Category Archives: Visa

Sample Petition cover letter for R1 visa application

We have covered in previous articles the steps involved in applying for an R1 American visa. The basic requirements include specific documentation from the sponsoring religious body (church or other institution) where the applicant will be employed for the duration of his stay.

These include determination letters from the IRS establishing that they are a bona fide non-profit religious organization recognized as tax-exempt; documents showing the religious worker will be compensated for work done in cash or kind; and other ancillary documents where applicable such as tax returns, etc.

We also stated that the applicant himself must provide certain requirements as well on his own end. These include filling out a Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form; having a valid travel passport; paying the necessary visa application fees and visa issuance fees where applicable.

Who can File a Petition?

Generally, A U.S. employer (which in this case is a religious organization) may file this form and applicable supplements to classify an alien in any nonimmigrant classification listed (See Part 1. or Part 2 of the Instructions for Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, USCIS Form I-129  https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-129instr.pdf)

Why a Cover Letter?

The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to an organization. In this case, it is used to introduce the petitioner to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and provide a breakdown of all relevant documents accompanying the letter and petition (Form I-129).

Note: Form I-129 is a separate form from the cover letter, which should be FILLED IN by the petitioner with the necessary information. This form is used by an employer to petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an alien beneficiary to come temporarily to the United States as a nonimmigrant to perform services or labor, or to receive training. Form I-129 consists of the: 1. Basic petition; 2. Individual supplements relating to specific classifications; and 3. H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement (required for H-1B and H-1B1 classifications only)

What Should the Cover Letter Include?

  • The cover letter should be dated.
  • If written by a representing attorney, the letter should be written on the appropriate letterhead.
  • It should be addressed to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and attention the I-129 Division.
  • It should be properly headed RE: PETITION FOR _____
  • The petitioner’s name and Beneficiary’s name (i.e the religious worker) should also be clearly identified.
  • A list of the necessary enclosed documents should be listed: The Form I-129. Evidence of the institution’s tax-exempt status. If the religious worker i.e the Beneficiary, will be working as a minister, a copy of the religious worker’s certificate of ordination or similar documents must be provided. Also needed are documents showing acceptance of the religious worker’s qualification as a minister in the religious denomination, as well as evidence that he or she completed any course of prescribed theological education at an accredited theological institution normally required or recognized by that religious denomination. If the denomination doesn’t require academic qualifications, they must provide their requirements to be ordained as a minister and show a list of duties performed by same. Evidence of payment of necessary fees.

 

An example of a cover letter is as follows:

John Doe, Esq.

John Doe & Co.,

123 Sycamoure Avenue, Townsville, FL.

(555) 3678198; FAX: (555) 0910910

www.johndoe@zmail.com

May 30, 2018

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services California Service Center,

Attention: I-129 Unit,

P.O. Box 123, PA 12345-1234.

RE: PETITION for R-1 NONIMIGRANT RELIGIOUS WORKER

Petitioner: Rev. James Smith, Rev-in-Charge, Latterhouse Ecumenical Bible Centre.

Beneficiary: Mr. Abel Bean.

Dear Sir,

The above subject matter refers. I am the attorney for the petitioner and beneficiary in the above matter. Please find Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney, attached and enter my appearance in this matter.

The following applications and documentation have been enclosed:

  1. Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), with R Classification Supplement, and a check in the amount of $320.00;
  2. Petitioner’s Letter in support of R-1 visa petition describing Beneficiary’s religious affiliation, qualifications, duties, and remuneration;
  3. Letter from the State of Colorado Franchise Tax Board recognizing tax exempt status of Latterhouse Ecumenical Bible Centre;
  4. Supporting letter from Reverend George Doe of the Lutheran Episcopal Church of Nigeria, confirming Beneficiary’s ordination as a full-time Minister of the Lutheran Church, and also outlining his duties and remuneration, and relation of the Latterhouse Ecumenical Centre to the Lutheran Episcopal Church of Nigeria.
  5. Supporting letter from Reverend George Doe of the Lutheran Episcopal Church of Nigeria, confirming Beneficiary’s position as Secretary as well prior position of Assistant Secretary of the Lutheran Episcopal Church of Nigeria, Abuja Diocese,
  6. Ordination Certificate of the Beneficiary as a full-time minister of the Lutheran Episcopal Church of Nigeria.
  7. Copy of Beneficiary’s Certificate from Theological College of Northern Nigeria;
  8. A copy of the Beneficiary’s birth certificate;
  9. Copy of Beneficiary’s Passport Identification page.

We urgently entreat your speedy processing of this petition so as to enable the Beneficiary’s arrival in the United States at the soonest possible time to resume his duties as his presence is urgently needed for the smooth running of the official activities of the Petitioning body’s calendar year, which have already started.

Please contact me immediately if there are omissions or other required information not already included in this conveyance. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance.

Yours faithfully,

John Doe, Esq.

 

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R2 Visa: What it is and how to get it.

A visa is an endorsement made on your passport that allows you to enter or stay in a country for a specific period of time. Generally, foreign nationals wishing to enter the United States of America must obtain a visa. The R2 Visa is just one of many visas available to non-us citizens.

There are different types of visas. There are long-term and short-term stay visas. Visas also come in categories, depending on the kind of traveler you are and your reason for traveling.

Travelers wishing to enter another country must generally apply in advance sometimes in person at a consular office, by mail or over the internet. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

Types of Visas for U.S Travel

In the U.S, the visa directory is alphabetized from A to V, with each letter representing a category or type. For instance, A1-3 visas are issued to diplomats and foreign government officials. F-1 visas are most commonly granted to international students to study in the U.S. This type of visa is given to individuals who have been accepted into an accredited university or college in the US to pursue academic studies or English language program.

There are mainly two types of immigration visas: Non-immigrant visas for a temporary stay in the country and Immigrant visas for a permanent stay in the country. There are over 60 types of non-immigrants visas available for international citizens.

What is an R2 Visa?  

We have previously talked about theR1 visa. What it is and how to get it. (insert link to R1 article) Incidental to that is the R2 visa.

