Integrity Legal

7th Jun 2009

The K-1 Application: Frequently Asked Questions

A very frequently asked question with regard to the K-1 Fiance Visa is: how do we apply for a K-1 Visa? US Immigration procedure is a somewhat difficult to understand for those who have never dealt with the application process. This post will briefly provide details about the K-1 application, where it will be filed, and use of an Immigration attorney.

A common misconception held by many American Citizens is that a visa applicant can simply apply for the K1 Visa at the US Embassy directly. It is easy to understand why people believe this particularly in light of the fact that this is essentially the procedure for obtaining a US tourist visa. In the case of K1 visas this, however, is not the case. One must first file the K-1 visa application with an office called the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, or USCIS for short. The application is then routed to the National Visa Center and remitted to the American Embassy in Bangkok.

There are so many forms, which should be used?

Many people are belabor under the myth that the US Immigration process is a very straightforward process. In reality, because US Immigration law is statute driven it can be quite complex to the point of being byzantine. The rules governing how and where things must be filed and the order in which petitions ought to be filed can be fraught with difficulty for the laymen. In the case of the K1 visa, the correct application form that should be used is the I-129f. This should not be confused with the I-129 petition form. Withing this application form, there are many questions that  a couple will need to confer about. Recent statutory changes like IMBRA and the Adam Walsh Act have created new restrictions with regard to who is allowed to petition for a K-1 visa.  The I-129f is the crux of the fiance visa application, but there are more government forms that must accompany this application along with supporting documentation that must be used to prove the legitimacy of the relationship.

Where do we file the K1 visa application?

The location that one should file a K1 application depends upon where the US Citizen’s residence in the United States is located. Another misunderstanding involves a belief that aK1 application can be filed at a local USCIS office. In most cases this is not correct. There are two Service Centers for US Citizens wishing to file a K1 application, one is in Vermont and the other is in California. The location for filing the application depends heavily upon the US Citizen’s state of residence.

Should we use an attorney to file a K-1 visa application?

Retaining the services of an attorney is a decision that each couple should decide on their own. That being said, a great deal of the administrative burden can be lifted by retaining attorney assistance. An attorney or law firm with an office in the home country of the fiancee can be even more beneficial because the attorney can deal with the fiancee’s issues at the US Embassy in real time.

(Nothing Contained herein should be thought of as an appropriatealternative to personalized legal advice from a competent attorney. No attorney/client relationship should be assumed to have been created by merely reading this post.)

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One Response to “American Visa Thailand: K-1 Visa Application”

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