MrsPresson.com | I-129F Petition, K1 Fiance(e) Visa, AOS Guides
MrsPresson.com | I-129F Petition, K1 Fiance(e) Visa, AOS Guides
MrsPresson.com | I-129F Petition, K1 Fiance(e) Visa, AOS Guides
MrsPresson.com | I-129F Petition, K1 Fiance(e) Visa, AOS Guides

Immigration

By Erika Presson
Last Updated: October 5, 2013


READ THESE IMPORTANT NOTES BEFORE SCROLLING DOWN TO THE ARTICLE:

  • The reader has the DUTY/RESPONSIBILITY to verify information from the aforementioned government agencies on their own - Not through hearsays, forums, or blogs (YES, including this blog). Please read my disclaimer here.
  • Make sure you've read ALL the articles under the "Immigration" Menu up top, because I've written and covered all pertinent information about the whole I-129F/K1/AOS/ROC Processes.
  • Search through Frequently Asked Questions about the whole process from I-129F - K1 Visa - AOS - ROC and other processes. Read about the KnowledgeBase here »
  • The articles found on this blog are applicable to all I-129F Petitions, K1 Visa Applicants, AOS (from a K1 Visa), and ROC applicants unless otherwise noted. The I-129F Process and AOS is the same for all foreign beneficiaries/spouses. Some K1 Visa Process articles are written specifically for applicants from the Philippines. Please refer to your country's U.S. Consulate/Embassy website for country-specific instructions.





Long-Distance Relationships (popularly known as LDR‘s) are very hard to deal with. Every relationship has love, understanding, trust, honesty and faith in each other as foundations, but LDR‘s require a lot more. Believe me, we’ve been engaged for almost 3 years and we didn’t want to go on living our lives apart from each other. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to be apart for more than 3 years. (Let alone, parents, spouses and their children being apart for so many years!) We had to deal with a lot of stress brought about by the timezone differences and the distance. We had to spend a lot of money just to see each other during family holidays. It’s draining emotionally and financially. In the Summer of 2012, he went to live with me for 3 months in the Philippines. As cheesy as it may sound, in our minds and hearts, we were already married, but we wanted it to be official. We thought about getting married that year but decided against it. It was a conscious decision for us though. We wanted to get married but he had to graduate / be close to graduating before we do take that step. We needed to be more financially stable than we were at that time. So we waited a little while longer before we started the I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition process with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

 

Immigration Process | Bringing Relatives to the U.S. through Family-based Petitions

There are a lot of options for bringing your family to the U.S. Those that are considered family are the spouses, fiancé(e)s, children, sons and daughters, parents or siblings. I won’t be discussing each family-based petition / visa type in detail, but I will provide a short description and their corresponding links to the USCIS.gov and Department of State (DOS) websites below. Again, with this kind of topic, you must search for information straight from the official government websites stated above for US Immigration topics and not just anywhere else on the internet.

For more information on petitions, please visit the family-based petition section at the USCIS.gov website.


For more information on immigrant visas, please visit the immigrant visa types section at the DOS: Travel.State.gov website.

For the items below, let’s call the US Citizen as USC and Lawful Permanent Resident as LPR.

Fiancé(e)s

Only US Citizens can petition for their fiancé(e)s including their children (which are called K2). USC’s would need to file the I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). The visa type to be applied for by the beneficiary after the petition has been approved is a Non-immigrant visa called the K1 Visa. The unmarried child under 21 will apply for a Non-immigrant K2 Visa alongside the K1. These visas requires Adjustment of Status (AOS) after admission to the U.S. K1 Visa holders must marry their USC petitioner within 90 days upon entry to the U.S. and apply for AOS within the same time frame.

More information on USCIS.gov: Fiancé(e) Visas;

More information on DOS: Non-immigrant Visa for a Fiancé(e) (K-1)

 

Spouses

Both US Citizens and Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) can petition for their spouses. USC’s and LPR’s would need to file the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. There are different types of visas that can be applied after this is approved, of course depending on the category.

The Immigrant Visa categories are called IR-1 (married 2 years to a USC or more; awarded with 10-year Green Card) / CR-1 (married for less than 2 years to a USC; awarded with 2-year Green Card and requires the process of Removal of Conditions 90 days before the GC expires).

The other visa category is a Non-immigrant visa called K3. But this requires the I-129F Petition to be filed after the I-130 Acceptance Notice. For K3’s, it is required to undergo Adjustment of Status.

For Spouses of LPR’s, the visa category is F2.

More information on USCIS.gov: Bringing Spouses to Live in the US as Permanent Residents

More information on DOSImmigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1)Nonimmigrant Visa for a Spouse (K-3), Family-based Immigrant Visa: F2

 

Children (unmarried and under 21) and Sons & Daughters (married and/or over 21)*

Both US Citizens and Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) can petition for their children / sons & daughters. USC’s and LPR’s would need to file the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Visa categories for these are:

More information on USCIS.gov: Bringing Children, Sons and Daughters to Live in the United States as Permanent Residents

More information on DOS: Family-based Immigrant Visas

 

Parents

Only US Citizens can petition for their parents. USC’s would need to file the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. The visa category for this is called IR-5. Another requirement for this is that the USC petitioning for the parent must at least be 21 years old.

