This K1 Fiancé Visa Process is a long and complicated journey. But once it’s all over, you will be happily reunited with the love of your life and finally can begin your lives together. Getting information on the process can be pretty difficult, so here’s my story including timelines, costs, interview questions and so on.
I applied for my Fiancé Visa in England so I went through the London embassy. If you’re applying from another country, even within the U.K., your timeline may be different to mine.
I met my now-husband in England, about 4 years ago. We had been together for about 9 months when he got posted to Georgia, USA (he’s in the US Air Force. Even though we knew this day would come it was still awful). For a few months we did a long distance relationship, until I flew out to Georgia to visit him. While I was there, I fell pregnant and during my pregnancy, he deployed to Europe which was fabulous for me because it meant I could go and visit him, albeit I saw him for two weeks out of the first 8 months of my pregnancy.
Eventually, in May 2016 our son Caleb was born. We went to register his birth at the US Embassy when he was 13 days old so he could have dual citizenship between the U.K. and the USA (I can do a whole other blog post on that process). Whilst we were in London, my boyfriend got down on one knee in Piccadilly Circus and proposed to me. It was amazing! And where our K1 Visa Journey began. Such fun.
We filed the I-129F application, which you can download and get instructions for here, in May 2016. We sent a money order for the $535 cost and my new Fiancé went back to America without Caleb and I.
I can’t remember the new step, but it was basically waiting for confirmation that they’d received our application. On this confirmation letter you will get a receipt number which means you can track your status online.
In the meantime, I was still in England on paid maternity leave, missing my fiancé and raising my son alone. I had submitted my police check application and paid the £45 fee.
I was feeling pretty desperate to see my fiancé and in August 2016, I decided I was going to go to America to see him and risk getting turned away at the border.
Legally, you’re allowed to enter the USA while you’re waiting for your Fiancé Visa, however Border Control have the right to turn you away if they believe you intend on staying in the country. If you’re unsure about the legalities of traveling whilst waiting for your visa, I would suggest contacting USCIS.
If you decide to enter the States in this time period, you must bring evidence that you will return home. I brought paperwork showing I owned a car, a letter from my boss stating I was due back at work on a certain date and a letter from the charity that I chair stating I had to be back on a certain date. Thankfully I didn’t have to show these. When I arrived at Border Control in Chicago I was asked why we (Caleb and I) were there and where my son’s father was. I never mentioned he was my fiancé and they never asked, even though I had my engagement ring on and am left-handed, so they definitely saw it.
Anyway, we were in Georgia, loving life, bonding, meeting the family and so on and I was checking my status daily. When finally, in late September 2016, 4 months after I applied, we got the notification that my visa application had been accepted!!
I didn’t book my medical straight away, I waited until a few weeks before my embassy interview – for some stupid reason – and I could only get in 3 days before my interview. This held up my process by a few days and I would recommend booking your medical for at least a week before your interview.
The medical is pretty easy. You do a pee sample, eye test, x ray and any injections you need. I’d suggest getting as many injections done on the NHS as you can because the doctors is expensive. I got my Flu Jab done at Boots for £8 instead of £20 at the doctors. Take evidence of all of your vaccinations.
The interview was also easy. I was in and out of the embassy in less than two hours. They asked me where my fiancé and I met, how long we’d been together, what our son is called and when we planned to marry. I took evidence of our relationship but they never asked to see it.
Within 3 weeks of my interview, I was on the plane to the USA with my son. Our lives packed in to 3 suitcases (and 6 boxes that we’d shipped to my fiancé).
We flew into the States in November (6 months after we filed my application). Because it was the day before thanksgiving, flights were expensive so the cheapest option was to fly via Mexico. Not a good idea when you’re an immigrant. We entered the USA in Orlando. Since we’d flown in from Mexico we waited for hours in Orlando Airport. Caleb was fine since he has an American passport. However, my visa held us up and we waited in a side room for someone to check my paperwork. I handed over the envelope that the embassy had sent me, my police certificate and my medical paperwork. I answered a couple of simple questions and finally, after 30 hours of travelling with a 6 month old, I was allowed to legally enter the USA.
We got to celebrate Thanksgiving with my aunt, uncle and cousin in Florida and then went home to Georgia. With Christmas coming, wedding planning fell by the wayside. So we quickly booked a date at the Chapel on Base.
On January 7th we finally got married. It was a small wedding, not many family or friends on either side could attend. But we were surrounded by people we loved and we finally got to the be together after months of waiting. I would take that small, simple wedding over a big flashy one, any day of the week.
As soon as we were able to, we submitted my Green Card/Adjustment of Status application.
I was lazy and didn’t apply for my Social Security Number or Georgia driving license before my Fiancé Visa expired so now I have to wait for my Green Card before I can do either things. I’d definitely recommend you apply for both right after you get married.
Anyway, we applied for my Green Card by filling in the I-485 form. It cost $1,140 plus another $85 for my Biometrics (newer instructions say you don’t need to file that but please check with USCIS or your application will be delayed).
Two weeks later, I got a letter telling my to head to my local USCIS center to get my Biometrics done, basically a 15 minute appointment where they take your photograph and finger prints.
It’s now been 17 months since my initial Fiancé Visa application and we’re still waiting for my Green Card. I can legally live here but I can’t re-enter the country (therefore I can’t leave) and I can’t work. Once my Green Card arrives I will be able to travel and work like a US citizen can.
We are trying to get my Green Card application expedited. That in itself takes a while though.
So I hope this blog post helps you somewhat. If you have any questions please leave them below and I will try my best to help you.
Good luck with your applications!