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

I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition & Checklist

By Erika Presson
Last Updated: October 5, 2013


READ THESE IMPORTANT NOTES BEFORE SCROLLING DOWN TO THE ARTICLE:

  • The U.S. Department of State, USCIS, and/or U.S. Embassy Manila have the AUTHORITY to switch/update their procedures however they please. This means, they *MAY* soon require eligibility letters for U.S. Embassy Manila, Philippines before doing any step after acquiring the case number. 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 Processes.
  • Search through Frequently Asked Questions about the whole process from I-129F - K1 Visa - AOS and other processes. Read about the KnowledgeBase here »
  • The articles found on this blog are applicable to all I-129F Petitions, K1 Visa Applicants, and AOS (from a K1 Visa) 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.


 

Our I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition Process

Preparing our I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition package was a breeze. As mentioned in a previous blog post, we have had 2 years worth of relationship evidence and correspondences by the time we submitted our petition. It was costly to have them printed out and send to him though. He also just came back from the Philippines and we were well within the 2-year time requirement of USCIS. I already had my photo taken at Great Image Megamall beforehand. (I even have the Foursquare check-in to prove it! Haha.) They have predefined packages for Visas, and are compliant to the US Passport Photo Standards. They will even give you a digital copy of your photos in a CD for you to upload on US Embassy Online Application forms. I did the last few parts of my share of the petition package on October 6th, 2012 which was a Saturday. I filled up the necessary forms and documents (signed and dated), printed them out along with around 25-pages worth of emails, chat logs, Facebook and Skype screenshots, and SMS messages. The next day, I had at least 100 of our photos printed at Fuji Film Studio in Megamall and waited for that before I sent out the package through FedEx. He received the package 3 days later and then he started to do his share. He was working and studying at the same time so he only got to work on them on a limited time during weekends.




When we sent out our I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition package on October 17th, 2012, USCIS California Service Center processing times for our type of petition was at 5 months. Meaning, they were approving cases in less than 5 months from the date of submission. We thought, “Lucky!”. But a few days later, it changed to processing petitions dated July 18, 2012. It only meant one thing, things are going to be reaaaaally slow. And we were right. Sometime around March, processing dates were still stuck at July 18, 2012 when they were supposed to be processing September 2012 petitions. User I&B from VisaJourney.com posted a thread with his analysis of public data from the USCIS website. He concluded that the slowdown with I-129F petition approvals were directly linked to DACA applications and processing. Of course, like I have said before in a blog post, these were all speculations. We can’t prove it. But he DID use data from the USCIS website. (On a separate but related note: Anonymous, also got involved in May 2013 because of unnecessary delays and misinformation by USCIS in processing petitions. I cannot find the original YouTube video link, but here is the re-uploaded video.) We used I&B’s findings when we reached out to Christopher’s representative in North Dakota, Congressman Kevin Cramer. His office was very accommodating and helpful to us. They’ve assisted us with our inquiries. (Thank you, Kate!)

Our petition got approved on April 25th, 2013. It was just 6 months after we filed our petition. A month of delay for us, but other petitions were running on their 7th to 12th-month marks. I guess, we really were lucky after all. It involves a lot of patience, I can tell you that much. The petition process involves a lot of waiting. Once your petition gets approved and you get your case number from NVC, only then will things speed up. Before you know it, you’re already days from your visa interview appointment.

 

Some Notes When Filing Your I-129F Petitions

All the information you need are found on the USCIS.gov website, but just for reiteration purposes, I would like to highlight some important notes regarding I-129F Petition Forms and related evidences that you, the petitioner, need to submit.

