Overview of the FiancÚ Visa Process
by: John Kunkle
The overview of the process of bringing your fiancÚ to America is as follows: The first step is to bring your fiancÚ to America under a FiancÚ Visa. The second step of the process is to marry your fiancÚ and then apply to convert her temporary FiancÚ Visa to Permanent Status.
Bringing your fiancÚ to America under a fiancÚ visa has several parts to it:
- The first part consists of your application to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. You are petitioning the INS on behalf of your fiancÚ. You are sponsoring her in her visa application to immigrate to the US.
- Once the INS approves your application, the visa application package is then forwarded to the appropriate US embassy that handles fiancÚ visas for the geographic region where your fiancÚ lives.
- The US embassy has its own application requirements you must meet. The embassy then conducts a final interview with your fiancÚ before her K-1 visa is approved.
Your petition to the INS must be processed within 120 days by law, from the time all required items are submitted to the INS.
If any items required for INS processing are incomplete, the application sits on an INS processor's desk until it is complete. The visa application will expire after the 120 days and you must either get an extension or reapply.
The following INS forms are required for you to submit a K-1 visa application to the INS:
- The basic form required is Form I-129F Petition for Alien FiancÚ. If your fiancÚ has unmarried children under twenty-one years of age, they are eligible to accompany your fiancÚ only if they are listed on this form.
- Two completed sets of copies of Form G-325A Biographic Data Sheets. One set for you and one set for your fiancÚ. Each set has four pages that must be filled out in quadruplicate (all originals, no copies). Eight pages in total.
Other Documentation Required:
You will need to provide evidence of U.S. Citizenship: certified copies of your birth certificate, a copy of your U.S. Passport, a copy of your Certificate of Naturalization, or a copy of your Certificate of Citizenship.
You will need to send a color photo of both you and your fiancÚ taken within thirty days of filing. The photos must be passport style photographs submitted in the approved format with the individual facing the camera.
Do not wear any jewelry or glasses when you are taking these pictures. See this INS website for complete instructions regarding how the photos are to be taken:
You will need certified copies, and certified copies of translations into English if necessary, of birth certificates, divorce decrees, death certifications, or annulment decrees if either you or your fiancÚ have been previously married.
Lately, the INS has stated that they do not need certified copies of documents to process fiancÚ visa applications. However, the INS and US embassy personnel may question a copy of any document that is submitted, with the resulting delay in your application.
To be safe, have certified copies of all documents and certified translations of translated documents. If they are certified documents, INS and embassy personnel will not be able to challenge the authenticity of the documents.
About The Author
John Kunkle has been to Russia and CIS countries many times. He has been successfully married to his Belarussian wife for over five years. He will show you how to meet her, how to bring her home, and how to successfully survive marriage to a Russian woman. He will show you how too.