Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to send in my original birth certificate, passport, or Naturalization certificate?
Copies of these documents are sufficient. You can contact the county clerk where you were born or divorced, and get a certified copy of your birth certificate or divorce decree.
Where can I have someone to notarize my documents?
The best place is at a bank or credit union. If you do business with one of them, the services will usually be free. If not, it will usually cost you a few dollars.
Where do I need to send completed forms with supporting documents?
You or your representative need to send the I-129F
, G-325A (both copies), and all supporting documentation to the USCIS service center
having jurisdiction over YOUR place of residence. If you live outside the United States, contact the nearest American Consulate to find out where to send your completed package.
Should I send a cover letter with the I-129F package?
A cover letter is not required, but I highly recommend using one.
What is the best way to send my I-129F package?
Go to the Post Office and mail it in person using certified mail or FEDEX.
How do I know when K-1 process is "officially" started?
You will receive a "Notice of Action" (Form I-797) from the USCIS. This could take up to several weeks after you mail it. The notice will say how long it usually takes to process this kind of applications and will give you a "receipt number" (in the left upper corner) by which you can obtain "case status information" directly on line.
My Fiancee's name was spelled incorrectly on the I-797 Approval Notice. What should I do?
You or your representative need to notify the Immigration Service immediately in writing. Please, do not forget to include your name, a correct name of you fiancee and a "receipt number".
How long after the approval of the I-129F petition does my Fiancee wait to get the paperwork?
This could take a while...The USCIS (former INS) Service Centers now sends the approved petition package to the NVC (National Visa Center), for transmittal to the American Consulate nearest to your Fiancee.
Can my Fiancee come to the US to visit me once the visa process is started?
We would not recommend that, because once the initial background check was done by the Consulate, subsequent visits to the US require an additional FBI check done by the Consulate, which could result in a delay of the visa process.
When is the K1 visa actually given to my Fiancee?
This will depend on the individual consulate. Some will issue the visa immediately, but many will not. The visa is given along with a sealed envelope of documents, which must be given to the USCIS officer when entering the U.S. The visa must be used within 6 months from the date of the initial interview. The Fiancee is allowed to enter the U.S. once with the visa, with the purpose of getting married.
My alien Fiancee has been issued a K-1 visa. Can we get married abroad and then come back together to the U.S. with the K-1?
No. The alien must NOT be married when s/he enters the US on a K-1 visa. Also, if using the K-1, the couple must marry in the US within 90 days of the alien entering on the K-1.
What happens to all these papers that my Fiancee gives to the Immigration Official at the port of entry?
It is sent to the USCIS district office closest to where you will reside, which will be the office handling your case once in the USA.
Is it okay for us to go to the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico on our honeymoon without Advance Parole?
I wouldn't suggest doing so. You may have to deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to get back to the United States.
How soon after we get married should we apply for Adjustment of Status?
As soon as possible.
Where do we send the Adjustment of Status application package?
It will depend where you reside. There are four main USCIS Service Centers. You need to check which Service Center has jurisdiction over your state of residency.
Can my spouse leave the United States, and then re-enter, before receiving the Green Card (conditional permanent residency)?
The spouse cannot re-enter the US unless they have "advance parole" authorization (Form I-131). Advance parole allows you to re-enter the US before approval of Adjustment of Status. If your Fiancee leaves the U.S. without this documents while her petition for adjustment of status is still pending, her petitioner will be considered abandoned.
What should we do if we move before the interview happens?
You will need to notify USCIS right away. There are several ways to do that. You can do it on the Internet, phone or mail.
I am a Permanent Resident, not a US Citizen. Can I still use the K-3 process?
How do I prepare the I-130 package to start the process for a K-3?
Your package must contain the I-130 and supporting documentation. Make sure that you specify that your spouse will apply for a K-3 visa.
The documentation required for the I-130 is nearly the same for the I-129F petition.
I-130 Petition for Immediate Relative
G-325A Biographic Information
A copy of your birth certificate, passport, or Certificate of Naturalization (you have to prove you are a US Citizen).
A photo of yourself and spouse;
A copy of the divorce decree or death certificate (if applicable).
What notification will I receive from USCIS (INS) that my I-130 petition has been filed?
The Citizen will receive an I-797 "Notice of Action" from the USCIS (former INS). It can take several weeks. The notice will say how long it usually takes to process the applications and give you a "receipt number" in the left upper corner of the Notice, by which you can obtain "case status information" here
How long is K-3/K-4 status good for?
A K-3 status is good for two years after entry into the United States. Your status will end sooner if your marriage ends, or if K-3 holder obtains a status of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). A K-4 status is also valid for two years, unless a child turns 21, gets married, or when his/her K-3 parent becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).
Can a K-3 holder, in case of emergency, go to her home country using her K-3 visa and safely return to the United States?
Absolutely! A K-3/K-4 is a multiple entry visa, and K-3/K-4 holders may leave the United States and return back to the U.S. using the same visa. K-3/K-4 holders do not need to obtain an "advance parole" document to reenter the United States.
Is there an official web site for USCIS?
Yes. You can find a lot of helpful information for any types of visas and process at http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/index.htm