I had a call from a US citizen lady living in Boston about filing for her fiancé back in Cork. We get a number of calls on fiancé visas and the following is meant as general information which I provided to her.

If your fiancé is residing overseas, and you intend marrying in the US, you need to submit a petition for a K visa or fiancé visa petition to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will need to obtain a Form I-129F from US CIS. Form I-129 comes with two pages of instructions.

Form I-129 should come with two G-325 forms attached to it. You and your fiancé will need to complete a G-325 each. You will also need to submit an I-134 with the fiancé visa petition. This is an affidavit to state that you will be able to support your fiancé following his entry to the US. If your fiancé has lived in different countries in the past, he should obtain evidence of clear police records from those jurisdictions. The CIS does extensive background check on all aliens applying for admission to the US.

You should submit a sworn affidavit with the petition declaring that you have met in the past two years. Evidence may include the date, place and circumstances of your meeting, supported by copies of transportation tickets, photos, and/or letters written to each other after your meeting. Additionally photocopies of your and/or your fiancés passports including biographical pages and pages showing entry/exit stamps, where applicable showing that you have both been present in a given location at the same time. Affidavits from other people verifying that they know you both and know circumstances about your meeting and/or your relationship.

The fiancé visa is applied for at the CIS Regional Service Center (in the Northeast, at the Vermont Service Center). It takes one (1) to two (2) months to process. After approval, it can take three (3) to six (6) months to obtain a fiancé visa, which is issued at the US Embassy in your fiancés home country. The US citizen will receive a copy of the approval of visa, and the US Embassy overseas will subsequently receive a copy of the approval notice. Because US CIS timeframes vary, there is no way to confirm how long this process can take. Problems with fingerprints, background security checks, and medical examination scheduling problems may delay the K petition for several months.

The consular officer will notify the beneficiary when the approved petition is received and provide to the beneficiary the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a "K" visa. A fiancé (e) visa applicant is an intending immigrant and, therefore, must meet documentary requirements similar to the requirements of an immigrant visa applicant. The following documents are normally required:

n Valid passport

n Birth certificate

n Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse

n Police certificate from all places lived since age 16

n Medical examination

n Evidence of support

n Evidence of valid relationship with the petitioner

n Photographs*

*Two photographs (2x2), showing full face, against a light background.

The fiancé visa is a 90-day visa within which you have to marry. After arriving in the US, your fiancé may apply for work authorization. (If you were marrying in Ireland, because of backlogs at US embassies abroad, your spouse would have to remain in Ireland for up to one (1) year before being legally admitted to the US. His marriage to a US citizen in Ireland does not entitle him to enter the US immediately.)

At the IPC, staff may provide you with general direction on how to proceed with a fiancé and 1-485 adjustment of status petition. In this scenario there is no need to submit an I-130 as the I-129 is the visa petition. Whether you decide to do a civil ceremony or church ceremony has no impact on your immigration petition. It is a document intensive process. IPC also has photograph facilities in place. See the CIS website if you need forms: www.uscis.gov


Free Legal & Immigration Clinic

We will be holding a free legal clinic at The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester at 6:30 pm on Tuesday Sept. 3rd, 2013. Immigration attorneys will answer questions on visas, green cards, and US citizenship. We will also review paperwork for people filing with USCIS. There is no need to pre-register.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.