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Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,537 posts

119 months

[news] 
Sunday 16th September 2012 quote quote all
I'm after one just to ask a few questions about the K1 Visa process and would appreciate some advice. Silky little things really such as how many photos to include in the I-129 and what the most common stumbling blocks are when filling in the application.

Cheers

belleair302

5,152 posts

95 months

[news] 
Sunday 16th September 2012 quote quote all
Miles Pierce in Birmingham (UK) are pretty good. They are based in Newhall St.

adamfogerty

144 posts

78 months

[news] 
Monday 17th September 2012 quote quote all
I came in via the K-1 route, but can't help with your specific question I'm afraid as I did it all myself (without so much as consulting an attorney).

With regards to supporting evidence - they can reject your application due to lack of evidence, but I doubt they ever turned one down for too much evidence :-)

Remember though that photographs are considered 'secondary' evidence (if I recall correctly) and USCIS don't put as much weight on them as 'primary' evidence.

Adam


Famous Graham

26,553 posts

113 months

[news] 
Tuesday 18th September 2012 quote quote all
Can't help there, I'm afraid - mine was company based and our US entity engaged their own, US, attorney.

GavinPearson

5,489 posts

139 months

[news] 
Tuesday 18th September 2012 quote quote all
The following link gives the instructions in how to fill out the form:

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-129instr.pdf

But surely this is the wrong form to use if you want to actually stay in the USA full time......

This link explains what to do whether you are marrying inside the US or outside - very straighforward:

http://www.immihelp.com/visas/kvisa/
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adamfogerty

144 posts

78 months

[news] 
Tuesday 18th September 2012 quote quote all
GavinPearson said:
The following link gives the instructions in how to fill out the form:

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-129instr.pdf

But surely this is the wrong form to use if you want to actually stay in the USA full time......

This link explains what to do whether you are marrying inside the US or outside - very straighforward:

http://www.immihelp.com/visas/kvisa/
I'm not sure I'd call it 'very straight forward'. The article paints a very high-level overview of the process.

Here's what I went through for the K-1:

  • US Citizen files petition for foreign fiance(e) to go to US to marry them (form I-129F). This includes providing solid evidence that you've known each other a while and have met in person (and pay the filing fee). Our initial filing was approx. 100 pages
  • Foreign Fiance(e) must pass medical exam at the US Embassy-approved doctor in London (and pays a fee for the privilege)
  • Foreign Fiance(e) has interview at US Embassy. To the interview you need to take:
* Passport
* Birth Certificate - Full length, with both parents names. I only had the more common short form, so had to make a separate application (with fee) for this.
* Adoption Certificate/Name Change Deed Poll/Marriage Certificates/Divorce Decree/Death Certificate (if applicable)
* Police Certificate - Have to apply for this (and pay the fee)
* Court and Prison Records/Military Records (if applicable)
* Photographs (meeting US requirements)
* Evidence of Support (Affidavit of Support) - bank statements, etc.
* Money to pay the fee
  • IF K-1 is granted, it is only valid for entry to the US one time only and expires in 6 months. Foreign fiance(e) must therefore pack-up and leave for the US in that six month period
  • Once the foreign fiance(e) is in the US, the couple must get married within 90 days of their arrival
  • Once married, you have to file I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status) (and pay the fee)
  • At this point the foreign fiance(e) can also file for work and travel authorization (not permitted up to this point) (and pay the fee)
  • The foreign fiance(e) must attend a biometrics appointment in person (and pay the fee)
  • If the Adjustment of Status is approved, the foreign fiance(e) is granted conditional residence - effectively a two year green card (instead of ten years)
  • Prior to the expiration of the conditional residence (but not earlier than 90 days prior to expiration) you must file form I-765 , an application to have the conditions of your residency removed. This involves proving that you entered into a genuine marriage by providing supporting evidence of you living your lives together (and pay the fee). Our filing was approx. 70 pages
  • The foreign fiance(e) must attend another biometrics appointment in person (and pay the fee)
  • If the application to remove conditions is approved, you are granted a full 10-year greencard
I wrote the above from memory based on my experience, so don't take it as gospel. From filing the I-129F to entering the US was almost exactly 12 months for me.

Thanks,

Adam




Famous Graham

26,553 posts

113 months

[news] 
Tuesday 18th September 2012 quote quote all
adamfogerty said:
  • IF K-1 is granted, it is only valid for entry to the US one time only and expires in 6 months. Foreign fiance(e) must therefore pack-up and leave for the US in that six month period
Friend of mine just arrived under K-1 - he only got 90 days validity on the visa itself.

tinman0

18,231 posts

128 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Polarbert said:
I'm after one just to ask a few questions about the K1 Visa process and would appreciate some advice. Silky little things really such as how many photos to include in the I-129 and what the most common stumbling blocks are when filling in the application.
We used a website, Expert Answers or something and got a really good lawyer answering questions for us for $20. The best bit of the advice was that it was comprehensive (answered more than we asked) and for $20 it was quite reassuring to see that we were doing the right things.

Dr JonboyG

2,156 posts

127 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
If you're looking for a US lawyer, I can recommend either Dan Owens at Frost Brown Todd in Louisville or Brendan Delany at Frank Leavy Delaney in Bethesda.

Stu R

20,905 posts

103 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
I'm going through the process now, using these guys http://www.pogueimmigrationlaw.com - they've been excellent so far.

tinman0

18,231 posts

128 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Found it, justanswer.com. The lady we used was called Judith.

unrepentant

16,161 posts

144 months

[news] 
Friday 21st September 2012 quote quote all
I came in on a K-1 in 2010. I used Megan Kight of Broyles, Kight and Ricafort in Indianapolis and she was excellent. The firm specialises in immigration. If you have any layman type questions I will be happy to try and answer if you pm me. I would always be inclined to use a lawyer even though there is cost involved.

http://bkrlaw.com/

jimmyjimjim

3,586 posts

126 months

[news] 
Friday 21st September 2012 quote quote all
L-1 in 2006; the company used Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, in NJ.

