The K-1 Visa, also known as the Fiancée Visa, is used by United States citizens who wish to bring their prospective spouse to the United States with the intention of getting married. The visa application procedures and policies followed by Consular Posts vary depending on the local conditions and requirements. In this article we aim to cover K-1 visa processing procedures in Moscow, Russia.
Submission of Petition
In accordance with the U.S. immigration law, I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), must be filed by the petitioner who must be a U.S. citizen. The petition is filed in the U.S. with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). U.S. Embassies and Consulates may not file or approve the petition.
Approval of Petition
The approved I-129F Petition is forwarded to the appropriate U.S. Embassy and the petitioner is notified of the petition approval by the USCIS. Approved petitions for all fiancées residing in Russia and Turkmenistan are forwarded to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. It usually takes approximately 6-8 weeks for the petition to reach the U.S. embassy in Moscow.
Administrative Processing At Moscow
As soon as the U.S. Embassy Moscow receives the Petition, a computer name check is generated. The name check takes about 16 working days. After the name check clears, the Embassy in Moscow can schedule the applicant for an interview. Currently, the period between receiving the Petition and scheduling the interview usually is 4-6 weeks. Upon receipt of the approved I-129F petition, the U.S. Embassy Moscow sends a letter and information sheet to the Beneficiary (fiancée) outlining the steps to be taken to apply for the fiancée visa.
Medical Examination And Visa Interview
Online Immigrant Visa Appointment Schedule Information on the Embassy’s website makes it possible to obtain information regarding interview dates for those already scheduled. The information can be also received by contacting the Embassy Visa Information Service.
As a pre-requisite for the Interview, the beneficiary must complete a medical examination in Moscow at an Embassy-approved medical facility. The forms and information regarding this are included in the information packet sent to the beneficiary. The medical exam would cost around $100 – $150 in ruble equivalent, depending on the clinic and it may take 30-40 hours to receive the results of the examination.
K-2 Visa For Children of Alien Fiancée
All children (under 21 years old and unmarried) of the alien fiancée classified K-1 must be listed on the K visa petition. The children must be present at the interview. A marriage certificate of the beneficiary along with the rest of the required documentation must be provided as a requisite for the child’s visa. The child accompanying the K-1 beneficiary may acquire K-2 status even after the beneficiary has married the U.S. citizen petitioner and acquired lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. The cut-off date for issuance of a K-2 visa is 1 year from the date of the issuance of the K-1 visa. After 1 year, the filing of an immediate relative or second preference immigrant visa petition would be required for the child(ren).
Note: If the immigrating parent (on K-1 visa) does not have a document showing he/she has full legal custody of the child, it may be required to submit the other parent’s notarized statement that he/she gives full consent for the child to leave Russia for permanent immigration to the U.S.
Documents Required For The Visa Interview
The fiancée and their children, if any, are required to attend the visa interview. The U.S. citizen petitioner may not attend the interview with his or her fiancée.
At the time of the interview, the beneficiary must provide:
1.Biographical form DS-230 filled out in English (part 1 and part 2). A separate form must be filled out for immigrating child over 16 years of age.
2.Completed Form DS-156 and the supplement DS-156K. A separate DS-156 must be filled out for immigrating child, however, no DS-156K is required for the immigrating child. Form DS-156K does not require any signatures.
3.A valid Passport with a photocopy of the first page.
4.Original Birth Certificate with photocopy and translation into English.
5.Police certificate in all names as well as all dates of birth that the applicants have ever used. The police certificate must contain references to each place (subject to the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation) in which the applicant lives or has lived for more than six months since the age of 16. This includes localities where applicants have lived during university studies. If the applicant was on his/her military service, he/she should bring the certificate from the local draft board. If an applicant has lived abroad for more than one year, a police certificate must also be submitted from the country where he/she lived.
6.Evidence of termination of any prior marriage: original, photocopy and translation into English (if applicable).
7.Valid passport for the accompanying child (or may be included in the parent’s passport), a birth certificate and a medical examination report. If a child is 16 years of age or over, police certificates are required.
8.One color non-glossy full-face photo 50×50 mm for visa as per the regulations. Two more photos will be required for medical examination.
9.Visa application fee of $100 (or ruble equivalent) for each applicant. The fee must be paid in cash in dollars or rubles. Under no circumstances will credit cards or personal checks be accepted for payment.
10.Documents confirming relationship: photos of Petitioner and Beneficiary together, letters to each other, phone bills, emails.
11.Results of Medical Examination in sealed envelope.
12.Financial documents from the U.S. citizen petitioner, including:
a.Most recent year tax returns (Form 1040) or tax transcripts from IRS
b.Copy of bank account
c.Earnings and leave statement
e.Letter from employer with salary information
Request For More Documents And Visa Issuance
If an applicant is required to provide additional documentation after the interview with the consular officer has taken place, the documentation may be submitted to the 221(g) box at the Embassy North Gate between 2.00PM and 4.00PM on any working day or may be mailed to the Embassy.
Once found qualified for visa issuance, alien fiancé(e) and his/her child(ren) will be issued nonimmigrant visas. K-1 and K-2 visas are valid for only one entry into the U.S. at any time within the next six months. The beneficiary also receives a visa packet to present to the immigration officials at the U.S. border. After entry to the U.S., the fiancée has 90 days to either marry the petitioner or come back to country of residence. In case the petitioner and beneficiary get married, the beneficiary may then contact USCIS to adjust status to that of legal permanent resident.
The changing policies and visa processing procedures in consular posts make it difficult to be aware of the latest policies. We at VisaPro advise our clients to check the Consulate websites prior to appearing for a visa interview. We also advise our readers to consult a VisaPro Attorney to know the latest policies and procedures being followed by any U.S. Consular Post.
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