Hey, Lyndsay here. I’ve been the one in charge of understanding how the visa process works, and I wanted to share some of that with you curious readers. Whether you’ve been through it 18 years ago (Shoutout to Cam and Jess!) or you’re considering it, or you just want to be glad you never had to deal with it, I’m going to subject you to what I had to deal with.
The K-1 visa is designed for Americans who want to bring an alien fiance to the country so the can get married. This isn’t a visa for people who are already married. You’re engaged, and you’re getting married within 90 days of the alien fiance moving to the US.
It’s a confusing process to get a handle on – even websites dedicated to making it easier don’t make it terribly easy to figure it out!
Our first step is done: The Petition for Alien Fiance. It costs $340 to file this petition, where we both prove we are who we say we are, submit official letters saying we plan to get married once I’m granted the visa and I’m in the US, send passport-style photos, and submit “proof of relationship”.
The US Government needs to know we’ve actually met up IRL before they’ll let us get married, and knowing someone at a desk in California somewhere gets to decide whether you do that.. well, you start to decide to submit a lot of proof.
- passport stamp photocopies
- plane tickets
- receipts for our rings
- receipts for other gifts we’ve exchanged
- chat screenshots
- facebook screenshots
- … anything, anything to prove we actually care about each other.
It’s a strange process, but it had its sweet moments. It was fun to see what Tom picked out as proof of our relationship, the things he thinks show how much we care about each other.
It took is about a week to put the petition together. Because it took so much work, Tom sent it with FedEx tracking so we would know when it arrived. He delivered my copy of all this paperwork that I will need for the next part of this process by hand. It’s a hefty document, and strange to assemble page upon page of declaring to total strangers that you want to marry each other.
If you’re thinking about the visa process, I definitely recommend VisaJourney! The guides and the forums are all very helpful, except the odd mad guy who blames a paperwork delay on Obama. Here’s the K-1 Visa Guide, if you’re curious about what comes next.