specializes in immigration issues. Thoughts? Questions I should ask the law firm when I go in for my initial consultation with them? I’ve never really dealt with lawyers before…so I’m not too sure what to expect on this either.

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

Nathias on

Posts

  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I've known people who have got a K1 visa, they didn't need/use an immigration lawyer.

    Your problem is proof of your relationship. Your wording makes it sound like you haven't lived with this person (yes, it is a bit of a Catch-22... welcome to US immigration) and proving that is going to be hard if that's true.

    Lewisham on
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I was in the same situation as you about 3 months ago. I would strongly suggest you look into simply getting married and going for a K-3 and file an I-130 concurrently. Your fiancee will get to come to the country much sooner this way.

    I got married a month ago to my Chinese girlfriend (now wife). Any my lawyer told me to expect it to take 6-9 months from the time we began the paperwork. I believe he said it would take roughly 12-18 months for a K-3, but I can't remember for certain. Also he said the fees would be roughly $2500 total (not including his). It seems like a relatively straight-forward process, but I was worried that if you make a mistake it can take months for the relevant agency to notify you thus wasting those months, so I hired the lawyer. I reasoned to myself that if I could pay $x more to get her here sooner, I would pay that. x being my lawyer's fee.

    Either way, any decent immigration lawyer should give you a free consulation and answer any questions you may have. Things that will delay her being granted a visa is if she's previously broken US immigration laws, if she or you has a criminal record and other pretty common sense things. For example you'll need to show your income is high enough so that if she comes she won't immediately go on wellfare. Additionally, you'll need to show you have a place to live.

    As for which lawyer to hire, ask around for recommendations. Mine was recommended to me by a friend of a friend who works at the INS, but she told me that I couldn't tell my lawyer she recommended him as it would clearly be a conflict of interest.

    What country is your fiance from? Are you a citizen, and how did you obtain your citizenship (were you born in the US)?

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to pm me and I'll try to help out as much as I can.

    Cauld on
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I should mention, my understanding is that you don't have to prove that you've lived with them, only that you've met them in person at least once before getting engaged/married. As for proving you have a relationship with them email, chat logs, phone bills, etc. all can be used for that. Assuming you've met them in person the entry/exit stamps in your/her passport may also be used.

    Cauld on
  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Cauld wrote: »
    I should mention, my understanding is that you don't have to prove that you've lived with them, only that you've met them in person at least once before getting engaged/married. As for proving you have a relationship with them email, chat logs, phone bills, etc. all can be used for that. Assuming you've met them in person the entry/exit stamps in your/her passport may also be used.

    Yeah, I should have been more specific. If you have lived with her for a period, that will help you in the interview, but it's not necessary.

    Lewisham on
  • ReitenReiten Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Depending on where she's from, it might be easier to go to her home country and file the paperwork at the embassy there IF YOU GET MARRIED FIRST (not sure if this works as well for a K1 visa). You only have to be there to file the initial paperwork, after that only she has to be there for the follow-up interview, etc. At all stages, make sure to give them more information than they need for proof of relationship (including letters from people who know both of you, photos of the two of you together, etc.). So if she's from a 1st world country (Japan and Western Europe probably) that doesn't have that much immigration to the US or high concerns about terrorism/crime/fake marriages for green cards, you might be best doing it through the embassy there. This can speed up the process immensely since you won't get stuck in the giant backlog in the US.

    Reiten on
  • JansonJanson Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Cauld wrote: »
    I was in the same situation as you about 3 months ago. I would strongly suggest you look into simply getting married and going for a K-3 and file an I-130 concurrently. Your fiancee will get to come to the country much sooner this way.

    Not necessarily true. The K-1 was designed to get you into the country faster (but you don't get work authorisation straight away).

    Nathias - you do NOT need a lawyer, unless your girlfriend or you have been married before or have criminal convictions. The paperwork is really very simple.