An R2 visa is a US temporary visa that authorizes the spouse and unmarried child (below 21 years) of an R1 visa holder to enter into the United States. Also, a person accompanying or joining the R-1 religious worker in the U.S is categorized under R2 status. The R2 status holder(s) can stay in the country as long as the R1 holder remains in legal status. In other words, an individual loses his/her R-2 status once the principal R-1 person loses lawful status.

We’ve said before that the R1 visa is a non-immigrant religious work visa issued to the following types of people-

Members of religious a group or community who have an authentic nonprofit, religious institute in the United States;

Aliens entering the US to work exclusively as the minister of a religious community or group;

US nonprofit religious organizations that recruit alien religious workers in various religious vocations, including religious instructors, liturgical workers, missionaries, catechists, etc.

What can I do on an R2 Visa?     

With an R2 visa, are permitted to study while in the United States, but are not authorized to accept employment. Under any circumstances, people with this visa are not allowed to earn income in the US. If you wish to work in the country, you must obtain a work visa which is a temporary approval to live and work in the country. You may also apply for a Green Card while on R2 status.

Anyone wishing to change the purpose of their visit while resident in the US on an R2 visa has to change or adjust their visa status. For this purpose, the R2 visa holder must file Form I-360 (application for special immigrant) and Form I-485 (application for Adjustment of Status).

How long does the R2 Visa last?

The initial R-2 visa may be granted for a period of up to three years. If the carrier wishes to stay longer, they can apply for an extension in which case, the applicant must submit Form I-129 (petition for a nonimmigrant worker extension) to the USCIS.  USCIS is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services- the federal agency tasked with overseeing the lawful immigration of foreign nationals who are temporarily or permanently settling in the United States.

Generally, a person’s stay may be extended for a period of up to two years. The total period of stay for a person holding R2 dependent visa may not exceed five years.

Who can Sponsor an R2 visa?    

The holder of an R1 visa is able to sponsor family members (a spouse and up to 4 dependent children under 21) or other persons accompanying, by virtue of his status.

How do I apply for an R2 visa?

There are various steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you will apply.

Generally though you need the following.

  • Fill out a Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. You can access it here.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.
  • You will upload your photo while completing the online form DS-160. All photos must be in a particular format specified on the website.
  • A receipt showing payment of your US$190 non-refundable nonimmigrant visa application processing fee, paid in local currency. If a visa is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, depending on your nationality. Check the embassy’s website in your country to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.
  • The applicant must schedule an appointment for the visa interview at the Embassy/Consulate. While interviews are generally not required for applicants of certain ages, consular officers have the discretion to require an interview of any applicant, regardless of age. 

Additionally, a person applying for an R2 visa must have the following documents-

  • All documents required for the R-1 visa they want to attach to. (Read How to get R1 visa)
  • Original birth certificates for each dependent child. Note: children must be below 21 years old and unmarried.
  • Marriage registration certificate of the spouse.
  • Proof of a marital relationship, such as wedding ceremony photos, etc.
  • A fine quality photocopy (all 36 pages) or the original of the spouse’s passport.
  • Evidence of financial support. This is very important as an R1 holder must demonstrate that they will be able to financially support their family in the United States. Remember, R2 holders are allowed to study while in the United States, but are not authorized to accept employment.
  • The copy of the contract between the employer and the R1 religious worker in the US.

When the visa is approved you, will be informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you. Review the visa processing time, to learn how soon your passport with visa will generally be ready for pick-up.

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R1 Visa: What it is and how to get it.

Generally, foreign nationals wishing to enter the United States of America must obtain a visa. A visa is an endorsement made on your passport that allows you to enter or stay in a country for a specific period of time. An R1 Visa is just one of many US Visa types.

There are different types of visas. There are long-term and short-term stay visas. Visas also come in categories, depending on the kind of traveler you are and your reason for traveling.

Travelers wishing to enter another country must generally apply in advance sometimes in person at a consular office, by mail or over the internet. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

Types of Visas for U.S Travel

In the U.S, the visa directory is alphabetized from A to V, with each letter representing a category or type. For instance, A1-3 visas are issued to diplomats and foreign government officials. F-1 visas are most commonly granted to international students to study in the U.S. This type of visa is given to individuals who have been accepted into an accredited university or college in the US to pursue academic studies or English language program.

There are mainly two types of immigration visas: Non-immigrant visas for a temporary stay in the country and Immigrant visas for a permanent stay in the country. There are over 60 types of non-immigrants visas available for international citizens.

What is an R1 Visa?      

An R1 visa is the non-immigrant visa for religious workers and clergy. You have to be sponsored by a non -profit entity of your religion, along with documents showing your credentials for the position. This visa allows religious workers, that is, persons working in the religious vocation or occupation to work in the U.S. for a period up to 5 years.

An R-1 candidate is a foreign national who is coming to the United States temporarily to work as a minister or in another religious vocation or occupation at least part time,- which is an average of at least 20 hours per week.

Bodies that can sponsor such visas are:

  • A non-profit religious organization in the United States;
  • A religious organization that is authorized by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption; or
  • A non-profit religious organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.

What can I do on an R1 Visa?  

You can engage in full time study, get paid for services rendered, apply for a green card or an R2 dependent visa for a spouse or for children under 21 years of age, and travel in and out of the U.S. There are no travel restrictions on the R1 visa.

How long does it last?

An R-1 visa is issued for an initial period of up to 30 months. This can be extended for an additional 30 months. Your total period of stay in the United States in R-1 classification as a religious worker cannot exceed five years (60 months).

Who can Sponsor an R1 visa?    

Churches and organizations can be sponsors. In order to sponsor an R-1 visa, the body must be a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the U.S, which is exempt from taxation as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or a religious organization that has never sought such exemptions, but would otherwise be eligible for such status.

This visa program is intended for religious workers whose lives are dedicated to religious practices and functions, as distinguished from secular members of the religion.

How do I apply for an R1 visa?

