If you are reading this post, you are probably considering the K1 visa for you and your fiance. The initial process for the K1 visa involves completing the form I-129F and submitting supporting documentation. This may sound fairly straight forward, but sadly many I-129F petitions fail due to inadequate supporting documentation. This checklist can be used to help you understand the types of documents that you can use to prove that you are in a legitimate relationship and reduce the likelihood of a K1 visa denial. Please note that there are many items on this list that will not apply to your particular situation. Generally, the best strategy is to gather as many documents as possible, then consult with your immigration lawyer who will advise you regarding which documents are the most persuasive. You don’t want to overwhelm the adjudicator with a mountain of paper. Instead, you just want to present a carefully curated packet that presents a concise and clear picture of two people who are involved in a legitimate relationship.
BASIC DOCUMENTATION(FOR THE I-129F)
___Copy of all of the pages of the sponsor/petitioner’s U.S. passport or certified copy of birth certificate, if born in the United States, or naturalization/citizenship certificate, if born abroad.
___Evidence that proves that you are free to marry(ie divorce decree)
___Certified copy of court records and police records(if convicted of certain convictions)
___Certified copy of beneficiary’s birth certificate(include a certified English translation if necessary)
___Two passport-style photographs each of beneficiary and petitioner.
DOCUMENTATION OF A BONA FIDE RELATIONSHIP
___Photographs of the couple within the last two years(this is used to meet the mandatory requirement that the couple has met at least once in person in the past two years)
___Written correspondence, if any, including envelopes, pertaining to your relationship
___Skype transcripts, FaceTime records, texts and phone records showing calls to one another
___Tickets and boarding passes from flights/train/bus trips to visit each other or trips taken together in the last two years. Documentation can include email confirmation, frequent flyer statements, credit card receipts, or other evidence of travel together or to visit each other
___ Signed affidavits of friends and family with knowledge of the relationship
EVIDENCE OF JOINT PROPERTY
___ bank account statements;
___ lease or deed to a home;
___ personal property receipts (for purchases);
___ auto pink slips or auto payment stubs;
___ stocks, bonds, mutual fund accounts etc.
___ life insurance showing the fiance as the beneficiary;
EVIDENCE OF INSURANCE OR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS
___ joint medical or dental insurance
___ joint auto or homeowners insurance
___ IRA, 401(k) beneficiary designation
___ prenup agreement
EVIDENCE OF WEDDING PLANS
___ affidavit or letter from clergy/judge who will marry you
___affidavit from anyone who provided premarital counseling
___ emails with vendors making arrangements
___ receipts for wedding expenses: ie. venue, clothing, food, flowers, photographs, videographer, etc.
___ sample invitations
___ receipts for engagement rings
___ receipts for engagement party
Please do not be discouraged if you are unable to produce all of the items on this list. Most of the listed items are not mandatory. The list includes multiple items in order to give you an idea of the types of evidence that can be used to convince USCIS that your relationship is real and that the K1 Visa requirements have been met. After the form I-129F(with the supporting documentation) is presented and approved, you will present your proof of a bona fide relationship for a second time during the consular process. An immigration lawyer can help you prepare a persuasive application so that you can focus on preparing for your wedding and your new life as husband and wife!