The immigration rules require the couple applying for a K1 Fiance Visa to have met in person within a 2 year period of time preceding the filing on their K1 Fiance Visa application. This typically requires the US Citizen to travel overseas to meet his or her fiance. The first trip will always be the most memorable and perhaps the most exciting, but in your excitement, don’t forget about your safety.
I have a few tips that you should follow to insure your safety.
Always stay in a good hotel. When I travel overseas, I look for the better well know hotels. These are usually four or five star hotels and they cost more. For starters, the hotel staff at the better hotels are trained to watch over their guest. They are familiar with the local dangers that a guest from the US would not be familiar with. Look for a hotel with a door man, bellman and lobby staff. They will greet you and take notice of you when you enter and leave the hotel. They can also arrange for a driver instead of a public taxi. The better hotels have security cameras and they monitor the hallways and will record who and when someone enters and leaves t your room. This type of security helps protect you from criminal acts. The difference between a good hotel that is safe and a bad hotel that isn’t may only be about 50 US dollars. This is a small price to pay for your safety.
Be very careful of public taxis. In some countries, it is very unwise to take public taxis. If you can arrange for a car and driver through your hotel, that’s best. In some countries, there is a pattern and history involving public taxis and kidnappings. Do your homework and try to understanding what are the safest ways to get around in your new country. Public transportation can be a better alternative, but again, it depends.
Meet in a public place. Until you fully trust the person you are meeting, try to surround yourself with other people when you meet. It’s never a good idea to meet somewhere private. Pick places that are public like restaurants, coffee houses, hotel lobbies, malls, etc..
Perform a background check. It’s always a good idea to doing a little background check on the person you are going to meet. For example, If they share with you that they are in school or have a job, see if you can’t contact them there or check on their status as a student or employee. It’s just common sense to verify what you’ve been told about who someone is or claims to be.
Don’t carry to much cash. It’s never a good idea to walk around with all your cash and valuables. And don’t pull out a large wad of cash when you pay. Be discreet. It’s polite and smart. Leave most of your cash and valuables in your hotel’s safe.
Make a record of where you will be. Always make a record of who you are meeting and where you are going to be. As much as you can, tell your family and friends where you will be and who you will be meeting. Send them a quick email about your plans.
Stay sober. It’s always important that you keep a clear mind and stay sober. Don’t allow yourself to become intoxicated and therefore vulnerable.
I hope I haven’t scared you or discouraged you from being adventurous. Life has its risk and adventure makes for a good and full life. Just use common sense and take the time to understand the culture and circumstances in the place that you will travel too. There are only a few places like the United States so you are likely in a country that is completely different from what you are familiar with. Enjoy your trip, I hope you find what you’re looking for and have a great time.
If you would ever like to discuss your travel plans, or your interest in a K1 Fiance Visa, you are welcome to call me anytime toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
Attorney Jeff Pettys