An R-1 visa petition must first be submitted in the United States by the petitioning organization regardless of whether or not the individual being sponsored is inside or outside the United States.

If you are already in the United States in a valid non-immigrant status, you may apply to “change status” as part of the petition.

If you are outside of the US, you will have to apply for an R-1 visa stamp at a United States Consulate abroad after the R-1 petition has been approved.

To qualify, the foreign national must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately before the filing of the petition.

A prospective or existing U.S. employer (petitioner) must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, on behalf of foreign nationals (beneficiary) seeking to enter the United States as a nonimmigrant minister, or a religious worker in a religious vocation or occupation.

An R-1 visa cannot be issued at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad without prior USCIS approval of Form I-129. This process allows USCIS to review the petition to determine whether the petitioning organization and the beneficiary have met their respective eligibility requirements for this nonimmigrant classification (R1).

* USCIS is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services- the federal agency tasked with overseeing the lawful immigration of foreign nationals who are temporarily or permanently settling in the United States.

On approval of the petition, the embassy/consulate will then determine whether the foreign national is eligible to receive the R-1 nonimmigrant visa.

What documents are needed?

The petitioner must provide other documentation including-

  • A valid determination letter from the IRS establishing that they are a bona fide non-profit religious organization recognized as tax-exempt under a group tax exemption.
  • Where a petitioning organization is not classified under “religious organizations” by the Internal Revenue Service, they may establish that they are affiliated with a religious denomination by completing the Religious Denomination Certification in the revised Form I-129. The religious denomination certification should be signed by an organization other than the petitioning organization, and attest that the petitioning organization is part of the same religious denomination as the attesting organization. For instance, a branch of the Lutheran church must certify that another branch is actually part of the greater body- e.g the Lutheran World Federation.

They must also present, like in the first example-

  • A currently valid determination letter from the IRS establishing that the organization is tax-exempt, in addition to
  • documents establishing the religious nature and purpose of the organization,
  • organizational literature describing the religious purpose and nature of the activities of the organization, and
  • A religious denomination certification stating that the petitioning organization is affiliated with the religious denomination.
  • Proof of compensation. Religious workers generally must be compensated. Compensation may include either salaried or non-salaried compensation. Evidence showing how the organization will compensate the religious worker may include:
  • Past evidence of compensation for similar positions;
  • Budgets showing money set aside for salaries, leases, etc.;
  • Evidence that room and board will be provided to the religious worker.
  • If available, IRS documents such as the religious worker’s Form W-2 or certified tax returns must be provided. *A W-2 form is the form that an employer must send an employee and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the end of the year showing an employee’s annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld from his or her paycheck. If the documents are not available, an explanation is required and comparable, verifiable documentation must be provided.

The foreign national or beneficiary must also provide the following-

  • Fill out a Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. You can access it at www.travel.state.gov.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.
  • You will upload your photo while completing the online form DS-160. All photos must be in a particular format specified on the website.
  • A receipt showing payment of your US$190 non-refundable nonimmigrant visa application processing fee, paid in local currency. If a visa is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, depending on your nationality. The US Department of State’s website can help you find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.
  • The receipt number printed on your approved I-129 petition.
  • Proof of membership of a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the U.S for at least two years immediately before filing for the visa.
  • If the religious worker will be working as a minister, a copy of the religious worker’s certificate of ordination or similar documents must be provided. Also needed are documents showing acceptance of the religious worker’s qualification as a minister in the religious denomination, as well as evidence that he or she completed any course of prescribed theological education at an accredited theological institution normally required or recognized by that religious denomination. If the denomination doesn’t require academic qualifications, they must provide their requirements to be ordained as a minister and show a list of duties performed by same.
  • The applicant must schedule an appointment for the visa interview at the Embassy/Consulate. A non-refundable visa application fee of $160 must be paid before the interview, and an issuance fee may be paid upon approval of the visa.

Who is a Minister?

You can be classified as a minister of religion if you are authorized by a religious denomination and fully trained according to the denomination’s standards to conduct religious worship and to perform other duties usually performed by authorized members of the clergy of that denomination. Ministers include pastors, reverends, priests, etc. People with religious vocations or occupations also qualify for R1 status such as nuns, monks. Other examples of religious occupations are liturgical workers, religious instructors, religious counselors, cantors, catechists, workers in religious hospital or religious health care facilities, missionaries, religious translators or broadcasters.  The applicant must be able to show their relevant status within the religious organization.

Caution: Working within a religious facility does not, in itself, qualify a lay person for R-1 classification. Your duties must be related to a traditional religious function. Such duties do not include positions that are mainly administrative or support staff. Examples of occupations that would NOT qualify are janitors, maintenance workers, clerks, and fund raisers. The job must have a “religious significance”. However, limited administrative duties that are incidental to the religious workers’ functions are permissible.

Note: religious study or training for religious work does not constitute a religious occupation for purposes of seeking R1 status, but a religious worker may pursue study or training incident to status.

 

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K3 VISA process

K3 Visa Process

The importance of family cannot be overemphasized. However, most people do not realize or admit it until they are stuck on the other part of the world and have to pay the much-needed price of the K3 visa process in order to see their ‘other-half’

But this article is hardly about the melancholic realization that you under-value your family; it will  provide you with valuable insights to waddle through the K3 visa process.

What is a K3 Visa?

A K3 visa is a US spouse visa that allows visa applicants to enter and reside in the U.S. as non-immigrants until they obtain their immigrant visa. Rather than waiting abroad for the immigrant processing, and entering the U.S as an immigrant, the K3 visa entitles spouses of U.S citizen or immigrants to enter as a non-immigrant.

The purpose of this visa is to lessen likely-hood of an elongated separation between a US citizen/ or permanent resident and their foreign based spouse.

What Kind of ‘Spouse’ is Eligible for the K3?

Only spouses recognized by American law are considered eligible for a K3 visa. According to US immigration laws, same-sex spouses of U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents are now eligible for the immigration benefits that the K3 visa entitles.

While common law spouses may be considered recognized, merely living together does not qualify a marriage for immigration, and in the case of polygamy, only the first spouse is considered eligible.

