K1 Fiancé Visa - Avoiding An RFE
Being a member of multiple groups on social media which focus on the K1fiance visa, CR-1 spouse visa or AOS processes, I'm seeing a disturbing increase in RFE's lately. Most of these are the result of self-filed petitions, but many (yes, many) are also using agencies or lawyers. This is disturbing to me because I've been through the process personally, and I know how disheartening it is to get any delays in bringing your significant other to the US. While there are numerous agencies and lawyers out there, theses companies are still getting RFE's for their clients, at a record pace. What this tells me is that petitions are either not being prepared professionally or accurately, or they are being submitted without adequate evidence or documentation.
The biggest thing I have seen is that the majority of these RFE's are asking for more documentation/verification of a valid relationship or identity. These are critical areas which must be addressed in your petition; failure to present this information can, and most likely will, result in either an RFE or flat-out denial.
Things that must be established, with ample proof to substantiate the petition, are:
1) Proof of identity of both parties involved; if there are K2 children, this applies to them as well. This can be addressed by including copies of passports, birth certificates, or other forms of government issued photo identification.
2) Proof that you & your fiancé are free to marry; this can be divorce/annulment papers, or, as in some countries, a certificate of no marriage (referred to as a CENOMAR in the Philippines, for example).
3) Proof of an in-person meeting at some point during the 2 years preceding the filing of the petition (K1 fiancé visa applicants); this can be established by providing pictures together, proof of travel to meet your foreign fiancé (entry/departure stamps in your passport, boarding passes, hotel receipts).
4) Proof of ongoing relationship; this can be established in part by what you provide in #3 above, but there are other things you can provide which will help validate your claim, such as remittance receipts, chat logs, video call screenshots, snail-mail letters, emails...all of these things can provide USCIS with a clear insight into your relationship.
5) Letters of Intent to Marry; these are extremely important. Not only do you (and your fiancé) have a chance to tell USCIS of your intent to marry within 90 days of arrival of the foreign fiancé, but you have a chance to tell "your story"...how you met, how your relationship grew, how you fell in love, how your lives became one, with plans for a future together. Use as much paper as necessary...type it on the computer or handwrite it if it's legible. Here's the kicker: The letters of intent to marry must be originals, signed by each party. What this means is that your foreign fiancé needs to do this early in the process, and get it in the mail to you, as it must be included in the petition.
These are only the basics which must be established in a typical K1 Fiancé Visa petition, and there is much more that goes into these petitions before they are ready to file. If you are unsure of the process, if you are unsure of your ability to get this done correctly the first time, please contact me. I have been in the business since 2004, and have handled K1 fiancé visa petitions, CR1/IR1 spouse visa petitions, and AOS all with a 100% success rate; I never fail. So the choice is simple: attempt the process yourself, hire an agency or lawyer who could fail you, or go to the one place where you will get the results you need: