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Do I have to meet my fiance before starting the process of a…

Customer Question
Do I have to...

Do I have to meet my fiance before starting the process of a fiancee visa and how long will it take I am from the USA and He is from Pakistan, we have tried to see each other but it's really hard for him to get a visa to visit any where right now.

Lawyer's Assistant: What is your official status? Do you have any pending applications or petitions with USCIS?

No I am a U.S. citizen born and raised here

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No I tried contacting a few but none of them do immigration and had no idea at all how to proceed for a fiancee visa

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I am not Pakistani lol not sure what else the need to know

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Immigration Law
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12/12/2017
Immigration Lawyer: KLAW, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
KLAW
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Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,928
Experience: I have over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate law, finance, consumer credit, landlord tenant, and business law.
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Hello and welcome to Just Answer. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site, the answers are for general information. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

A little background. The fiance visa (K-1) is issued to the fiancé of a U.S. citizen, allowing that person to enter the United States. Once the foreign fiancé enters the United States, he or she can marry the U.S. citizen and then, if desired, apply for a green card under the immediate relative category.

You must start off the process by filing United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé. This, and other forms, are available from the USCIS website. (Click the "Forms" tab, and then scroll down by number.)

Take a look at this instructional page for tips on completing the form.

In addition to Form I-129F, the U.S. citizen will need to fill out and submit Form G-325A Biographic Information, and provide proof of U.S. citizenship and evidence of your courtship and meeting within the last two years. The citizen will also need to pay the visa petition fee.

Once the petition is submitted, USCIS will review it for completeness. Assuming the citizen didn't forget to include something, he or she will, within a few weeks, receive a Form I-797 Notice of Action acknowledging receipt of the petition. After that, USCIS will do a full review, and hopefully approve the petition and send the U.S. citizen petitioner an approval notice.

USCIS then forwards the petition to the National Visa Center for conducting background checks and sending the fiance some visa application forms to be filled out. Once the background checks are completed and the fiance has filled out and returned these forms to the appropriate destination, the file is transferred to the U.S. embassy or consulate having jurisdiction over the fiancé’s place of residence. The embassy will then send the fiance instructions for gathering additional documents, getting photographs made, having a medical exam done, and more. For an overview of the visa requirements, see our article on the steps involved.

The last step in the process is for the fiance to attend an interview at the U.S. consulate. This doesn't happen on a walk-in basis -- the consulate will send an appointment notice.

At the interview, the fiance visa may be approved -- though it's likely that the actual visa issuance will be delayed a few days after the interview, pending final security checks.

This entire process from date of filing of the petition till the transfer of the file to the U.S. consulate tends to take at least six months. The approval of the I-129F alone was taking four to six months in 2017.

You must have met your fiancée face to face (not via Skype or over the computer) and also in person within the last two years. In certain instances waivers to this requirement may be available. However, these are not easy to obtain. For example, you may be able to get a waiver to this face to face requirement based on medical or religious reasons. Not being able to afford to visit your fiancé in person is generally not an acceptable reason for a waiver to this requirement to be granted by USCIS.

The meeting requirement is strictly enforced and a couple applying for the K1 visa should not take for granted the need for physical proof that they have met during the required time. Unfortunately, receiving a waiver or bypass on the requirement is a difficult task because exceptions are rarely made. For cases where it might be possible tend to be for cases where it would be physically impossible for the U.S. citizen to meet the fiance due to severe physical disability due to their medical condition.

U.S. Immigration law states that “if it is established that compliance would result in extreme hardship to the petitioner or that compliance would violate strict and long-established customs of the K-1 beneficiary’s foreign culture or social practice, as where marriages are traditionally arranged by the parents of the contracting parties and the prospective bride and groom are prohibited from meeting subsequent to the arrangement and prior to the wedding day.” INA § 214.2(k)(2). Waivers such as these are rarely granted by the USCIS because so few couples have been able to meet the stringent requirement of extreme hardship. For instance, being incarcerated or an inability to travel due to parole or a court order does not necessarily reaches the level of extreme hardship for the petitioner. Nonetheless, each case is evaluated on a case by case basis.

Due to the fact that extreme hardship is generally interpreted by the USCIS to mean something very close to “physically impossible,” it is generally available only to people who are so disabled that they can’t fly at all. As for the latter waiver, very few people qualify for this exception and those that do often have a difficult time proving it to the government’s satisfaction that meeting would violate a cultural norm or societal custom. In light of the advent of online technology, social media and dating websites, meeting the two year meeting requirement may be more and more difficult to fulfill.

So, unless you arrange a meeting it is virtually impossible to have the fiancee visa granted by waiver.

It was a pleasure assisting you today, and I would appreciate if you would rate my service, so I will receive credit and payment for my work. After you rate the question you can ask follow up questions, and you will not be charged any additional money for the follow-up questions.

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Immigration Lawyer: KLAW, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
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