The K-1 Visa, also known as the Fiancé(e) Visa, is used by United States citizens who wish to bring their fiancé(e)s to the United States for the purpose of getting married. The visa application processes and policies followed by Consular Offices vary according to the local requirement. In this article we discuss the K-1 consular processing in Warsaw, Poland.
Filing The Petition
The first step in applying for a fiancé(e) visa is for the U.S. Citizen (the petitioner) to file a petition on Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office having jurisdiction over his/her place of residence in the U.S. This petition can only be filed in the U.S. and not with the U.S. Embassy.
Your fiancée must still establish eligibility to receive a K visa. Be sure to specify that the approved petition should be sent to Warsaw if your fiancée is in Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, or Poland. The U.S. Embassies in Belarus, Latvia , and Lithuania do not process fiancée visas. If your petition has been misdirected to Minsk, Riga, or Vilnius it will take several weeks before it reaches Warsaw. You do not need to contact the U.S. Embassies in Minsk, Riga, or Vilnius regarding a misdirected petition. They will automatically forward the petition to Warsaw via registered diplomatic pouch. If, however, your petition has been sent in error to Moscow or to another Foreign Service post, you should contact that post and ask them to forward the petition to Warsaw. You do not need to contact the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw with a request to retrieve your petition from another Embassy.
Approval of The Petition
All approved petitions are forwarded by the USCIS to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). USCIS also notifies the Embassy by cable of the petition’s approval if you have requested this service at the time of filing. NVC performs a name check that requires a reply from the FBI. This name check is usually completed within ten days, but some cases take substantially longer. If the beneficiary holds a Russian passport, an additional name check procedure taking one month or more is done.
NVC will notify you when they have processed the petition and they will send it to the U.S. Embassy for further processing. It takes two to three weeks for the actual approved petition and its supporting documentation to reach the Embassy.
Once the embassy receives an approved petition from NVC, they send the “Instruction Package” to the foreign national fiancé(e) (beneficiary), which explains what documents he/she must collect prior to the visa interview. The Instruction Package for applicants from Belarus and Latvia is in Russian and for applicants from Lithuania it is in English. The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw has Russian-speaking staff to ensure proper communication with applicants from Belarus, Latvia, and Lithuania. They also have the forms in Polish, Russian and in English. The Instruction Package asks the beneficiary to assemble the following documents:
- Valid passports for the beneficiary and any dependent children.
- Birth certificates for the beneficiary and any dependent children
- Proof of termination of any prior marriages, as well as proof of any prior name changes
- A police certificate from the current place of residence of the beneficiary, as well as from any place or places of residence for 1 year or more since attaining the age of 16
- Police certificate(s) for any dependent children over 16
All documents, except passports and photographs, must be submitted in single copy, with the original document bearing the appropriate seal or stamp of the issuing authority. If only the original of the birth, marriage and/or other certificates is available, the applicant may submit one photocopy thereof but must bring the original(s) with him/her to the interview for inspection by the consular officer. Any documents in a foreign language other than Polish must be accompanied by an English translation.
When your fiancée has collected all the documents specified in the Instruction Package, he/she should notify the Embassy by returning Form WRW1 (Optional Form 169) certifying that all required documents have been obtained. Form WRW1 (Optional Form 169) may be returned by fax or as an email attachment sent to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Appointment Package, which explains the medical examination process and sets an appointment date for a visa interview, is sent to the beneficiary when the embassy has received the following items:
- The actual approved petition or telegraphic notice of approval from USCIS
- Clearances from the required name checks
- A signed Form WRW1 (Optional Form 169) from the beneficiary
On an average, the first available appointment is about six to eight weeks from the time when the Embassy receives the petition.
In addition to mailing the Appointment Package, the US Embassy in Warsaw, upon request, may notify attorneys of record or interested petitioners not represented by an attorney by e-mail or ordinary mail that the Appointment Package has been sent and that an appointment date has been set. Click here to read the basic information about the Appointment Package available on the Embassy web page.
Packet-4 of the Appointment Package contains an appointment date and instructions on where to go to complete the medical examination. Applicants may have the required medical exams in Kiev or in Warsaw. The medical exams must be performed by one of the physicians identified in Packet-4.
K-1 and K-2 visa applicants are not required to submit proof of vaccinations or to undergo any vaccinations until they enter the U.S. and adjust status with the USCIS. Therefore applicants may wish to consider carrying their vaccination records with them to the United States to facilitate this process.
The medical examination fees must be paid by or on behalf of each beneficiary, regardless of age, and is non-refundable. It may be paid in U.S. dollars or Polish zloty equivalents at the current Embassy exchange rate, which is adjusted periodically. Payment made by credit card from U.S., Polish, Latvian, and Lithuanian card holders is also acceptable. Payment must be made at the Embassy at the time an application is accepted or a visa is issued.
Your fiancé(e) must also carry two passport size photographs for the medical examination. The fiancé(e) visa medical examination fee is $100.
Visa interviews are conducted by appointment only. Beneficiaries should not travel to Warsaw until they have received an appointment date from the Embassy. Applicants who appear without appointments are not interviewed. Appointment dates for K visas are posted on the Embassy web page in the first few days of each month. If your fiancé(e)’s case number appears on this listing and your fiancé(e) has the Appointment Package information available from the website, he/she may come to the Embassy even if an Appointment Package has not been received in the mail. On the date of the appointment your fiancée should come to the Immigrant Visa section of the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. The Embassy does not assign individual appointment times. Children under 14 do not need to attend the interview.