Quite simply, the K3 visa is for the foreign based spouse of a United States citizen, or a green card holding resident and immigrant. To be granted this visa, the foreign citizen who marries a U.S citizen outside the U.S. must apply for the K3 visa in the country where the marriage took place.

Requirements to Commence the K3 Visa Process

For the most part, the significant part of the K3 visa process is documentation. So besides having a one-half of your ‘couple’ a US citizen or legal permanent resident, you need a few documents and forms with which to begin the K3 visa process. They include –

  • Civil documents, including – Birth certificate, Marriage certificate (to your current spouse), divorce or death certificate, and police certificates.
  • Valid passport
  • Medical examination report.
  • A completed nonimmigrant visa application – otherwise called a Form DS-160.
  • Evidence of relationship with the U.S. citizen spouse
  • Two 2×2 photographs
  • Proof of financial solvency
  • Evidence of payment of visa fees.

The K3 Visa Process

In order to proceed, take some time to study the international marriage broker regulation act of 2005 (IMBRA) and learn its requirements,

Step one:

The K3 visa process often begins with filing the petitions required. To begin with, the U.S citizen spouse must file a Form 1-130 on behalf of their non-citizen spouse. Submit the form with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Step two:

In exchange for the Form 1-130, the petitioning spouse would receive a form I-797, which indicates that the USCIS (U.S. citizenship and Immigration Services)  has received the petition.

Step three:

Next, proceed to file a Form I-129F , known as the petition for Alien fiancé(e) for the foreign spouse and children (where applies).

After reviewing the petitions, they will be sent to the National Visa Processing Center (NVC) by the USCIS.

If both petitions are approved by the USCIS and sent to the NVC, or if the I-I30 is approved before being sent to the NVC, then the petitioning couple automatically has no need for a K3 visa. On the other hand, if the NVC receives the approved I-I29F (which is often the case) then step four commences

Step four:

The NVC sends your I-129F form to the U.S embassy or consulate in the country where the marriage was held, or to a consulate that normally processes visas for that country – in countries where there are no US embassies.

Step Five

Some embassies will provide additional instructions on medical examinations, and requirements for the visa interview. This may include where to go for the required medical examination and whether or not your application requires additional administrative processing after your scheduled visa interview with the consular officer.

K3 Visa Process Timing

While the time taken to complete the K3 visa process varies, the I-I29F is valid for four months, in which time, the processing may either be completed or the validity of the petition extended by the consular officer.

Ultimately, the length of time varies from case to case, according to circumstances.

Wading Through the K3 Visa Process Stress-Free

The major challenge experienced by k3 visa applicants is delayed, often because of not obeying instructions, or supplying incomplete information – or even lying to the consulate officer, in the hopes that it would improve your chances at obtaining a visa. All of these are quite contrary to the reality.

Serious about getting that K3? Well, here are a few foolproof tips –

  • Gather Necessary Documentation

This should include copies of filed documents and other original documents requested in your interview appointment letter.

  1. Official Documents

  • An Affidavit of support form is required an accompanying documentation to obtain a US visa – this is otherwise known as the US visa sponsor form and can be downloaded on the US immigration website.
  • A Letter of Invitation  to the family member(s); this should include the length of the visit as well as its purpose
  • A Letter to US Consulate is also required and this should request that visa be granted to the family member.
  1. Financial Documents ( Which are meant to demonstrate your financial ability to host said family member)
  • Bank statements: At least your latest two bank statements.
  • Bank account verification letter:  This would prove the state of your bank account and bank balance.
  • A copy of a few recent income tax returns

 

  • Evidence of Your Residency Status In USA
  • A Copy of passport.
  • Your letter of employment (if the sponsor is an employee in USA).
  • If you are a Visa holder; Copies of your – Visa and approval Form. (If visa has expired but has a renewed petition, a photocopy of the renewed petition would be necessary as well)
  • If you are a Green Card Holder; A Copy of Green Card front and back.
  • If you are a USA citizen; A Copy of certificate of citizenship.

 

Review your questions with your partner if necessary. There may be no need to memorize your answers, but you certainly need to be familiar with them.

  • Be Honest

Nothing ruins your chances at getting your K3 visa like providing untruthful information. False information may even go further and ruin any future chances . Not to mention, the throng of legal actions that often follows will be quite frustrating to handle.

Benefits of the K3 Visa

There are many benefits of a K3 visa. For instance, after admission into the United States, K-3 non-immigrants may choose to apply to adjust their status to a permanent resident at any time. They may also choose to obtain employment authorization. To obtain evidence of eligibility to work legally in the United States they only need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. After filing an application for adjustment of status, K-3 nonimmigrant visa holders may also apply for employment authorization based on that pending application even if the K-3 nonimmigrant status expires.

 Limitations of the K3 Visa

When the K-3’s I-130 reaches the Department of State; an immigrant visa is immediately available to him or her such that he or she and his or her children are no longer eligible for K-3/K-4 nonimmigrant status; but rather must immigrate as lawful permanent residents.  If the K-4 does not have an approved I-130 at the Department of State at that time; he or she will be ineligible to immigrate with the spouse of the USC.

The Department of Homeland Security only admits K-3 nonimmigrant visas holders for a 2-year period.  Afterwards, K-3 nonimmigrant visa holders may apply to USCIS for an extension of status in 2-year increments; as long as the marriage-based petition or a corresponding application  is still pending.

 

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Partner Visa (How To Bring My Spouse To Live With Me In Australia)

Every year, thousands of people join the throng of already existing hopefuls that wish to reunite with their spouse in various parts of the world. For Australia, it is no different – in fact, it seems as though their unofficial ‘planning level’ that often restricts the number of applications processed per year makes the number of hopefuls at the beginning of each year even more than they were in the previous year. They all have the same struggle – obtain a partner visa.

Processing an Australian partner visa can be a daunting task. From the complexities of the paperwork to costs and lengthy processing times, there is no end to what you are bound to face when in pursuit of an Australian partner visa.

