Articles Posted in Visa Services

The Parents of a Fiance Visa beneficiary can obtain an Immigrant visa and their US legal permanent residency once their child becomes a US Citizen.  This process takes about three years or more. Once the fiancee enters the United States using his or hers K1 Fiance Visa, and then gets married, the next step is to apply for Legal Permanent Residency. This process takes about 4-5 months. Then after three years as a Legal Permanent Resident, the foreign spouse can then apply for US Citizenship. Once the foreign born spouse becomes a US Citizen (the person who originally came into the US on a Fiance Visa), he or she can apply for an Immigrant visa for his or her parents.

Parents of US Citizens are considered immediate family and therefore are not subject to any of the limitations and caps on immigration. This means that the US Citizen child over the age of 18, may petition to bring his or her parents to the US at any time. The US Citizen child over the age of 18 starts the process by filing a petition to bring his/her foreign national parents to the US. The process differs depending on the location of the parents at the time of the petition filing. If the parent is in the US and had entered the US legally (inspected by an immigration officer at customs) the request for Adjustment of Status can be filed contemporaneously with the Petition for Alien Relative. If the relative is abroad, once the petition is approved, the process continues through the NVC (National Visa Center) and then on the consulate or embassy abroad.

Either way, the parents of a US Citizen child who is over the age of 18, can obtain an Immigrant visa to come to the United States as a Legal Permanent Resident.

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Today, thousands of students from across the world study in the United States and fall in love with a US Citizen and get married. Understandably, the loving couple want to stay together. This can be accomplished.

Most students arrive on either a J1 or F1 Student visa. Depending on the type of visa originally granted to the foreign student, there are a few alternative procedures that apply to a student who wishes to gain Legal Permanent Residency or their Green Card after getting married to a US Citizen.

Students with J-1 Visa

J-1 Visas are issued to Exchange Visitors who are participating in an established J Exchange program pre-approved by the State Department.

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Fiance Visas for same sex couples are now legal.

I recently wrote a piece on the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling against The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  There seems to be some confusion and for that reason, its worth repeating again.

The recent Supreme Court’s ruling against The Defense of Marriage Act gives married gay couples all the federal benefits and rights that straight married couples are entitled to, which includes the legal right to apply for a K1 Fiance Visa, a CR1/IR1 Marriage visa and Legal Permanent Residency for same sex spouses.

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To obtain a fiance visa, the parties to the application must show that they have a genuine loving relationship. Proof of their relationship must be supplied to USCIS along with the initial fiance visa forms and other required documents.   Good proof typically consists of pictures showing the parties together, love letters and cards, phone and email records, and a personal letter describing how you met and what caused you to fall in love. Its also important to submit the traveler’s passport pages so you can show USCIS that you met and spent time together during the required 2 year period preceding the filing of your fiance visa application.

If you have any questions about the fiance visa or wish to speak with me about your marriage plans, please feel free to call me. All consultations are free. You can reach me at 1-888-515-3529.

Attorney Jeff Pettys


I recently did an internet search using the following two key word phrases; Fiance Visa and Fiance Visa Attorney. I wanted to see who was advertising on the internet for this type of immigration service. I was dismayed to see so many non-lawyers and visa service companies practicing law and listed next to my law firm and other experienced attorneys. I reviewed several of these visa service sites and came away with a few important observations; they all have very low prices, vague descriptions of their real experience, no obvious accountability for mistakes, no authority to give legal advice to their clients, no authority to work with the Immigration agencies involved with obtaining a fiance or marriage visa for a client, and no law degree listed.

I was someone who once needed to hire an Immigration Attorney to help my wife become a Legal Permanent Resident some 30 years ago, and I am also someone who has been in the practice of law for more than 20 years. As such, I can tell you that such low costs solutions are risky.

I am sure each of these low cost visa service companies can point to a successful case of theirs and maybe you will be one of the lucky ones if you hire them, but you should consider the following before cutting corners on something as important as a fiance visa and marriage:

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Applicants for a K1 Fiance Visa or a CR1 Marriage Visa must submit to a medical exam before the US Embassy will issue them their visa. In the Philippines, this medical exam must be done at St. Lukes Medical Center, Extension Clinic in Manila, Philippines.  The link for this site is:

You can find all the information that you need to prepare for your medical exam by visiting their web site. The site will list the documents that you must bring as well as all of the requirements and procedures that you can expect. Applicants for a Fiance Visa or a Marriage Visa are taken on a first come first serve basis. The reception area opens at 6 am, but for those who come early, the guards may allow applicants to enter the clinic as early as 4:30am.

If you have any questions about obtaining a Fiance Visa or a Marriage Visa, feel free to call me anytime to discuss. You can reach me at 1-888-515-3529.

USCIS has issued a new I-129f Fiance Visa application form. It replaces the older version and must now be used.  A quick review of the new fiance visa form shows that it is very similar to the older version. Nonetheless, USCIS will no longer accept the older version.

If you have any questions about this new fiance visa form or would like to discuss your matter, feel free to give me a call toll free at 1-888-515-3529.

Attorney Jeff Pettys




When applying for a K1 Fiance Visa, I recommend that both parties, the petitioner and beneficiary of a fiance visa, write their own letter to USCIS describing how they met and what caused them to fall in love. Be sure to also describe what you did together when you met in person as required by Immigration and what about each other attracts you to one another. This is important because your letter is the best opportunity for you to share with Immigration the truth of your love story. Remember, the sole basis for your K1 fiance visa application is that you are in love. As important as this is, it is also important that you state your intention to get married within 90 days after the arrival of your fiance. I suggest that you state your intention to get married within 90 days of your fiances arrival at the end of your letter.

If you have any questions about the K1 Fiance Visa or wish to discuss your fiance or marriage visa  plans, feel free to call me anytime. You can reach me at 1-888-515-3529.

Attorney Jeff Pettys

The US State Department has implemented a new form for applicants applying for a K1 Fiance Visa. The new form is called a DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. It replaces the DS-156, DS-156k, DS-157 and part one of the DS- 230. Form DS-160 is submitted electronically to the Department of State website via the Internet.

All K1 Fiance Visa applicants must submit a completed DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application before they can schedule their Embassy interview. Once submitted electronically, print the cover page for your records. 

NOTE: For K visa cases in process at a U.S. embassy or consulate, the DS-160 is not required when, prior to October 7th, 2013, one of the following situations exist:

Every Petitioner for a K1 Fiance Visa must file an I-134 Affidavit of Support form along with a copy of their most recent tax return, W2 or 1099, bank statements, a few pay stubs, a letter of employment as well as any other relevant supporting financial documents. For those that are self employed, the tax returns can become problematic. As a self employed person, you should take every deduction you can lawfully take to reduce your taxable income. The goal is to show as little taxable income as you can to avoid having to pay extra taxes. However, if you take to many deductions to the point that your Adjusted Gross Income falls below the required level of support required by USCIS, you can unintentionally fail to show that you meet the income requirements of a Petitioner.  Don’t expect  your Embassy personnel to be tax experts and able to piece together your income from the various schedules and pages of your tax return. They will likely look at the amount reported as your Adjusted Gross Income and if that number fails to meet the income requirement, and you have not provided other evidence to show that you have significant assets, your K1 Fiance Visa application could get denied.

If you have any questions about the K1 Fiance Visa or would like to discuss your immigration matter, you are welcome to call me anytime. You can reach me toll free at 1-888-515-3529.

Jeff Pettys