The Approved I-129F Petition signifies the end of (probably) a long immigration process and the start of a (generally) more confusing consular process. Congratulations!!!! But, the journey is not over yet . . . . you are nearly at the halfway mark.
For starters, lets re-cap. The Fiance Visa Process is broken into 3 parts:
- Part 1: I-129F Petition to recognize the relationship at USCIS
- Part 2: DS-160 Visa Application and the promise to marry and I-134 Financially Support (The Actual K1 Visa Step)
- Part 3: Enter the US, Marry within 90 days, Get a Social Security Card during the 60-day period at SSA, and Adjust your Status with USCIS
This Post will FOCUS primarily on the Transitionary Period between Part 1/Step 1 and Part 2/Step 2.
What does the I-129F Approval Notice Mean?
It means USCIS “qualified” the relationship to receive a K1 Visa. The USCIS Service Center (usually in California) would be mailing the Approval Notice to the US Citizen (and Attorney, if one is retained). Lastly, USCIS would state in the approval notice that they are transferring the filing to the NVC for further processing.
Below is a Diagram of the I-129F Mail/Transfer:
What does the NVC do in the Fiance Process?
First, if you look online about NVC Services, you may see that for immigrant visas the NVC:
- Accepts Visa fees
- Accepts and Reviews Visa Application
- Accepts and Reviews Financial Documents
- Accepts and Reviews Civil Documents
- Schedules the Visa Interview
However, although the K1 Fiance Visa is an immigrant visa, the NVC does NONE of the above-mentioned services. For the Fiance Visa Process, the NVC only:
- Creates an NVC Case number
- Transfer Case to the Embassy or Consulate
COMMON RELATED QUESTIONS:
Is the K1 Fiance Visa really an Immigrant Visa?
Yes! You or your friends or even the Embassy/Consulate Staff MAY CALL IT a non-immigrant visa, you still MUST follow a multi-step process, it is NOT treated like a tourist visa, and you MUST perform the immigrant medical in order to receive the K1 Visa.
More thorough information can be found here: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration/k-1-fiance-visa/is-the-k1-fiance-visa-an-immigrant-or-non-immigrant-visa/
What is the IMBRA PAMPHLET?
EVERY Fiance must read the IMBRA PAMPHLET, link found here with multiple languages available: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration/k-1-fiance-visa/imbra-international-marriage-broker-regulation-action-and-the-k-1-visa-process/
What is an Immigrant Medical?
Every Embassy/Consulate has an Immigrant Visa Instruction Packet that provide the contact information and requirements to receive the immigrant medical. The instructions are provided right when the K1 Visa interview is scheduled, but can be found online easily.
Before performing the medical, it is beneficial to make sure the Immigrant is healthy, has vaccines up to date, and maybe should get a personal medical to make sure there are no STDs or TB concerns.
What is a Police Certificate?
It is required for every immigrant to provide their Police Certificate(s). Acquire Police Certificates/Clearances from any country resided in for more than 6 months after the age of 16.
The NVC provides more guidance: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country.html
Should I do something with my taxes right now?
File taxes ASAP (if in a new tax year) since this is reviewed in the I-134 Affidavit of Support, and the Fiance visa process requires the Most up-to-date Tax Return and most recent W-2/1099.
Is the Foreign Passport Good to Go?
Make sure the Foreign Passport has at least 6 months available at the time of the interview. If the passport expires in about 2 years, it might be best to update the passport now.
Can I choose ANY US Embassy or Consulate for the Fiance Visa Interview?
No, you can ONLY attend an Embassy or Consulate with an Immigrant Division. For Example:
- Brazil interviews can ONLY occur in Rio de Janeiro, even though there are locations in Brazilia, Porto Alegre, Recife, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro.
- Canada interviews can ONLY occur in Montreal, even though there are locations in Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, and Quebec City.
Can I request faster processing to get a Fiance Visa Interview quicker?
No, expedite requests are rare and the US Government would consider such a request if:
- It is in the US National Interest
- Life or Death Humanitarian Concerns
The US Government DOES NOT expedite a filing merely because the Petitioner is an Active Duty Service Member. It is NOT in the US Government’s interest to have their employee get married. Marriage can lead to complications and diminish deployability.
In terms of an Active Duty Service Member, if the Service Member HAS committed suicide attempts and is being medically discharged for PTSD or other psychological reasons, the bringing of a fiance (a positive influence) into the US quicker could make an argument for “Humanitarian Concerns.”
A filing CANNOT be expedited because:
- You want it to be without any qualifying basis
- You already waited over a year for the interview to be scheduled, and you don’t have a qualifying basis
- You haven’t seen your Fiance in over 1 to 2 years, and you don’t have a qualifying basis
Can I Track the Fiance Filing at the NVC?
NVC Case Status can be located here: https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx
But, for the Fiance Visa, the status is 9 times out of 10, meaningless, because the NVC just encodes an NVC Number on the File and transfers the File, no processing actually occurs.
Can I Track the Fiance Filing at the US Embassy or Consulate?
No, After the filing leaves the NVC, you cannot “check” or “inquire” as to when an interview would occur. The Embassy or Consulate will process the filing in the order received. When the Embassy or Consulate is ready to interview, they WILL schedule the interview or invite you to schedule it yourself.
If you attempt to schedule an interview PRIOR to the Embassy Permitting, Complications may result or your consulate account could be frozen, possibly making further delays when the Embassy or Consulate is actually ready to interview you.
Can I contact the US Embassy or Consulate to Inquiry about my case?
No, you shouldn’t! This causes delays and helps no one. If the Embassy/Consulate CAN PROCESS YOUR FILING, they would be processing it and scheduling for interview.
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