Your best bet? Equip yourself with all you need to make the visa happen – one of which is the knowledge of how things operate.

What is a Partner Visa?

A partner visa is a document that allows a partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, permanent citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen to migrate to, and live in Australia indefinitely.

Thus, to be eligible for an Australian partner visa, you must at least 17 years of age (or 16 in the states that apply) and you must either be married to or be in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

(Take note that the de facto relationship must be at least 12 months old.)

Partner Visa Categories (Which Partner Visa is Right for Me?)

The case is not ‘one-size-fits-all’ with Australian partner visas; the available partner visa options may vary depending on your circumstances.

There are three main visa options available; but ultimately, their processing and requirements are quite similar. They include;

Option 1: Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820) and Permanent Visa (Subclass 801)

This visa applies to those who are applying WITHIN Australia and have a spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand resident.

Thus, both the Subclass 820 and 801 perform the same function, but on the 820, you can live in Australia temporarily until a decision is made on your permanent visa 801.

Option 2: Partner Provisional Visa (Subclass 309) and Permanent Visa (Subclass 100)

The option two category is suitable for those who are applying OUTSIDE Australia and have a spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand resident, or they intend to marry before a decision is made on the partner visa application.

Again, both the Subclass 309 and 100 perform the same function, but on the 309, you can live in Australia temporarily until a decision is made on your permanent visa 100.

Option 3: Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)

This visa is for those applying outside Australia, who will travel to Australia to marry an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand resident with the visa.

How to Bring My Spouse to Live With Me in Australia

If your concern is bringing your spouse into Australia to reside with you, then clearly your concern should be for option 2; the Partner provisional visa and permanent visa subclasses 309 and 100. This article will focus on exactly that.

What You Should Know About Bringing Your Spouse into Australia

Obtaining a permanent visa for your spouse to live in Australia with you is a two step process. The visa of interest, in this case, is a Permanent Migrant visa (subclass 100), but to obtain it, you will first be granted a temporary Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309).

All you need do is to apply for both visas at the same time, and when you are granted the temporary Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309), you will automatically be eligible for the Permanent Migrant visa (subclass 100).

If you have been in a long term relationship, however, your permanent Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100) will be granted immediately after the temporary Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309).

Applying for a Partner Visa (Subclass 309 &100) In Steps –

Step 1: Gather Documents

The following documents are required to process your application for the temporary Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) and permanent Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100).

Documents from the Applicant

  1. Identity documents including:

  • A birth certificate showing the names of both parents
  • Identification pages of a family book showing the names of both parents
  • The identification pages of an identification document issued by the government, identification pages of a court-issued document that proves your identity,
  • Identification pages of a family census register,
  • The page of your current passport showing your photo, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates,
  • Two recent passport photographs (45 mm x 35 mm)
  • A national identity card, if you have one
  • And Proof of change of name, if applicable.

    2. Documents that prove your relationship with your spouse including

  • Two Forms 888 completed by two separate witnesses. (A form 888 is a Statutory declaration by a supporting witness about a Partner or a visa application)
  • A written statement about your relationship that describes details about where you met, how the relationship developed and the plans you have together
  • Documents that show that you share financial responsibilities with your spouse – eg mortgage documents or loan documents, including joint bank accounts and household bills
  • Records that indicate that others know your relationship, including joint invitations and proof of joint travel
  • Documents that demonstrate that you are committed to each other in the long run – eg. Terms of your will, letters to each other when you are apart,
  • Proof that you have been in the relationship 12 months before application or your marriage certificates, as well as evidence of registration of your relationship with relevant Australian authority (for de facto relationships)
  • If your relationship is not 12 months old, then provide compelling and compassionate reasons for applying for the visa before being in the relationship for 12 months.

 

  1. Documents about other relationships including

Former marriage certificates and separation documents that apply – including death certificates or statutory declarations.

 

  1. Health documents.

These will be provided by your doctor and sent directly to relevant authorities

 

  1. Character Documents including;

  • A completed form 80; a character assessment, completed by you.
  • Police certificates: if requested by the embassy.

Documents from the Australian based spouse/Partner:

  1. Form 40SP – if you are applying by paper instead of online;
  2. Identity Documents including Proof of your citizenship and eligibility as a New Zealand citizen which may be either: a birth certificate showing the names of both parents or the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates. And also, A national identity card, if you have one. Include Provide proof of change of name, if applicable.
  3. Character Documents including police certificates and military service records/ discharge papers (if you have served in the army)

 

Step 2: Prepare Documents for Paper or Online Application

If you are applying online:

  • Translate all documents to English language
  • Scan and attach all documents to the online application
  • Send each document once, after ensuring that they are all certified.

 

If you are applying on paper:

  • Translate all documents to English language
  • Send original police certificates and English translations.
  • Send certified copies of all other documents (including non-English) – do not send the originals.

 

Step 3: Apply for the Visa online/on Paper

If you are applying online:

  • Create an online system ImmiAccount or log in if you already have one; When you are in ImmiAccount, select the New application and then select Family, then Stage 1 – Partner or Prospective Marriage Visa, then follow the prompt.
  • Pay for the online application via Paypal or credit card
  • Attach the documents required (only 60 documents allowed at 5mb each. If you surpass this limit, attach the rest to the spouse/partner application) – attach only when the ImmiAccount tells you to
  • Lodge the form online using the transaction number received from your Australian based spouse/partner

If you are applying on paper:

  • Download and complete the application for migration; form 47SP
  • Send the form along with the 40SP along with the 47SP and your documents, your sponsor’s documents and the correct application fee to your closest immigration office.

Step 4: Wait for your Temporary visa (309) & Provide additional documents

You may need to provide biometrics or get health checks in addition to the other documents.

Make sure to inform authorities if there are changes in address or telephone number, if you made a mistake on your application,  you need to provide more information, or you want to withdraw your application; and also if you would like to include children, etc.

