Effective January 27, 2017, a Trump Administration Executive Order suspended the issuance of all visas to nationals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This suspension includes K1 Fiance visas and CR1 Marriage visas for fiances and spouses who are nationals of these countries. At this time, it appears that the suspension is temporary until new safeguards can be implemented to make the vetting process more stringent for people wishing to come to the US from these countries. I am hopeful that new vetting procedures can be implemented within 90-120 days. This temporary suspension is intended to help protect all Americans from terrorism.
The USCIS filing fees for a K1 Fiance Visa and CR1 Marriage Visas are going up starting December 23, 2016.
The new fees are as follows:
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance: $535
After obtaining your K1 Fiance Visa approval from USCIS, you will need to work with the US Embassy in Manila to obtain your Fiance Visa. The US Embassy in Manila provides excellent written instructions in both Tagalog and English that you should follow to obtain your visa. You can print a copy of the instructions by going to the following link:
I recommend that you print off a copy of the instructions and then “check off” each instruction or required document as you proceed through the instructions. The instructions will provide you with a list of all requirements and documents needed to obtain your Fiance Visa. It will also provide you with the correct information to schedule your Medical Exam and Fiance Visa interview.
Every Petitioner applying for a K1 Fiance visa must demonstrated that he or she earns at least 125% above the poverty guidelines for whatever size family they will become.
For a salaried employee, this requirement is generally met by providing a letter of employment which states what the petitioners job title and annual income is, copies of past pay stubs and a copy of their most recent Fed Tax return and W2.
For someone who is self employed, proving their true income can be more challenging. From my experience, and for good reason, self employed petitioners deduct as many expenses as they can to reduce their taxable income. This aggressive approcah to reduce taxable income can weaken a petionners standing with Immigration. For this reason, self employed petitioners should be careful not to reduce their income below the required level for Immigration purposes. Also, when their are non cash expenses such as losses carried forward and depreciation, it becomes important to point this out to Immigration. I recommend having your account prepare a letter explaining any such expenses to show a more accurate and hopefully higher level of true income. I further recommend that you prepare a letter on your company letterhead explaining what your responsibilities are within your company and what you pay yourself annually. This letter should be supported by deposits, pay stubs and of course your Federal Tax return. In lieu of a W2, you can provide a 1099.
You can schedule your K1 Fiance Visa interview at the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines by simply calling the Manila Visa Information and Appointment Service Center at (632) 976-8500, (632) 976-8501 or (632) 976-8502. Callers in the US can call the center at (703) 520-2235. You can also schedule your interview appointment online at: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph.
To schedule an interview appointment, you will need to have your :
- Case Number,
The K1 Fiance Visa interview is the last step in the K1 Fiance Visa application process. At the K1 Fiance Visa interview, the US Embassy Official will make a determination as to eligibility of the intended Beneficiary as well as the legitimacy of the relationship.
A review of the Fiance’s medical history and criminal history will be reviewed. Assuming all is fine, the examination will then focus on the relationship. The US Embassy Offical will inquire as the to the foreign fiance’s knowledge of the US Citizens family, children, past marriages, education, employment, and interests. The Hearing Officer will also try and judge the foreign fiancés true interest getting married to the US Citizen. The interview normally last between 15-30 minutes.
If the relationship is genuine, then there should be no problems at all in passing the interview. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to be knowledgeable about your futures spouses personal history. And, always tell the truth.
In order to obtain a K1 Fiance Visa, you will need to demonstrate that you have a genuine loving relationship and that you wish and intend to get married. To proof that you have such a relationship, you will need to submit evidence to USCIS and the US Embassy convincing them that you are truly in love. The type of evidence can vary from case to case, but the following evidence is very helpful and should always be provided at a minimum:
- Personal letters from each of you describing how you met, when you met in person and what about each other caused you to fall in love. – This is likely the first piece of evidence that an Immigration officer will look at. Be open about your feelings and tell Immigration that you are in love. Give them details of how you met, when you met in person, what you did together and how you feel. Also state that you intend to get married within90 day so your fiancés arrival in the US.
- Photos of the two of you together- Photos prove that you have met. Provide Photos that show that you are happy and in love. Photos that show playfulness and being together are always a good choice.
There is no requirement that you hire an Attorney to prepare and submit your application for a K1 Fiance Visa, but I don’t recommend it. I think the chances of making a mistake if you don’t have prior experience submitting such an application would be high. Nevertheless, should you wish to proceed on your own, this short article should give you some helpful direction.
The forms for a K1 Fiance Visa can be found online by going to www.uscis.gov. Once you have entered the US Department of Homeland Security site, click on the tab for Forms.
To apply for a K1 Fiance visa, you will need to submit a I-129f Petition for Alien Fiance form, as well as a G325A Biographic Information form for you and your fiancé. Each form comes with its own set of instructions, which you must read carefully. The instructions will help you better understand how to complete each form and what documents you are required to submit with each form.
Large age differences between a couple who are applying for a K1 Fiance Visa can become an issue in the application process. Based on my experience, I would say that an age difference of 10 years or less is not an issue at all. An age difference of 10 to 20 years may be looked at as a potential issue, but it’s not so uncommon to cause real concern. However, an age difference of 25 years or more will be noticed, and will likely become an issue that needs to be overcome with other facts proving that the relationship is genuine.
As you can appreciate, the larger the difference in a couple’s ages, the more the age difference becomes an issue. However, the good news is that a large age difference in and of itself, will not disqualify the couple from applying for and obtaining a fiance visa. USCIS and the US Embassy will consider the totality of the facts to determine the validity of the relationship. This includes, how the couple met, how much time does the couple spend communicating with one another, when did the couple first meet in person, how long did they spend time together in person, how many times have they met in person, did the couple take pictures together and some with family, as well as many other factors that would demonstrate that the couple are truly in love. From my experience, I sense that there is still a bias in favor of older men and younger woman by comparison to cases of older woman with younger men. Again, the totality of the facts will be weighed against any negatives present in the application.
Another factor that is closely looked at when the US Citizen is significantly older than his or her fiancé, is whether the older person in the relationship suffers from any medical problems and is in need of some level of medical care. Immigration will closely scrutinize such a relationship and look to see if the parties are truly in love or whether they are simply trying to arrange for medical care using a K1 Fiance visa based on a fictitious relationship. Fiance visas are not intended for in home care takers or nurses! They are reserved for couples who are truly in love and wish to get married.
K1 Fiance visas can be denied at either the USCIS level or later at the US Embassy. In either case, a denial suggest that something is wrong with your application and you will likely need professional help to fix the problem.
K1 Fiance visas that are denied by USCIS can be appealed. Once denied, USCIS will provide you with a written notice of denial and instructions for filing an appeal. If you chose to file an appeal, you will have 30 days to do so. Unfortunately, filing an appeal is expensive. The filing fee for an appeal is more than the filing fee for the original application.
Another alternative when your application is denied by USCIS, is to re file your Fiance Visa petition. This means you are starting over and many times this is the best way to proceed. Whatever problems or deficiencies that where present in your first application can be completely avoided by re filing. Its also less expensive than an appeal.