Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    K1 – The Petition and the K1 Visa Itself/Preparing the Petition/USCIS Screening and Processing Procedures

    The Petition And The K1 Visa Itself

    In order to begin the immigration process through USCIS the US citizen has to first satisfy the Attorney General of three important things.

    1. You are a US citizen.
    2. You have physically met with your fiancé (e), or explain why not.
    3. You intend to get married within the first 90-days of arrival.
    4. Proof of any previous marriages and divorces.

    These are the big picture issues. However, USCIS require additional forms to be completed that will outline the parties history going back initially five years but ultimately, for the alien, going back to the alien’s 16th birthday.

    Preparing The Petition

    We establish US citizenship by including in the package copies of the citizen’s US passport, US birth certificate or Certificate of Naturalization. Any one of these documents will suffice.

    We then have to explain with the aid of photographs, testimonials, phone bills and past flight itineraries how the parties met and how their relationship developed culminating in an engagement.

    Finally, we gather supporting documentation to establish that a wedding is indeed being planned. For this, we request copies of all paid invoices for the wedding such as wedding chapel reservation, invitation cards, wedding dress receipts etc. Clients will be at various stages in their wedding plans. Some have elaborate wedding plans and some have very simple plans. The point is that we document what plans are in place and explain it in the overall petition application.

    When all the required information is completed your attorney will write a brief (letter in support of the petition) that will argue before USCIS the merits of your petition and refer to all the documentation in support of your petition.

    Even though we will be only at the petition phase, your attorney will also be gathering additional information from you to cover all the other phases as far as possible so that work can continue on your case after your petition has been filed. The following are some of the items that your attorney will instruct you to prepare and send in.

    1. Copy tax returns over the last three years. Both parties.
    2. Police report. Alien only.
    3. Evidence of net worth
    4. Information on any potential co-sponsors to the application (see later).

    USCIS Screening And Processing Procedures

    As soon as your case is ready for filing the BTUSA Practice Manager will take one final look at your case in every detail. This is a BTUSA quality control check measure that endeavors to ensure that little things are not over-looked. Even though clients are generally anxious to hurry their cases through the system, they nevertheless rely on us to produce the highest possible quality of work. The Practice Manager will therefore pre-screen the entire case before it is actually filed.

    There are four regional USCIS Service Centers that process these petitions: California, Nebraska, Texas and Vermont. Where your US citizen fiancé (e) resides determines the service center that will handle your case.

    When the case is received by the appropriate service center the case is immediately screened. The administration staff has a standard check list that they run your case through to ensure that all the basic elements are in place.

    For example:

    1. Has the case been sent to the right service center?
    2. Forms signed and dated.
    3. Correct filing fee paid.
    4. Evidence of US citizenship included.
    5. Evidence of alien’s citizenship included.
    6. Evidence of prior marriages included.
    7. Etc.

    Once your case passes this initial screening process it is then officially receipted and given a case number. If the case does not pass the initial screening it is sent back to BTUSA with a note stating what is required to correct the package. The item would then be inserted into the package and re-submitted. BTUSA has never had this happen but it’s always a possibility and in any case it would be a simple fix.

    There are two ways to track the progress of your case. We have created the appropriate links from our website to the service center websites or you can simply go directly to the service center websites.

    The first thing you will need to track is how long that particular service center is currently taking to review the cases that were filed before yours.

    1. Go to https://egov.immigration.gov/cris/jsps/ptimes.jsp
    2. Select the service center where your case was sent.
    3. Scroll down the page looking at the left hand side for I-129F Petition For Fiancé (e).
    4. Once you find that line the date entered in the far right column will tell you the date of the cases they are currently reviewing.

    So for example, if you have a receipt date on your petition of March 2nd and they are currently reviewing cases filed (receipted) January 2nd then you know you have about a three month wait until your case will likely come up. Every two weeks you can go on line to track the progress of your case. Sometimes it will appear that the date posted on the government website has not moved up for weeks and then all of a sudden it will jump forward several weeks. This is because the posting is updated occasionally as opposed to weekly.

    The second check you can make is to find out the status of your individual case. Although this initially sounds promising it really is not that helpful, as they simply post the fact that your case is in the system and then change the posting to say your case is approved or whether further information was required.

    1. Go to Immigration.gov
    2. Enter your case number without the dashes and spaces.