Step 5: Travel Into Australia on Your Temporary Visa

With the temporary visa (309), you will  travel into Austrailia and live with your spouse temporarily before you get the permanent visa . Do well to inform authorities if the relationship with your partner has not continued; you might still be eligible for a permanent visa. Contact them for writing, and all information provided will remain confidential.

Step 6: Send additional documents for the permanent visa(100)

Your permanent Partner visa cannot be granted until two years have passed from the day you applied for that visa. We will begin assessing your application after that date.

You will need to provide evidence to show that you and your sponsor continue to be in a spouse or de facto partner relationship since you got the temporary Partner visa. The evidence you provide must show that you continue to have a genuine and continuing relationship, live together or not live separately and apart on a permanent basis and have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others.

Additional documents required after two years of residing in Australia include

  • A National Police Certificate (NPC) from the Australian Federal Police (AFP)
  • An overseas penal certificate for any country which you have lived cumulatively for 12 months or  more since the grant of the temporary partner visa (UK820 )
  • A copy of personal details pages (include page with signature) of your most recent passport

held for each applicant included in the application

  • A copy of personal details pages (include page with signature) of the sponsor’s most recent passport held or an Australian driver’s license from any State or Territory of Australia
  • statutory Declarations
  • Two Statutory Declarations by a supporting witness relating to a partner visa application
  • Evidence to demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and continuing since the grant of your temporary partner visa
  • Acknowledgement letter – completed with your name and address

 

Take note that these are requirements from both the applicant and the Australian based spouse. Download the checklist here

 

Subsequently, you may either send the documents online or by post.

Partner Visa Australia Cost

Cost of partner visa is from AUD 7,000 upwards. They are the most expensive in the world and known as  ‘love tax,’; because it is a fee that people are willing to pay to stay with their partner.

Besides this fee, you also have to factor in health examinations, police checks are migration agent or lawyer’s fees, which would be about $3,000 to $5,000 for a partner visa application.

Partner Visa Processing Time

Temporary visa – between 18 to 21 months

Permanent visa – from 19 to 24 months.

Between both the time spent and money required; it is important that you try as much as you can to do it right the first time around. Because even minor mistakes can become very costly down the track; so feel free to read and re-read this guide. Because you never know what you might catch on to the second or third time around.

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UK Spouse Visa

So, you need a UK spouse visa and you’ve have even attempted navigating the UK government website. If this is your current situation, then you will probably agree that getting around to finding the information you need to suit your specific circumstance can be a bit of a hassle. The challenge isn’t restricted to information on UK spouse visa alone, and you certainly aren’t alone in your confusion.

This article will provide you with sufficient information on the subject. From the documents required for processing to financial requirements and processing time. And considering the UK authorities do not provide phone support to answer any of your questions – you’ll find the information revealed in the article quite valuable. For this, you would not need an invitation letter

First –

What is a UK Spouse Visa

Otherwise known as the Settlement Visa, a UK spouse visa is a type of visa suitable for a spouse or legally recognized civil partner of a citizen or legal permanent resident of the UK. Thus, individuals are only eligible to apply for a UK spouse visa if their UK based spouse is either a citizen or is permanently resident in the UK, such that they have no time limit on their Visa

Spouse Visa UK requirements 2017

Although there are rarely dramatic changes in the requirements for a UK spouse visa; a few tweaks are made every now and then. So, it is important that you look for the most updated list of requirements and make a checklist of sorts with them. You certainly don’t want to get denied a visa on the basis of something you didn’t even know was a requirement.

In this light, there are a few requirement categories to consider; they include those listed below; bear in mind however, that a few of the requirements are subjective and require proof to demonstrate that your suitability for the visa

  • Relationship Requirements

In order to be considered for a UK spouse visa you must be married to, or in a civil relationship with a citizen or legal permanent resident of the UK. And the union must be recognized according to UK laws. You must also intend to live as husband/wife or partners subsequent to your arrival in the UK.

Overall, the couple must each be at least 18 years old and must have substantiated evidence of the genuineness of the relationship.

UK Spouse Visa Application Form

uk spouse visaTo access a UK spouse visa application form, you have two options –

Go to the UK government site, and on this page select from the list of UK visa, immigration and citizenship application forms the form that applies to your situation.

The UK spouse visa application form (as well as other forms related to processing) can be found under Forms for a visa to come to the UK and Forms for application to settle. However this option is most suitable for people who cannot apply online and want to go to the UK

A second option would be to apply online via the new UK visas & Immigration website. This would require that you sign up to the Visa4UK system and online application forms. It will also enable you to view previous applications. At the time of writing this however, the new UK application website was still

 

  • UK Spouse Visa Document Checklist

The documents listed below are the main documents for UK spouse visa processing. However, the requirements may vary depending on circumstance or nationality of the applicant.

  • The complete visa application – either the VAF4A form or online submission
  • Travel passports – with at least one blank page, and 6 months before expiry
  • A passport sized photograph
  • Evidence that the applicants meets the English-language requirements
  • Documentation that validates the spouse residency status in the UK – including their visa or citizenship status.
  • Information about your finances – including stamped bank statements, pay slips, tax returns etc. (see spouse visa UK financial requirements
  • Details of the UK accommodation where you will both be living and its suitability for more than one.
  • Full-health examination results. These may also include results for specific tests for diseases local to your country.

 Spouse Visa UK Financial Requirements

Take note that the spouse visa UK financial requirements are subject to alteration, and are often revised. Nonetheless, this should provide insight to what the expectations would be –

More often, it is the UK spouse whose savings and/or employment is under scrutiny, because it is most relevant to UK spouse visa applications. However there are instances where the sponsor’s income abroad can be relied upon, especially if the applicant is also in employment in the UK or if the applicant has access to savings in excess of £16,000 which can be combined with the eligible earnings to meet the financial requirement. In this case applicant’s finances may also be considered

 

  • According to immigration rules, the minimum income that must be met by the UK based spouse, sufficient to cater for the needs of the incoming partner is a gross annual salary of at least £18,600. The income may be the result of salary or self employment, pension of either the applicant or the UK based spouse, benefits or other specified income sources of either of the spouse. In the absence of a salary-employment that totals £18,600 in earnings per year, they must present Cash savings of at least £16,000 held for six months combined with the income from salary employment, and a cash savings of £62,500 where there is no income at all.