    Moriveth and I are doing a K-1 at the moment and As7 and Mully are thinking of/about to do one. You can certainly e-mail me for more detailed information. Also, I strongly recommend joining http://www.visajourney.com - very helpful site!

    Cauld is right - you do not need to have lived with the person before, you only need to have met them once in the two years prior to filing the visa.

    Any specific questions?

    Proof of having met:

    Visa stamps in passport
    Airplane tickets
    Bills from visits (hotel/restaurant receipts, etc.)

    The above three are what's really important. Photos, letters and communication between the two of you are also helpful but don't contain dates and are considered secondary evidence.

    The reason I say that you don't need the lawyer is that other than filling in forms, there's not exactly much else to do. And the forms are straight forward and you'd be filling most of it in yourselves, even with a lawyer! The other things you require include birth certificates, police certificates - all things you'd have to get on your own, anyway. There are plenty of guides online and sites like visajourney will field any questions you have.

    Most people's experiences on the forums I've been on are that lawyers can only hinder the process, often they make mistakes you would've caught yourself (spelling errors, etc.). Plus the control is taken out of your hands - personally I like knowing exactly what's going on with my visa.

    Janson on
  • NathiasNathias Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Janson wrote: »
    Cauld wrote: »
    I was in the same situation as you about 3 months ago. I would strongly suggest you look into simply getting married and going for a K-3 and file an I-130 concurrently. Your fiancee will get to come to the country much sooner this way.

    Not necessarily true. The K-1 was designed to get you into the country faster (but you don't get work authorisation straight away).

    Nathias - you do NOT need a lawyer, unless your girlfriend or you have been married before or have criminal convictions. The paperwork is really very simple.

    Moriveth and I are doing a K-1 at the moment and As7 and Mully are thinking of/about to do one. You can certainly e-mail me for more detailed information. Also, I strongly recommend joining http://www.visajourney.com - very helpful site!

    Cauld is right - you do not need to have lived with the person before, you only need to have met them once in the two years prior to filing the visa.

    Any specific questions?

    Proof of having met:

    Visa stamps in passport
    Airplane tickets
    Bills from visits (hotel/restaurant receipts, etc.)

    The above three are what's really important. Photos, letters and communication between the two of you are also helpful but don't contain dates and are considered secondary evidence.

    The reason I say that you don't need the lawyer is that other than filling in forms, there's not exactly much else to do. And the forms are straight forward and you'd be filling most of it in yourselves, even without a lawyer! The other things you require include birth certificates, police certificates - all things you'd have to get on your own, anyway. There are plenty of guides online and sites like visajourney will field any questions you have.

    Most people's experiences on the forums I've been on are that lawyers can only hinder the process, often they make mistakes you would've caught yourself (spelling errors, etc.). Plus the control is taken out of your hands - personally I like knowing exactly what's going on with my visa.

    During my search for K1 information, I came across the timeline on visajourney.com, but I didn't look at anything else on the site. They do seem to have a wealth of information and since they have a forum, I guess its easy enough to ask questions about the forms/process as I go.

    My one reason for going with a lawyer was because I was worried about screwing up a form or having questions that needed to be answered. Really nervous. This process is long enough without me screwing something up. ;) Neither of us have been married nor have any criminal convictions.

    I guess I'll start looking over forms tonight and talk it over with my fiancée. If I don't need to pay huge lawyer fees, I'd rather not and use that money to go visit her this summer to help with the wait of the K1 processing.

    Nathias on
  • JansonJanson Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I made a typo - I meant even with a lawyer, you'd still have to either fill in the forms or provide all of the necessary paperwork yourself. So yes, save your money!

    There are example forms (i.e., already filled out) available online to check yours against. The only thing you need to know re. form filling is that if you don't have an answer, you should put NONE instead of leaving it blank. For example, there's a box where you can fill in your ex-spouse's name and address if you were previously married - instead of writing nothing at all, or N/A, you'd write NONE here.

    Janson on
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