Hello, everyone! In case you don’t know yet, I had been in a long-distance relationship for five years and now it’s over. Because, I’m now with the love of my life. 🙂 Yes, you heard it right! We finally closed the gap! He is from the United States and I’m from the Philippines. We undertook the K-1 Visa (also known as Fiance Visa) process and we’re now happily married! ❤
Of course, it’s not an easy process but it’s worth it. I am writing this post for people who are currently or will be taking the same process. I also used to search for others’ stories and experiences for some encouragement. One of the blogs that helped me a lot is mrspresson.com. Make sure to check out her site because everything you need to know about K1 Visa is in there!
K1 Visa will allow a United States citizen to petition for his/her fiance given that they will get married within 90 days of the foreign fiance’s arrival.
Every K1 Visa story is unique, so here’s mine. (or Read: LDR Blues: How It All Began)
October 1, 2014 – Filed I-129F. The first paperwork we prepared and submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
October 7, 2014 – Received Notice of Action 1 (text).
October 10, 2014 – Received Notice of Action 1 (mail).
October 30, 2014 – Request for Evidence (RFE). This was a little bump in our process. USCIS requested for more evidences proving that we really saw each other within two years prior to our application. We sent out more evidences like my then-fiance’s copy of passport stamps, hotel reservations, etc.
November 17, 2014 – USCIS received the documents we submitted.
December 22, 2014 – Case was approved. Hurrah!
January 23, 2015 – We got our MNL case number from National Visa Center.
February 6, 2015 – Paid Visa fee at Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).
March 23 – 24, 2015 – Medical Exam at St. Luke’s Extension Clinic. This usually takes two days. I was able to get there at around 8:00 am. Some really go there as early as 4:00 am (or even earlier). The waiting is longer than the exam itself.
April 17, 2015 – My K1 Visa Interview at US Embassy Manila. I originally scheduled my interview appointment on March 30. However, the package that my then-fiance sent me (the documents with his Affidavit of Support, etc) got lost in the mail. He sent another one and I rescheduled my interview to April 17. I was so nervous. The Filipino consulate questioned why my then-fiance only visited me once in the Philippines. I told him that it was not our plan to apply for the visa last October. He was supposed to just visit me again but we thought, we might as well just use the money for the petition papers so we can now be together for good and not just for a few weeks. We last saw each other on November 2012. He said it’s already more than two years and it’s required that we’ve seen each other within the last two years. I told him that it’s should be prior to the I-129F application and not the interview.
According to Mrs. Presson, it was a large bullet that I dodged because it’s kind of an unadvertised requirement to meet the fiance within two years prior to the interview. Some were declined because of it.
A little tip: Don’t be intimidated by Filipino consulates. I think they just try to test you.
The American consulate who interviewed me was nicer. He was always smiling. He asked me how my then-fiance and I met and the last time we saw each other. He looked at our pictures together. But he was searching for one more thing: the passport copy with the Philippine arrival and departure stamps. It was not on the system. I searched it in the documents I have with me but it’s not there as well. He told me that I should submit that first and then I would get the decision afterwards. He didn’t even ask about the affidavit of support.
I was given a 221(g) letter which is a form directing me to submit additional documents. I told my then-fiance about it right away and sent me a copy of his passport. The same day, I went to Mall of Asia and printed it out at one of the computer shops there and then went straight ahead to 2Go Courier Service to send in the package to the US Embassy.
April 20, 15 – 221(g) documents were delivered to the US Embassy. I sent the documents on a Friday afternoon so I had to wait until Monday for them to be delivered.
April 22, 15 – Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) status changed to Ready at 2PM then AP (Final Processing) at 5PM. I checked the status on-line every hour everyday.
April 24, 15 – CEAC status changed to ISSUED!
April 28, 15 – Visa ready for pick-up.
April 29, 15 – Visa on hand.
May 8, 2015 – Attended Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Seminar. You cannot leave the Philippines even when you have your Visa already unless you attended this seminar. You will be given a certificate and a sticker for your passport as proof that you really attended it.
More tips: 1.)Make sure to book for an appointment first on-line because they don’t accept walk-ins. 2.) Be on time. I was only 5 minutes late but they didn’t accept me anymore. You have to be an hour and a half earlier because you have to fill-out a long form before the start of the seminar. Some of the forms are available on-line and you can fill it out before going there. Anyways, I originally scheduled my seminar on May 5, but because I was late, I had to reschedule it and the earliest date with available slots was May 8. If you’re set to leave the Philippines the same day or even on the next day of your seminar appointment, then you come late, you’re gonna have a problem. So don’t be late!
May 18, 2015 – My then-fiance went to the Philippines to pick me up and propose to me. Well, formally, he finally put a ring on my finger. 🙂
May 26, 2015 – Went to the United States of America.
July 8, 2015 – Got married.
August 10, 2015 – Mailed my Adjustment of Status application.
August 17, 2015 – USCIS received my papers.
Present – Still waiting for further instructions.
So, there ya go. I’m still not free from paperwork but I’m pretty confident that we can do this and so are you!
Any tips or experiences to share? Are you also in LDR? Let’s talk! 🙂