Petition Procedure

The petition must be filed by your U.S citizen fiancÚ and is a prerequisite to filing the application. The petition must be able to prove the following:

General Procedures

All forms and documents will be filed by mail at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Regional Service Center nearest to your U.S fiancÚ's home. Check the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to get their appropriate P.O box for this application.

The filing fee is payable by checks or money orders. (Do not send cash) Send your papers by certified mail and keep a copy of everything sent together with a copy of the receipt for your filing fee. A week or two after your papers were sent your fiancÚ should receive a written confirmation with a receipt for the fees and your immigration file number. This should also indicate approximately when you should expect a decision.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may require further information from you in order to process your application. If this is the case, your complete set of information will be returned to you together with an 1-797 form detailing what further information is required. Once your petition is approved a Notice of Action Form 1-797 will be sent to your fiancÚ and forwarded to the appropriate consulate who will then contact you regarding your application.

Petition Form Guidelines

Form I-129F

Section A, Question 1-13 - These questions apply to your fiancÚ(e) and are self -explanatory.

Section B, Question 1-8 - These questions apply to the K-1 visa applicant and are self-explanatory.

Section B, Question 9 - Alien registration numbers all begin with the letter 'A' and are only given to people who have applied for green cards, political asylum or have been placed in deportation proceedings. If you have an "A" number, put that number down and explain how you got it. If not, simply write 'None'.

Section B, Question 10-19 - Self-explanatory

Section B, Question 20 - Your fiancÚ(e) must designate a U.S consulate outside the U.S where you will apply for your K-1 visa. Normally this should be in your home country. Other consulates can also be designated if necessary, but they are often reluctant to take K-1 cases from persons who are not residents or nationals of the country where the consulate is located. It is better not to press the issue if you can avoid it.

Section C - This applies only to petitioners who are in the U.S armed forces overseas. There is now a $170 Fee associated with filing this form.

Form G-325A

You and your fiancÚ(e) must each complete this form, which is meant to gather personal background information.

Petition Documents

As previously mentioned, you must provide evidence that you and your fiancÚ(e) are eligible to apply for a K-1 visa. The following list details the requirements:

Proof that the Petitioner is a U.S Citizen

A fiancÚ(e) petition cannot be filed if he/she cannot prove U.S citizenship. This proof has to be a birth certificate issued by the State Government. (Hospital certificates are not acceptable) If the petitioner is a U.S citizen but was born outside of the U.S, a certificate of U.S citizenship, Naturalization certificate, U.S Consular Record of Birth Abroad or and unexpired U.S passport is valid proof.

Proof that you and your U.S FiancÚ(e) can Legally Marry

Both petitioner and applicant must be over the legal age to marry (usually 18) and must not already be married. Birth certificates, divorce decree's and death certificates must be provided to prove this. If you or your fiancÚ(e) have been previously married you must submit official court or government documents for each marriage. If you are from a country where divorces and deaths are not officially recorded, you should contact the nearest embassy or consulate representing your country to find out about an alternative way to provide this evidence.

Proof of Your Intent to Marry

Your fiancÚ(e) must state in writing how you met each other and why he/she cannot possibly travel to your country to marry you there. It is strongly recommended that wedding plans are already in process, hence you can provide copies of wedding invites, receipts for purchases, catering contracts and a letter from your pastor or Justice of the Peace stating that he/she has been contacted regarding your wedding ceremony.

Proof that you have met each other

This should be copies of plane tickets, hotel receipts, letters you have sent and received and photos of you two together. The exception to this requirement has previously been explained. If the reason you have not met is religious, you must provide a letter from an official in your religious organization verifying that you are both members and a detailed statement with reasons why you cannot meet before the marriage.

Identification Photographs

You and your fiancÚ(e) are required to provide one photograph, in addition to the ones already submitted.

Petition Interviews

Interviews are held at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services local offices and the purpose of an interview is to determine if a marriage will actually take place after you arrive in the U.S and to confirm that you have actually met. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office will contact the petitioner informing them of when and where the interview will take place and if any further information is required.

Petition Appeals

It is advisable to avoid an appeal altogether. Normally if your petition is rejected, it is because the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official does not believe you intend to marry when you arrive in the U.S, or because you have not met.

It makes sense to file a new petition rather than appeal as providing more evidence can often result in a more positive outcome. This is officially know as "motion to reopen' and will cost a filing fee of $110. If you do decide to appeal, your fiancÚ(e) must do so within 30 days of the date on the Notice of Denial and then there is a wait from 6-18 months or more for a decision. Bear in mind that less than 5 of appeals are successful.

The other alternative is for your U.S fiancÚ(e) to travel to your home country and marry you there. Then you may proceed to apply for a green card as an immediate relative of a U.S citizen.

Visa Classifications

Green Cards

US Citizenship

Additional Resources

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