The K1 Fiance Visa has come under some intense scrutiny because of the recent terrorist attack in California. Unfortunately, it looks like one of the terrorists came into the US through a K1 Fiance Visa. Gaining entrance into the US through a K1 Fiance Visa could not have been easy and based on my experience with helping couples from around the world who have applied for a K1 Fiance Visa, I know that it is a time consuming and thorough process.
The K1 Fiance Visa is intended to help couples who have met each other in person and are truly in love and wish to get married and be together. It is an important visa that has helped create many wonderful American families. Applying for a K1 Fiance Visa is not a quick or simple task. It requires the submission of several forms and documents, and then the application undergoes careful examination by the US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State. Background and criminal checks are performed on both the petitioner (US Citizen) and the beneficiary (foreign fiancé). The process takes about 8-9 months and it concludes with a interview at the US Embassy or US Consulate closest to where the foreign fiancé resides.
To start the process, the application requires the submission of three forms: the I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance and a G-325A Biographic Information form for the US Citizen and the foreign fiancé. These forms are extensive. A copy of the forms can be obtained by going to www.uscis.gov. You can see from reviewing the forms that the parties must provide detailed information about themselves, their families and relatives, and where they have lived and worked for the past several years. In addition to these forms, the couple must submit several supporting documents, like birth certificates, passport copies, travel receipts, pictures and evidence showing that a genuine loving relationship exists. Once examined by USCIS, the case is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) and then forwarded to the US Embassy for further processing and close examination. The US Embassy or Consulate requires the submission of an additional online form called the DS 160. This form again requires that the foreign fiancé disclose his or her background and family information, all schools attended, employment history, information about any prior efforts or visits to the US, and several specific questions about matters related to our national security. The Embassy also requires a medical check and a criminal records check from any and all places where the foreign fiancé has lived for 6 months or more after the age of 16. Then once this information is reviewed and analyzed, the Embassy requires an in person interview. Very few visas require this same level of proof and review.
The K1 Fiance Visa does not provide a person with an easy way into the US and I suspect that the process will become even more difficult and time consuming over the next several months. Everyone involved in the K1 Fiance Visa process will be working extra hard to make sure this visa is not abused by anyone and for any unlawful purpose. If you have questions about the K1 Fiance Visa, you are welcome to call me anytime at 1-888-515-3529. I am always happy to help.
Attorney Jeff Pettys