 

  • If you are applying from within the UK,

    You may be able to obtain Spouse/Marriage visa without having to meet the financial requirement. You will, however, need demonstrate that there are insurmountable obstacles to your return to your country of origin with your partner. If successful, you will be put on a ten (10) year route to settlement requiring an extension of stay every two and a half (2.5) years. The amounts required to meet the financial requirement are;

    Applicant alone £18,600
    1 child in addition to applicant £22,400
    2 children in addition to applicant £24,800
    3 children in addition to applicant £27,200
    An increase of £2,400 for each additional child.

On the occasion that the applicant wants to relocate with children

The financial requirements are of course influenced greatly. The amounts required are thus –take note that for the applicant alone financial requirement is £18,600
1 child in addition to applicant £22,400
2 children in addition to applicant £24,800
3 children in addition to applicant £27,200
An increase of £2,400 for each additional child

 

  • In addition to monetary requirements, the applicant also must demonstrate that the UK based spouse  can provide adequate accommodation without resulting to public funds, taking into consideration that the said accommodation must not breach health regulations and will not result in overcrowding if the applicant is granted the visa. One room will be sufficient for use of both the applicant and UK based spouse, that is – given that there are no children involved. If there are however, the children will also need to be accommodated adequately in compliance with the applicable regulations. Notwithstanding, even a living room will suffice for applicant and their UK based spouse.

 

Exemption from Financial Requirements

If the applicant or UK based is receiving a disability allowance, or a specific severe disablement allowance, Industrial injury benefit, Attendance allowance, Carer’s allowance, Police Injury Pension; then the financial requirement may be waived. The couple, however, will have to provide specified evidence that the settled partner is able to maintain and accommodate themselves. 

  • Spouse Visa UK Fees

Currently, family and spouse visas cost £1,195 and the fee for Adult Dependant Relatives is up to £2,676. The fee for a settlement application within the UK  is also £1,875

Spouse Visa UK Processing Time

The average processing time for a spouse visa application is 2 – 12 weeks from the date the submission is made. Processing times vary depending on the country where the application is made

 

Apply To Join Family Living Permanently In The UK

If you want to relocate to live with your family in the United Kingdom you can apply to ‘Join Family Living Permanently in the UK.  Applicants can apply to Join Family Living Permanently in the UK if their family member is a British citizen, settled in the United Kingdom permanently or has humanitarian protection or asylum in the United Kingdom.  If their family member meets the aforementioned requirements, applicants need to meet the following eligibility requirements to secure a Join Family Living Permanently in the UK:

  • Age 18 and over, unless they are a child
  • The relationship to the family member should be recognized in the country such as a legal marriage license from their country
  • They want to live with partner or family member in the UK after they apply, unless they are a parent who has contact with their child
  • Their family member can offer them with adequate accommodation to reside in the UK
  • They can speak, write, and understand English, unless they are an adult dependent family member or under 18:

To be eligible for a “family of a settled person” visa, applicants must live outside of the European Economic Area or Switzerland. Furthermore, the Home Office may reject an applicant’s application based on a criminal record in either the United Kingdom or another nation and incorrect or incomplete information.

Applicants will need to submit the following documents:

  • Valid passport or travel documentation
  • Old passports
  • Evidence of relationship status with the person they will be joining in the UK
  • Evidence they can meet the maintenance or financial requirement
  • Proof they can understand, speak, and read English, if they are 18 or older, unless they are an adult dependent family member
  • Tuberculosis test results if they belong to a country where taking the test is mandatory

Finally

it is often advised that you seek the counsel of a legal adviser or at least their or initial assessment to determine your eligibility. They are best positioned to look into your matter in detail and explore all the possible options so that you can avoid repeated disappointments.

One of the most frequently made assumptions for instance is that provided you have a spouse in the US you are eligible for a ‘spouse visa’; in reality however – the visa obtainable is dependent on the spouse circumstances in the UK

Thus, if your spouse in the UK is  either British or naturalized, a ‘settled person’ in the UK with indefinite leave to remain or you both were married in the UK and intend to live there; the appropriate visa is considered a ‘Family of a settled person’ visa.

If however, the spouse is a EEA national living in the UK and you aren’t from the EEA then the visa is required is an ‘EEA family permit’

On the other hand, if the spouse has refugee status or humanitarian protection the a Family Renuion visa is appropriate

And if the spouse has a Tier 2 visa then you are supposed to apply as the dependant of a Tier 2 (General) visa holder.

And if the spouse has a Tier 4 student visa then you should apply as a dependant of a Tier 4 visa holder.

Ultimately, a wrong choice or misinterpretation might be the difference between getting a visa or being denied one.

Truth is, there are no assurances. Provided you’re willing to try and try again you will certainly achieve success – even in the longer run. And if all else fails – well, at least home is where the heart is.

Other Articles that you may find helpful

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Documents Needed to Invite Someone To The UK

In order to invite a person to the UK, there are a few requirements that must be filled on your part (as the sponsor) and on the part of the invite (the person being invited). In this article, we present the documents needed to invite someone to the UK. As the host, you do not need to do much. Your guest, however, would need to prove to the visa officer that they will return to their home country after visiting the UK

Reasons to request this visa include;

  • For leisure, or on a vacation for sightseeing and to visit family and friends
  • or, to conduct business or to participate in creative national events
  • Additionally, for other reasons – including medical and psychological

Typically, the online application form will give you the guidance you need, and the requirements vary with the purpose of the visit and your relationship with the guest; but here are a few things you should keep in mind nonetheless –

Documents needed to invite someone to the UK

Documents need to invite someone to the uk1: Valid ID documents

These may include your national passport and/or driver’s license to show that you are a national of the UK or you are eligible to invite people in to invite people into the UK. As a legal resident of the UK, you are eligible to invite someone to visit you in the UK.