  • You, The U.S. Citizen, are the one who’s going to file for the petition.
  • You and your Alien Fiancé(e) must have met each other at least once within 2 years of filing the I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition and are intending to get married within 90 days of his/her arrival to the US.
  • It is not required but if you want to get notified right away through email and/or SMS when they accept your petition (and not wait for the acceptance hardcopies), don’t forget to send in a Form G-1145.
  • The PDF forms that you download from the USCIS website can be filled up directly on your computer using Adobe Reader, or any PDF Viewer.
  • Sign everything in BLACK ink. You will get a Request For Evidence (RFE) Notice if you don’t. It delays the process until you submit the required documents using the correct ink for signatures and information.
  • Make sure you’re using the latest I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition form. Check the upper right corner of the page for the expiration date.
  • Follow USCIS’s instruction on how to fill out your check for payment of filing fees.
  • The filing fee for the I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition is still $340 as of October 25, 2013. For updated fees, please check Forms and Fees at USCIS.gov.
  • Letters of Intent from both parties declaring that you both intend to marry each other within 90 days of the Alien Fiancé(e)’s arrival to the US. This must be signed and dated.
  • If you were previously married, include a copy of your Final Divorce Decree, Annulment Record or Death Certificate of your previous spouse.
  • You and your Fiancé(e)’s 2″ x 2″ photos should have your names written at the back. Use a pencil or a felt pen. These photos must be taken within 30 days of filing the petition and must have a white background.
  • Whatever you’re sending to USCIS for this I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition, must be made in duplicate. Keep the copy of the entire I-129F package just in case of future RFE’s and for the K1 Visa Interview.
  • Keep all originals of official documents like Birth Certificates, etc. Just send in copies.
  • Letters and forms needing signatures should be originals though. Signed and dated.
  • Make sure your forms are completely filled out. Double-check. Triple-check. Have somebody check it for you. Incomplete and unsigned forms will be rejected seeing as it is deficient.
  • Follow USCIS Instructions on filling up your forms. This is usually on a separate PDF file on the USCIS Form Page. Forms change over time. Some forms require you to put “NONE”, “N/A”, or 0’s on blanks. Some say leave it blank. READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.

What if the answer is “Not Applicable” or “None”? Do I write “NONE”, “N/A”, or leave it blank?

Revised USCIS Forms indicate that you are supposed to leave it blank. (Older forms did not have this instruction. So we did not leave any blank behind during our filings.) But do note that USCIS, at any time, can revise/update their form’s instructions. The entire instruction for filling out and sending I-129F petitions are found here: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-129finstr.pdf.

Read them carefully. 

 

I-129F Petition Checklist

Below are checklists for both the Petitioner and the Beneficiary as well as a list of possible Relationship Evidences you may include in your package. Hopefully, these will help you when preparing your I-129F Package. Don’t forget, make a duplicate package! :)

Petitioner (U.S. Citizen):

  • Cover Letter (Signed and dated): Short Introduction and list of the contents of your package
  • USCIS Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Signed and dated)
  • USCIS Form G-1145Notification of Acceptance of Application/Petition
  • USCIS Form G-325A Petitioner’s Biographic Information (Signed and dated)
  • Proof of Citizenship: Copy of Birth Certificate (Front and Back) or Copy of Certificate of Naturalization;
  • Proof of Citizenship: Copy of unexpired U.S. Passport (All pages; Valid for at least 5 years)
  • Recent 2″ x 2″ (US Passport Style) photo with white background. Name written on the back.
  • Short Statement of when and how you met your Alien Fiancé(e) in person. Mark it as Supplement 34.A (See Question 34.A on Form I-129F; Signed and dated)
  • Final Divorce Decree / Annulment / Death certificate copy (if previously married)
  • Letter of Intent to Marry the Beneficiary within his/her 90 days of arrival (Signed and dated)
  • For other required documents (if applicable) regarding Legal Name Change, court and police records, and other documents in accordance with IMBRA, please read the USCIS I-129F Instructions.
  • Check / Money order of $340 filing fee payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Download Sample Cover Letter

Sample Cover Letter for I-129F Fiancee Petition | ©2014, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

Sample Cover Letter for I-129F Fiancee Petition | ©2014, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

Beneficiary (Alien Fiancé(e)):

  • USCIS Form G-325A Beneficiary’s Biographic Information (Signed and dated)
  • Recent 2″ x 2″ (US Passport Style) photo with white background. Name written on the back.
  • Final Divorce Decree / Annulment / Death certificate copy (if previously married)
  • Letter of Intent to Marry the Petitioner within 90 days of arrival in the U.S. (Signed and dated)
  • Not required, but you may submit a copy of: Birth Certificate, Foreign Passport Bio and Stamps, CENOMAR (Proof of Singleness in the Philippines)

Download Sample Letter of Intent

Sample Letter of Intent to Marry for I-129F Fiancee Petition | ©2014, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

Sample Letter of Intent to Marry for I-129F Fiancee Petition | ©2014, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

 

Evidence of Meeting / Relationship (Copies/Scans/Print outs – NOT Originals):

  • Photos Together (Make sure you label them with dates and locations)
  • Airline Tickets and Boarding Passes
  • Foreign Travel Receipts (Hotels, etc.; Highlight dates and places)
  • Correspondences (Proof of on-going relationship): Snail-mail, Emails, Facebook Screenshots, Skype Screenshots, IM chat logs, SMS message print-outs (Don’t print EVERYTHING, just get a reasonable sample; Highlight dates)
  • Engagement Ring receipt (if any) 

Send your completed I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition package to the address below.