More information on USCIS.gov: Bringing Parents to Live in the United States as Permanent Residents

More information on DOSFamily-based Immigrant Visas

 

Siblings*

Only US Citizens can petition for their siblings. USC’s would need to file the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and the USC must be at least 21 years old. The visa category for this one is called F4, applicable to Brother and sister of U.S. Citizens, and their spouses and minor children.

More information on USCIS.gov: Bringing Siblings to Live in the United States as Permanent Residents

More information on DOSFamily-based Immigrant Visas

Keep in mind that these petitions serve as “Go Signals” for your loved ones (beneficiaries) in order to start the Visa Application Process at the local US Embassy/Consulate where they are.

 

Defense of Marraige Act

On a related note, on June 26th 2013, The Defense of Marraige Act (DOMA), a law that refuses to recognize same-sex marraiges, was struck down. The US Supreme Court held section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. This also means that same-sex couples can now enjoy the same immigration benefits like heterosexual couples have — Applying for Spouse and Fiancé(e) Visas.

Read the Visa Policy Update from DOS: Next Steps on DOMA – Guidance for Posts, August 2013

 

The Immigration Process Doesn’t End When You Get The Visa

Yes. That’s right. Most people think that it’s happily ever after immediately when you get to U.S. soil. There are a lot of processes involved after you move. It all depends on the visa type you have. Also, please note that from here on, I will be posting country-specific links. In my case, the process will be based on the processes we go through in the Philippines. If you wish to check the correct visa process for you, please go to the US Embassy website that has jurisdiction over your country. Also, K1 is a Non-Immigrant Visa but is treated like an Immigrant Visa because you have intent to immigrate to the US with your soon-to-be-spouse. (I know, it’s confusing! Haha.)

Just a summary of the processes I’ve gone through / currently undergoing and processing times:

  1. I-129-F Fiancé(e) Petition Stage – About 6 months
  2. K1 Visa (from Medical Exam to Interview and Approval) – About 4 months (We were put on Administrative Review for about a month, but that’s another story that I will post later on.)
  3. Adjustment of Status (AOS) with (Employment Authorization and Advance Parole) – Currently undergoing since October 1, 2013. EAD and AP is expected 3 months after filing of AOS; AOS approval is expected at 6 months after filing. Will be awarded a 2-year Conditional Green Card.
  4. Removing of Conditions (ROC) – Must be filed 90 days before the 2-year Conditional Green Card expires. Will be awarded a 10-year Green Card if approved.
  5. Naturalization / Acquiring US Citizenship – Still up for discussion with the husband. We’ll cross the bridge when we get there. But this usually is filed after being married for 3 years (to the same petitioner, of course!)

And only then after Naturalization can you definitely say that you are done with the Immigration process. Oh, not to mention the fees that you’re supposed to pay for each and every step.

For updated processing times involving USCIS, please check: USCIS Processing Time Information

For updated processing fees and forms involving USCIS processes, please check: USCIS Forms and Fees

For DS-Forms and Visa Fees, please check your consulate: US Embassy Manila DS Forms, US Embassy Manila Immigrant Fees

So there, quite a long introduction to Family-based Immigrant Petitions and Visas, huh? There are a lot of forums online that you can visit and ask questions in if you’re still confused. Just remember to not make them your first choice for gathering information. It’s always best to call USCIS, DOS and your Local US Embassy/Consulate directly.

Also, if you find anything that’s incorrect in my post, I apologize. Please feel free to send me feedback and I will make sure to correct it as soon as possible. Thank you.

*UPDATE (October 25, 2013): Because of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744) that was passed in the US Senate on June 27, 2013, Some of the petitions and visa types above may not be available anymore. But .GOV websites still aren’t reflecting the changes so far.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions on the entire I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition / K1 Visa / Adjustment of Status (AOS) from a K1 Visa processes:

 

 

 

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Sources:

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6 Comments

(Please click on "Show Replies" to read other comments/replies)


  1. Ellena says:

    Hello I’m from the Philippines F3 category i checked at CEAC and it says AT NVC (and it says to follow the six steps and interviews etc.) what does that mean? Hoping for your response.

    Thank you

    • You have to wait for official correspondence, meaning actual mail sent by the US Embassy in Manila, before doing anything. You are under a different category than K1, so you have to follow the instructions that will be sent to you.

  2. Rhiza says:

    Hello…I just want to ask something about filling-out the form DS-160. I did not include my middle name when I filled-out this form because I did not see a box for middle name. Same also when I set an appointment for interview online because the boxes I’ve seen were just for surname and given name followed by another box which is for those who have names in native alphabet. I ask my friend and she told me she did not put her middle name either. Will the consular officer deny my visa application because I did not include my middle name in the DS-160?

    • Whatever names are in your passport must be the same on all your paperwork / applications.

      First blank said: Surnames – This should have both your mother’s maiden last name and your father’s surname.
      Second blank said: Given Names

      At the interview, you may be asked to fix your information. They do not deny visas just solely on this. The approval or denial of visas are based on financial paperwork / strength and validity of relationship with the petitioner.

  3. kathy says:

    hi erika:)

    its me again kathy..can i ask some questions but not related to K1visa.. do u have a friend or anyone you encountered who is a permanent resident of USA and wanted to get his/her spouse to bring him or her to us? or do u have links that can help my friend? his condition is he is permanent resident of us i think 3-4 years to wait before he can be a citizen. thankyou :)


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