What is Form I-129F?
Form I-129F, also known as the “Petition for Alien Fiancé(e),” is a form used by U.S. citizens who are engaged to be married to a foreign national and wish to bring their fiancé(e) to the United States for the purpose of getting married. The form is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as the initial step in the K-1 visa application process.
The K-1 visa allows the foreign fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. for a limited period of time, during which the couple must marry. Once married, the foreign spouse can then apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).
Here are the basic steps involved in the K-1 visa process using Form I-129F:
- Petition Submission: The U.S. citizen petitioner completes Form I-129F and submits it to the USCIS. This form establishes the intention to marry and provides information about both the U.S. citizen petitioner and the foreign fiancé(e).
- USCIS Processing: After the USCIS receives the Form I-129F, they will process the petition, review the provided information, and conduct background checks on both the petitioner and the beneficiary (foreign fiancé(e)).
- Petition Approval: If the USCIS approves the petition, they will forward the approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will then send the case to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign fiancé(e)’s home country.
- Consular Processing: The U.S. embassy or consulate will contact the foreign fiancé(e) with instructions on how to proceed. This typically involves completing Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application) and undergoing a medical examination. The embassy or consulate will schedule a visa interview.
- Visa Interview: The foreign fiancé(e) attends the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. During the interview, a consular officer will assess the validity of the relationship, the intention to marry, and other relevant matters.
- K-1 Visa Issuance: If approved, the consular officer will issue a K-1 visa to the foreign fiancé(e). This visa allows the fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. for the purpose of getting married.
- Marriage and Adjustment of Status: After entering the U.S., the couple has 90 days to get married. Once married, the foreign spouse can apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).
It’s important to note that the K-1 visa process and associated requirements can change, and it’s recommended to refer to the official USCIS website or consult with legal experts for the most up-to-date and accurate information before starting the process.
How much does it cost to file Form I-129F?
The filing fee for Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), was $535. However, keep in mind that immigration fees can change over time, so it’s important to check the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or other official sources for the most up-to-date fee information.
Additionally, there may be other costs associated with the overall K-1 visa process, such as the visa application fee at the U.S. embassy or consulate, medical examination fees, travel costs, and potential costs related to preparing supporting documents or translations. It’s recommended to carefully review the USCIS website or consult with legal professionals who specialize in immigration to ensure you have accurate and current information regarding fees and requirements.
Form I-129F checklist of required documents
When filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), you’ll need to submit a variety of supporting documents to establish the validity of your relationship and provide evidence of your eligibility. Here’s a checklist of common required documents that you may need to include with your Form I-129F:
- Form I-129F: Make sure to complete the form accurately and sign it.
- Filing Fee: Include the appropriate filing fee with your application. Check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date fee information.
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship: Provide evidence of your U.S. citizenship, such as a copy of your U.S. passport, birth certificate, or certificate of naturalization.
- Passport Photos: Include passport-style photos of both the U.S. citizen petitioner and the foreign fiancé(e).
- Proof of Relationship: Gather documents that demonstrate the authenticity of your relationship, including:
- Correspondence (letters, emails, chats) showing ongoing communication between you and your fiancé(e).
- Photographs of you and your fiancé(e) together.
- Travel documents showing trips you’ve taken together.
- Phone records that indicate regular communication.
- Any other evidence that shows a bona fide relationship.
- Proof of Intent to Marry: Provide evidence that you both intend to marry within 90 days of the foreign fiancé(e)’s entry into the U.S. This can include documents such as engagement rings, wedding venue reservations, or any plans you’ve made for the wedding.
- Divorce or Death Certificates: If either you or your fiancé(e) were previously married, include copies of divorce decrees or death certificates to prove the termination of previous marriages.
- Criminal Records and Police Certificates: Both you and your fiancé(e) might need to provide police certificates from the countries where you’ve lived if you’re over a certain age. This varies by country.
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-134): This form demonstrates that you, as the U.S. citizen petitioner, have the financial means to support your fiancé(e) when they come to the U.S. This might not be required for the initial I-129F petition, but it will be required during the later stages of the K-1 visa process.
- Translation of Documents: If any of your documents are in a language other than English, provide certified translations.
- Additional Documentation: Include any other documents that support your case and help establish the legitimacy of your relationship.
Remember that USCIS requirements can change, so always refer to the official USCIS website or instructions for the most up-to-date information on required documents and forms. It’s also a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney or expert to ensure that you’re submitting a complete and accurate application.
Form I-129F processing timeline
The processing timeline for Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), can vary depending on several factors, including the volume of applications being processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the accuracy and completeness of your application, and any potential delays or requests for additional information. Keep in mind that actual processing times might have changed since then. It’s always a good idea to refer to the official USCIS website for the most current information.
Here’s a general overview of the Form I-129F processing timeline:
- Filing the Petition: You submit your Form I-129F and all required supporting documents to USCIS.
- Receipt Notice: USCIS will send you a receipt notice to confirm that your application has been received and is being processed. This notice should include a receipt number that you can use to track the status of your application.
- Initial Review: USCIS will review your application and supporting documents to ensure they are complete and meet the basic requirements.
- Request for Evidence (RFE): If USCIS determines that additional information or documentation is needed to make a decision on your petition, they will issue an RFE. This can extend the processing time as you’ll need to gather and submit the requested information.
- Adjudication: Once USCIS has all the necessary information, they will adjudicate your petition and make a decision on whether to approve or deny it.
- Approval or Denial: If your petition is approved, USCIS will send you an approval notice. If it’s denied, USCIS will provide you with a denial notice along with the reasons for the denial.
- Forwarding to NVC: If your petition is approved, USCIS will forward the approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will then send your case to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your fiancé(e)’s home country for further processing.
Please note that processing times can vary widely, ranging from a few months to over a year. USCIS provides estimated processing times on their website, but these are subject to change and may not account for potential delays. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information about processing times, you can visit the USCIS website’s Check Case Processing Times page and enter the appropriate form and service center information.
Keep in mind that the K-1 visa process involves multiple steps, including consular processing, visa interviews, and potential medical examinations, which can also impact the overall timeline. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and consult with legal experts if you have specific concerns or questions about your case.