The K-1 visa, also known as the fiancée visa, is meant for the foreign nationals who want get married to their U.S. citizen fiancées resident in the U.S. The fiancée visa procedures and policies differ from consulate to consulate depending upon the requirements and needs. In this article, we discuss the consular processing of fiancée visa in the U.S. Consulate at Vancouver, Canada.
The Consulate in Vancouver processes fiancé(e) cases for citizens of Canada, or aliens who are permanent residents. Individuals in Canada on student and/or employment authorization are considered on a case-by-case basis. Such individuals must be authorized to remain in Canada for a continuous minimum period of six months (from the time the approved petition is received at the Consulate). Applicants must also be residing in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon or the Northwest Territories. All other applicants in Canada are processed at the U.S. Consulate in Montreal.
Filing The Petition
According to the U.S. Immigration Law, only a U.S. citizen can file for a Fiancée Visa Petition. The U.S. Fiancée petitioner needs to file the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancée to the USCIS Service center, which has jurisdiction over his place of residence. The applications must be mailed to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the U.S. After approval, the USCIS forwards the entire packet to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC then electronically transfers the approval and forwards the approved petition to Vancouver Consulate for processing.
How Can You Expedite Your Petition?
The petitioner may expedite the petition by:
- Listing a U.S. civilian contact address, as well as an overseas mail address, if applicable;
- Listing ALL children of the beneficiary, living or dead, regardless of their location, and attaching copies of their birth certificates;
- Explaining, in detail, the circumstances of the initial meeting and following courtship, using extra sheets as necessary;
- Attaching evidence of an on-going relationship, e.g. transportation tickets, travel orders, letters, telephone bills, photographs;
- Providing documentary evidence of the petitioner’s U.S. citizenship and of the legal termination of any prior marriage of either party; and
- Enclosing the appropriate petition filing fee
Generally it takes the USCIS a minimum of 6 weeks to adjudicate the I-129F petition.
Approval of Petition
After the approval of the I-129F package, the USCIS notifies the petitioner and forwards the entire package to the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver. After receiving the package the consulate sends out the list of forms and instructions to the beneficiary. The fiancé (e) visa process is currently taking approximately six months to a year from the time the petition is filed until the time a visa can be approved.
K-2 Visa For Children of Alien Fiancée
Unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to derive status from the fiancé (e) visa petition filed on behalf of their parent; their name(s) should be included in the petition.
Consular Processing In Vancouver
After preliminary administrative processing, the U.S. Consulate, Vancouver releases a packet of instructions to the beneficiary with detailed instructions on the documentation regarding the procedure to arrange for the medical examination, and how to set up an appointment for the visa interview. The package contains the following forms:
1.DS-230 Part I – Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration
This needs to be filled out and returned to the Consulate immediately
2.DS-156 – Non-immigrant Visa Application
The foreign citizen fiancée needs to fill this form in duplicate and carry it to the Interview
3.DS-156K – Non-immigrant Fiancé (e) Visa Application
The foreign citizen fiancée needs to fill this form and carry it to the interview. Please DO NOT SIGN this form
4.OF-167 – Sponsor’s Responsibility under the Social Security Act
This needs to be filled out and signed by the U.S. Citizen Petitioner
5.List of Medical Doctors
This needs to be returned to Consulate once all documents required are obtained. Once the Consulate receives your checklist, they will issue the Interview date
The details and place of medical examination will be mentioned in the packet issued by the U.S. Consulate, Vancouver. The cost of the medical examination is around $275 (varies by Doctor). The applicants (Foreign citizen fiancée and accompanying dependents) also need to go through the vaccinations, which bears an extra charge if required. The results of the examination are generally received in 4-7 days.
Personal Interview At The Consulate
On the day of the appointment, applicants must appear in person, together with any dependent children who are approved beneficiaries on the fiancé (e) visa petition. Applicants must bring originals of all documents requested below, and 100 U.S. dollars cash in exact change per applicant. If approval is granted, the fiancée visa is generally issued within two workdays.
Documents Required For The Interview
1.Passport – The passport must have at least 6 months validity beyond the issuance date of the visa.
2.Medical Examination – You will need to arrange for a medical examination prior to your interview. You will have to wait until you have received the Packet 3 before you can arrange for this medical examination, as you will need to have your Consulate Case Number at the time of the Medical Examination.
3.Birth Certificate – A certified copy of the beneficiary’s birth certificate will be required at the interview. In Canada, the Long Form Birth Certificate is what you will need; this certificate also lists your parents’ names.
4.Marriage Certificate – A certified copy will be required if you have previously been married.
5.Divorce and Death Certificates – A certified copy will be required to prove termination of previous marriage(s).
6.Police Certificate – A police certificate from the police authorities of each locality, where you have resided for 6 months or more since attaining the age of 16 will be required. An RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Clearance will cover all of Canada and will be all you need if you have resided in Canada since the age of 16. The RCMP Clearances are only valid for 6 months.
7.Court or Prison Records – Persons convicted of a crime must obtain a certified copy of each court record and any prison record.
8.Photographs – Five passport size photos will be required, three for the medical exam and two for the Consulate.
9.Evidence of Relationship – You may be asked to submit proof of a valid fiancé/fiancée relationship. You must carry with you letters, photographs, or other evidence of your engagement.
10.Evidence of Support – Evidence that you will not become a public charge in the USA:
a.Affidavit of Support Form I-134
b.Statement of your employer on business stationary showing:
i. Date and nature of employment
ii. Salary paid
iii. Whether position is temporary or permanent
c.Statement from an officer from your bank showing:
i.Date account opened
ii.Total amount deposited for the past year
d.Tax Transcripts, at least 3 years worth – Not specifically requested unless Self-employed (but sometimes asked for at the Interview, good to have them on hand just in case)
The fiancé (e) needs to notify the consulate in writing that he/she has obtained the necessary documentation required for the visa interview. The consulate will then notify the date of the interview appointment. At the U.S. Consulate, Vancouver, appointments are generally available from 2-4 weeks from the time of notification by the beneficiary
Reaching The U.S. On K-1 Visa
Once the fiancé(e) enters the U.S. on K visa, he/she must marry the petitioner within 90 days. The fiancé(e) visa entitles the applicant to make only one entry into the U.S., and it must be used within six months. A fiancé(e) entering the U.S. must carry the passport containing the visa, the sealed packet of documents provided by the Consulate at the time of the visa interview, and the chest x-ray provided at the time of the medical examination.
After the marriage, the applicant must submit the marriage certificate to the local USCIS office and apply for an adjustment of status in the United States from K to permanent resident. Current processing time for adjustment is anywhere from 6 months to 3 years
Contacting The U.S. Consulate, Vancouver
Vancouver Consulate does not accept phone inquiries on fiancé (e) visa matters. The enquiries can be made by mail, e-mail or fax. For e-mail inquiries, the address is vancouverK@state.gov. For any other issues or information, you may contact the consulate by phone at 604-685-4311, or by fax at 604-685-7175.
To avoid any sort of inconvenience, we at VisaPro advise our clients to check the Consulate’s website prior to appearing for a visa interview. The ever-changing time lines, policies and visa processing procedures at the U.S. Consulates make it difficult to be aware of the latest policies. 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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