Articles Posted in Visa Services

Recently, USCIS made changes to the forms and procedures for filing an application for a CR1 Marriage Visa.
First, USCIS updated the I-130 form and it now requires far more information than the older version.  The form itself grew from 2 pages to 12. For example, the new form now requires the month/day/year for all residential and employment dates, not just the month and year.
Another significant change to the I-130 form and process can be found in the instructions to the new form under the title “Biometric Services Appointment. This new section allows USCIS, at their discretion, to require petitioners to appear for fingerprinting, interviews, photographs and criminal background checks by the FBI.  At this time, it is unclear as to when and if such additional steps will be required of the Petitioner. Rather, it appears that after filing the new I-130 form, USCIS will advise the petitioner if any additional steps must be taken.

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The application process for a K1 Fiance Visa requires both the Petitioner and the Beneficiary to describe how they met and what caused them to fall in love “the love story” and to express their intent to get married within 90 days after the foreign fiancé arrives in the US. Another requirement for the K1 Fiance Visa is to show that the couple have actually met in person within a 2 year period just prior to the filing of their K1 Fiancé Visa application. You can met all three requirements with one good letter each.
When writing your letters, please address the following points:
  • Introduce yourself

If you are married to a US Citizen and you entered the US legally, you can likely adjust your status to become a US Legal Permanent Resident no matter how long you may have waited.
Many of my past clients have entered the US as an F1 or J1 student worker, B1 or B2 visitor or by some other legal manner like a Visa Waiver and stayed beyond the expiration of their visa. They get married and one thing leads to another and they never apply for their Adjustment of Status to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the US. I’ve had clients tell me that the thought they waited to long, or they were afraid to face the consequences of overstaying their visas. Sometimes its just the expense of the process that causes the delay. Regardless, its not something you should put off for another day. Get it done as soon as possible.
Not to worry, if you entered the US Legally and got married to a US Citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident who can apply for citizenship. and your marriage is honest and not for the purpose of gaining legal status in the US, you can very likely adjust your status to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the US. Its important that you file for your Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card) as soon as possible so as to protect yourself from being removed. Once filed, you gain temporary protective status and cannot be removed until your matter is decided upon. In the vast majority of these cases, all goes well and the Legal Permanent Residency is granted.

If you plan to prepare and submit your own K1 Fiance Visa application without the help of an experienced professional, you will need to start by identifying which forms to use. You can find a copy of the forms that you will need along with their instructions at www.uscis.gov. Once on the web site, click the tab for forms and look for:
  • I-129f Petition for Alien Fiance(e)
  • G-325A Biographic Information (one for each person)
I suggest that you download the forms and their instructions and read the instructions carefully. Take your time and if you are unsure of a question, stop and read your instructions again. Its important to get it right!

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Learning to understand English is an important step in the Immigration process. Most if not all immigration proceedings will include an interview of the foreign national and that interview will be conducted in English. Every applicant for a K1 Fiance Visa or Marriage Visa will be interviewed at the end of the process by a US Embassy employee and that interview will be conducted in English. For this reason, its important that the foreign fiancé or spouse learn to speak and understand English. For some that have studied English in school, this may not be a problem. However, for those fiances or spouses who’s English is not so good, I recommend that you work on your English while your immigration papers are being processed. There are many English classes and courses that you can buy online or attend in person. One English course that I really like is offered by a company called Pronounce English and you can find their company web site at www.pronounce-english.com. Its an inexpensive app for your smart phone or tablet and it seems to work great!  You simply download the materials and start learning! At $39.95, its a steal.
If you ever have any questions about the K1 Fiance Visa or Marriage Visa process, you are welcome to call me anytime toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
Attorney Jeff Pettys

USCIS requires a passport style photo for each K1 Fiancé and/or CR1 Marriage Visa application. The processing of your application may be delayed if you do not submit the proper type and size photo. Therefore, its important that the photo that you submit meets the visa requirements.
I recommend that you use a professional passport picture service, but in the event that you try and do the photos yourself, the photos must meet the following basic requirements:
  • The passport photos must be in color

Many of my clients who travel overseas to spend time with their fiancés or spouses while waiting on a K1 Fiance or CR1 Marriage Visa, become fathers. After all of the excitement, the question becomes…….What do I need to do so my child can travel to the US with my fiancé or spouse?

The child of a US citizen born overseas only needs a US Passport to travel to the US. To obtain a US passport for the child, the couple must first file a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) with the nearest US Embassy and follow all the required instructions.

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Only a US citizen can petition a fiancé for a K1 Fiance Visa. As you may expect, the Petitioner will have to demonstrate that he or she is a US citizen to obtain a Fiancé Visa. You can submit the following documents to prove your US Citizenship:
Copy of your Birth Certificate
Copy of your Certificate of Naturalization

Whether you are filing for a K1 Fiance Visa or a CR1 Marriage Visa, you will be required to file an Affidavit of Support and prove that you meet the income/asset requirements of a petitioner.
For a Fiance Visa, you will be required to file Form I-134 Affidavit of Support. Whereas, for a Marriage visa and when you apply for Permanent Residency, you must file Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. Regardless, each form requires nearly the same supporting financial proof.
The first document that you will need to provide is a copy of your most recent tax return. If you have not filed your most recent tax return, you will need to file it, or show Immigration that you got an extension or that you are not required to file by law. In most cases, the petitioner has to show a copy of the most recent tax year tax return. You will also need to provide a copy of a W2 or 1099 to support the income listed on your tax return.

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A CR1 Marriage Visa is used for spouses and relatives of a US Citizen or Legal permanent Resident. To obtain a CR1 Marriage Visa, the US Citizen must file form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. The current edition is dated 12/19/2012. Some previous editions are still accepted. File your forms and documents with USCIS at the address that corresponds to the state of the petitioners home residence. You will find this information on the form instructions or by visiting www.uscis.com. The current filing fee is $420.00. Your check must be made payable to The US Department of Homeland Security.

If you have questions about the CR1 Marriage Visa, you are welcome to call me anytime toll free at 1-888-515-3529.

Attorney Jeff Pettys

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