No problems whatsoever with them.

I'd echo unrepentnt above and say to use a lawyer, as they know what they are doing and what matters and what doesn't.

I've heard a few horror stories of people using UK based lawyers who didn't know what they were doing, and getting screwed as a result.

Carfiend

3,186 posts

97 months

[news] 
Friday 21st September 2012 quote quote all
Use a US lawyer. My L1 was approved earlier this week and while the lawyer got the job done they still had a few issues around getting the correct evidence and filing without premium processing even after we paid for it.

tinman0

18,231 posts

128 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
Not sure why everyone is suggesting using a lawyer. It's just a bunch of forms that need to be filled out in the right order. The only reason to use an immigration lawyer is if you have an issue (eg a criminal conviction etc). I-129F to start with, and when that's done, they'll tell you to submit the visa application itself in the form of a K-1 app.

It's a straight forward process with lots and lots of information to gather.

Stu R

20,905 posts

103 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
tinman0 said:
Not sure why everyone is suggesting using a lawyer. It's just a bunch of forms that need to be filled out in the right order. The only reason to use an immigration lawyer is if you have an issue (eg a criminal conviction etc). I-129F to start with, and when that's done, they'll tell you to submit the visa application itself in the form of a K-1 app.

It's a straight forward process with lots and lots of information to gather.
Lots of reasons to use an immigration attorney, few reasons not to, largely depends on what visa you're going for I suppose.
Suffice to say, mine's been a bit of a ballache (nothing to do with having criminal convictions or anything unsavoury in my past I hasten to add). I'd far rather let them deal with it and know it's being done properly.

tinman0

18,231 posts

128 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
Stu R said:
Lots of reasons to use an immigration attorney, few reasons not to, largely depends on what visa you're going for I suppose.
Suffice to say, mine's been a bit of a ballache (nothing to do with having criminal convictions or anything unsavoury in my past I hasten to add). I'd far rather let them deal with it and know it's being done properly.
This is what I don't understand though, it's I-129F or I-130 with a bunch of identification forms, then sit back and wait for the invite to file the visa application itself. There is nothing complicated about filing a I-129F and then K-1 and there is loads of help online about it (britishexpats.com) without resorting to an $$immigration lawyer.

And the forms are pretty much straight forward so really not sure what the problem you're having with them to need a lawyer.

The only reason we took advice was to advise on whether to run a K-3 or CR-1 application.

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,537 posts

119 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the advice chaps. My fiancee is going to be filling out the form this weekend. My main concern was just that we are careful that we fill it in correctly, and make sure that we include everything that is required. It would be good to have an experienced eye look everything over, but I assume if we follow it to the letter then we shall be fine.

My main concern was providing enough evidence of our relationship over the past two years.

unrepentant

16,161 posts

144 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
Polarbert said:
Thanks for the advice chaps. My fiancee is going to be filling out the form this weekend. My main concern was just that we are careful that we fill it in correctly, and make sure that we include everything that is required. It would be good to have an experienced eye look everything over, but I assume if we follow it to the letter then we shall be fine.

My main concern was providing enough evidence of our relationship over the past two years.
Remember on thing, the process is slow. For that reason alone I would hire a lawyer. If you make a mistake it will take quite a while for them to get back to you and then you're starting again.

Have you got your ACPO statement? That can take a little while although you can pay extra to expedite it. The "passport" photos you have to submit with the form are not the standard UK passport size, remember that. As far as evidence of relationship is concerned we had a reasonable amount but we also had a couple of friends write letters.

You do know that you will not be allowed to enter the USA while your application is being processed? Ours took nearly 9 months and that was using a lawyer and with a senators office asking for our case to be expedited.

The impression that you may get is that they (USCIS) are doing whatever they can to put you off and prevent you from coming in! They seem to ask the same questions again and again and the red tape is a little frustrating. But it's all worth it in the end. Good luck!

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,537 posts

119 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
unrepentant said:
Polarbert said:
Thanks for the advice chaps. My fiancee is going to be filling out the form this weekend. My main concern was just that we are careful that we fill it in correctly, and make sure that we include everything that is required. It would be good to have an experienced eye look everything over, but I assume if we follow it to the letter then we shall be fine.

My main concern was providing enough evidence of our relationship over the past two years.
Remember on thing, the process is slow. For that reason alone I would hire a lawyer. If you make a mistake it will take quite a while for them to get back to you and then you're starting again.

Have you got your ACPO statement? That can take a little while although you can pay extra to expedite it. The "passport" photos you have to submit with the form are not the standard UK passport size, remember that. As far as evidence of relationship is concerned we had a reasonable amount but we also had a couple of friends write letters.

You do know that you will not be allowed to enter the USA while your application is being processed? Ours took nearly 9 months and that was using a lawyer and with a senators office asking for our case to be expedited.

The impression that you may get is that they (USCIS) are doing whatever they can to put you off and prevent you from coming in! They seem to ask the same questions again and again and the red tape is a little frustrating. But it's all worth it in the end. Good luck!
Yes I got my police certificate recently. I am also aware about the passport photos as I've gotten a J1 visa previously.

I am intending to visit my fiancee while the visa is being processed and from what I've read this is allowed.

I understand it can take a long time, but if we are certain that everything is done correctly I don't really see the value that a lawyer can add after we have submitted the application.

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