The immigration laws provide a nonimmigrant visa classification (“K-1”) for persons coming to the United States to marry American citizens and reside here.
I-129 F- Petition for Alien Fiancee
The first step in the process is for the U.S. Citizen to file form I-129F- Petition for Alien Fiancee with the regional Service Center that has jurisdiction over the petitioner’s place of residence. Along with Form I-129F, the petitioner and the beneficiary must also submit Form G-325 (Biographic Information), photographs, and a government filing fee of $340.00. They must also submit evidence of their relationship, which may come in the form of photographs of the couple together, copies of plane tickets from trips taken to visit each other, or copies of phone bills demonstrating calls made to each other.
The regional Service Center for the Boston area is the Vermont Service Center. Although processing times are variable, it is currently taking about one-two months for the VSC to approve I-129 F petitions.
Applying for a Fiancee Visa Abroad
Once the Fiancee Petition is approved, the CIS will forward the petition to the National Visa Center, which will then pass it on to the appropriate consulate abroad. Once the consulate receives the petition, they will schedule the applicant for an interview. They will provide the applicant with the necessary forms and instructions to prepare them for their interview. At the time of the interview the applicant is normally expected to provide the following evidence:
- Valid passport
- Birth certificate
- Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse
- Police certificate from all places lived since age 16
- Medical examination
- Evidence of support (including Form I-134)
- Evidence of valid relationship with the petitioner
The consular officer will then issue a visa good for one entry into the U.S. The applicant has six months to enter the U.S. from the time of the interview, and once admitted, will be admitted for a period of 90 days. The applicant must marry within 90 days of entering the U.S. The applicant must then apply for Adjustment of Status in order to obtain Lawful Permanent Resident Status. Entrance to the U.S. in K-1 status allows for employment authorization immediately upon entry, but will expire at the end of the 90 day entry period. Further requests for employment authorization can be submitted along with the Application for Adjustment of Status.