Your fiancé(e) will fill out a Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-156) in duplicate, as well as one copy of the supplement form DS-156K. Each dependent child also needs a completed Nonimmigrant Visa Application, in duplicate. Male applicants between the ages of 16 and 45 will also be required to complete Form DS-157. Original documents, not copies, must be brought to the interview. Originals of primary documents, such as birth, marriage, and death records, are returned to the applicant after the interview.
The beneficiary will be asked to present the following documents:
- Valid passports for the beneficiary and any dependent children. The passport should be valid for at least sixty days beyond the issuance date of the visa. Applicants are advised to remove any plastic sleeves/coverings from the passport.
- Birth certificates for the beneficiary and any dependent children. For applicants born in Poland only complete versions of Polish birth certificates (Odpis zupelny aktu urodzenia) are accepted. Polish “short form” of birth certificate is not acceptable.
- Proof of termination of any prior marriages of both petitioner and beneficiary, as well as evidence of any name changes.
- Police certificate(s) for the beneficiary and any dependent children over 16 years of age. If the applicant has been convicted of any crime in any country, a copy of the court record of each conviction is required.
- Medical exam results for the beneficiary and any dependent children.
- Proof of adequate financial support once in the United States to ensure that your fiancée and dependent children will not become public charge.
- Supporting documents verifying the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary.
- Two identical color photographs with white background on glossy paper. The photographs must be 5cm. sq. with the applicant facing the camera directly (both ears must be exposed); the dimensions of the facial image must measure about 30 mm from chin to top of head.
The Affidavit of Support Form I-864 is not required for K visas. However, petitioners must provide proof of adequate financial support once in the United States to ensure the applicant will not become public charges. Documentation regarding financial support can be in any form so long as it contains enough detail and information for the consular officer to conclude that the beneficiary will not become a public charge. Petitioners may submit the “old” Affidavit of Support (Form I-134) if they wish.
Your fiancé(e) is required to sign a statement regarding his or her legal capacity to marry and intention to marry. The consular officer thoroughly reviews the case to make sure that your fiancé(e) is eligible to receive a U.S. visa. They should be prepared to provide an accurate address in Poland at the time of interview and pay a fee of 29.46 Polish zlotys per person for the DHL service at the delivery. Your fiancé(e) and each dependent child pay a $100.00 non-refundable fee for machine-readable-visa on the day of the interview. This fee must be paid in cash in U.S. dollars or Polish currency, at the current exchange rate, which is subject to change without notice. If your fiancé(e) is not issued a visa, because, for example, a document is missing, he/she is given notification in writing at the time of the interview. You must review this notification before contacting the Embassy with questions about your case.
Supporting documentation, including the K petition, birth certificate, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and medical exam report is placed in a sealed envelope and given to the applicant for presentation to USCIS at the port of entry. The Embassy does not keep copies of these documents.
K-2 Visa For The Children of Fiancé(e)
Minor children (under 21) of the fiancé(e) can also travel to the United States with a K-2 visa. USCIS holds that all children of a K-1 beneficiary must be listed on the visa petition. If a child has been omitted on the petition you filed, the Embassy requires a written statement from you that you know about the child and are aware the child is or may be seeking a K-2 visa.
The eligible dependent children can travel to the United States on a K-2 visa issued within a year of the issuance of the K-1 visa to the principal beneficiary. This is true even if the K-1 beneficiary has subsequently married, provided the dependent child is still unmarried and under 21 years of age at the time of K-2 issuance. To schedule a visa interview for a dependent child, the principal applicant, the petitioner, or the child’s legal guardian must contact the Embassy at least one month prior to the requested interview date. If a dependent child of the fiancé(e) seeks to enter the United States more than one year after the fiancé(e) has received a K-1 visa, it will be necessary to file an immigrant visa petition for the child.
Issuance of Fiancé(e) Visa
Due to enhanced security regulations, visas can no longer be issued on the day of the interview. Provided everything is in order at the time of the interview, immigrant visa applicants from Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania usually receive visas the following business day. Applicants from Poland receive their visas via DHL courier service.
Contact Details of US Embassy In Warsaw
The best way to communicate with the Warsaw Embassy is by email. It is the most efficient way to reach the Warsaw Embassy and the quickest way to get answers to your questions. You can send your e-mails for fiancé(e) visa cases to: email@example.com
If you (U.S. Citizen Petitioner) have been requested to send original documents to the Embassy, you can do so by U.S. mail at the address below. It usually takes several weeks for your letter to reach the Embassy:
U.S. Embassy Warsaw/CONS
Department of State
5010 Warsaw Place
Washington, D.C. 20521-5010
Documents can also be sent by international mail or courier service to the following street address:
Immigrant Visa Section Ul. Piekna 12
To avoid any sort of inconvenience, we at VisaPro advise our clients to check the Embassy’s website prior to appearing for a visa interview. The ever-changing timelines, policies and visa processing procedures at the U.S. Consulates make it difficult to be aware of the latest policies. You may also consult a VisaPro Attorney to know the latest policies and procedures being followed by any U.S. Consular Post to ensure an error-free processing of your visa application.
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