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

USCIS
P.O. Box 660151
Dallas, TX 75266

 

For USPS Express Mail and courier deliveries:

USCIS
Attn: I-129F
2501 South State Highway 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

 

Our I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition Timeline (6 months)

2012 October 17 | We filed for our I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition.

2012 October 25 | We received our I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition Acceptance Notice (NOA 1).

2013 April 25 | We received our I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition Approval Notice (NOA 2).

For my FULL Immigration Timeline please visit this page.

Our I-129F Petition Acceptance Notice! October 25th, 2012. Also called Notice of Action 1 or NOA1 | I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition and Checklist | ©2013, USCIS, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

Our I-129F Petition Acceptance Notice! October 25th, 2012. Also called Notice of Action 1 or NOA1 | I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition and Checklist | ©2013, USCIS, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Take good care of your NOA1 and NOA2. Don’t lose it. You will need both documents later in the process.

 

Our I-129F Petition Approval! April 25th, 2013. Also called Notice of Action 2 or NOA2 | I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition and Checklist | ©2013, USCIS, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

Our I-129F Petition Approval! April 25th, 2013. Also called Notice of Action 2 or NOA2 | I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition and Checklist | ©2013, USCIS, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

Where do I track my Petition / Case Status?

You are supposed to use the USCIS My Case Status Tracker tool.

Please read this article: USCIS Case Status Tracking »

 

Where’s the actual approved I-129F Document?

My "Packet 3" from U.S. Embassy Manila. It arrived on May 30, 2013 when I was already done with my K1 Visa Payment, Scheduling my K1 Visa Interview, Medical Exam and CFO Seminar. Haha. It also contained a copy of our approved I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition | NVC CEAC Status Tracker | ©2013, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

My “Packet 3” from U.S. Embassy Manila. It arrived on May 30, 2013 when I was already done with my K1 Visa Payment, Scheduling my K1 Visa Interview, Medical Exam and CFO Seminar. Haha. It also contained a copy of our approved I-129F Fiancé(e) Petition | NVC CEAC Status Tracker | ©2013, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

The original document stays with USCIS. A copy of your approved I-129F Petition gets sent to the Foreign Fiancé(e) through their US Embassy / Consulate. I believe it’s called “Packet 3”. In my case, I got it a month later in the mail with instructions on how to go about the K1 Visa Process. Fiancé(e)’s in most countries HAVE to wait for this Packet 3 for instructions. Fiancé(e)’s in the Philippines in particular don’t have to wait for this mail. They can move on with the process as long as they have their MNL Case Numbers from NVC. Keep this approved copy of your I-129F Petition you might need it later in the process during the K1 Visa Interview and/or the AOS Process.

 

 

So… What happens after petition approval (NOA2)?

What’s the Next Step?

 

Read on: NVC and CEAC Status Tracker »

 

 

 

Some Frequently Asked Questions on the KnowledgeBase:

 



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47 Comments

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


  1. Nil says:

    Hi Erika,
    I got my NOA1. Is there anything I need to do or just wait until I get NOA2? Thanks.

  2. Paula A. says:

    Thank you for this blog! it has helped a ton to figure out this mess and to know where to even start.

    We are starting to gather all the documents, and I have one question (for now probably… sorry in advanced):
    – I know Chris (my boyfriend, the USC) will have to keep an exact copy of the I-129F package he sends. He will be forwarding that copy to me, since I’ll have to take it with me to the consulate interview. But in the petition package he sends, does he have to send every document in duplicate (including forms), or just one copy of everything?

    I ask because although it seems to me that he doesn’t have to send duplicates, I’ve had bad experience with that topic with another embassy and it was very annoying.

    Thanks!!!!

    • You’re welcome! :)

      No you don’t have to send in duplicates. Just one copy of everything.

      The duplicates are for when something happens (and sometimes they do misplace documents) and they would send your fiancé a request for evidence (RFE) to send in documents that you have already sent in the first place! LOL. When you already have a petition approval, that’s the only time when he’s going to send you the duplicates. He should hold on to his duplicates until approval.

      Good luck!

  3. […] etc. and most of all, Jerrico being able to show his financial capability to support me. (See here for a more comprehensive I-129F checklist. I followed all the steps in this guide and got no […]

  4. Thank you for info.erika god bless


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