2:  Proof of Your Relationship

Depending on your relationship with the guest, you may have to provide proof that you have a genuine relationship. This could simply be a letter that explains the details of your relationship including – where and how you met, how often you communicate and the medium of communication you use. Do not worry too much about this. A simple statement in your invitation letter should be sufficient.

If your guest is a parent or sibling; this may not be necessary, an invitation letter and your birth certificate may suffice. Also if the guest is being invited by your company; a simple customized invitation letter is enough evidence

3: Proof of Solvency (that you are buoyant enough to host your guest)

Whether the visitor’s expenses will be covered by them or you, you will have to provide proof that trip can be afforded. The proof, in this case, would be bank statements and /or pay slips. If your guest is going to sponsor their own trip, then you do not need to provide your bank statement or pay slip.

Document 4: Confirmation of your legal residence

This will include details of your current address, and an indication that the visitor will (or won’t be ) residing in your house for the length of their trip. As a citizen, all you need to provide is a passport or birth certificate. If you are a student or any other legal residence of the UK, you will need to send a scanned copy of your visa.

Documents required to apply for a UK visitor visa (Guest)

The visa officer would require some documents from your guest. Your guest should have documents to support whatever claims they have made in their visa application form.

Find more details here

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Documents Required For Canadian Visitor Visa

A Canadian visitor visa is also regarded as a Temporary Resident Visa(TRV) and is exclusively for individuals who intend to visit Canada for business or pleasure.

The first step to take is to determine whether you need a visa, and then verify your eligibility to apply for one, once it has been established that you need a visa.

Subsequently, you may choose to either apply for the Canadian Visitor Visa online or on paper, in which case, the documents required for Canadian visitor visa are as follows;

For Applicants Outside Canada

In order to apply for a temporary resident visa from outside Canada, applicants should use the IMM 5484 check list, which is one of the forms you need to submit your application; but also lists all the other forms and documents you need. They are as follows;

Forms Required:

  • Application For Temporary Visa Form, which should be completed online and validated
  • Family Information Form which should be filled by those aged 18 or older
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union Form.
  • The Use of a Representative form (only if you require the services of a representative)
  • Authority to Release Personal Information To a Designated Individual Form (if you permit that information from your case file be released to anyone but yourself)

Documents Required:

  • A photocopy of the information page of your valid passport or travel documents which show the following;
  1. Your passport number
  2.  In addition, The issuance and expiry date of your passport.
  3. Finally, Your passport photo, name, date, and place of birth
  • Two photos that meet the requirements of the Visa application photographs specifications on the back of which you will indicate your name and date of birth.
  • Proof of financial support; or proof your sponsor’s solvency and ability to guarantee payment of your expenses.
  • Photocopy of your marriage license or certificate
  • In addition, Purpose of travel/ invitation letter
  • Also, Photocopy of your current immigration status
  • Custody documents or letter of authorization from non-accompanying parents or letter signed by both parents or legal guardians ( if you are a minor)
  • In addition, Depending on your country, some visa offices may require additional documents. To verify these requirements, you may need to consult this list

 

For Applicants Within Canada

Applicants that live within Canada should use the IMM 5721 checklist; which is one of the forms you need to submit your application; but also lists all the other forms and documents you need. They are as follows;

Forms Required

  • Application For Temporary Visa Form, which should be completed online and validated
  • Family Information Form which should be filled by those aged 18 or older
  • The Use of a Representative form (only if you require the services of a representative)
  • Authority to Release Personal Information To a Designated Individual Form.
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union Form; if applicable

Documents Required

  • Proof of Payment
  • Valid passport
  • Two photos (on the back of which you should indicate your name and date of birth)
  • Photocopy of your current immigration document demonstrating your legal status in Canada
  • Photocopy of your Marriage License or Certificate (if applicable)
  • An additional empty prepaid Xpress post envelope from any Canada Post outlet
  • Proof of your current studies (if you are a student in Canada)
  • Proof of your current employment/ letter from your employer (if you are working in Canada)
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Fiance – K-1 Visa Process

When you have just gotten engaged, a few things happen. Sure the thrill of officially being in a couple is quite overwhelming; but you will soon realize that the next few months are going to be an unwinding road to married life. Worse, if your other half lives abroad. This is where a K-1 visa comes to play

If you’re looking to get married to your fiancé in the US and you are neither a US citizen or resident; what you should be both be looking to acquire is a K1 visa.

What is a K-1 Visa?

A K-1Visa is a known as a Fiancé visa and is issued to the fiancé or fiancée of a US citizen or resident; it permits them to travel to the United States to marry their intending partner.

While engagement to a U.S. citizen does not automatically guarantee the foreign fiancé/fiancée to a K-1 visa; a petition filed by the U.S. sponsor (citizen or resident) will be considered provided the partners meet all the requirements.

Provisions of the K-1 Visa

The K-1 visa permits the holder to enter the U.S and marry their U.S. citizen/resident partner within 90 days. Subsequently, the couple may file an Adjustment of Status claim to stay in the country; beyond the validity of the K-1 visa. More often, the visa applicant will get a two-year conditional green card. This gives them conditional permanent resident status. And if the marriage remains viable after two years; then they may request a 10-year nonconditional Green Card.  In the long run – US citizenship

Who is Eligible for a K-1 Visa?

A person who is engaged to be married to the United States Citizen or resident, and intend to solemnize their union within 90 days of entrance into the U.S.

This means that the couple must both be unmarried, or have any previous marriages annulled by divorce or death. Unless restricted by long-established customs; the couple must also have met in the last two years before beginning the process of filing for the K-1visa.

The K-1 Visa Process

Step 1: Filing The Petition

The Fiancé K1 Visa process begins with submitting a request to the USCIS to recognize a foreign individual as their intending spouse. In this case, the U.S. citizen or resident makes a claim.(The US Citizenship and Immigration Services).

To make this petition, the petitioner files the Form I-129F found on the USCIS website and produces proof of his/her relationship including verification that they have met with their fiancé/fiancée in the last two years.

After confirmation of the relationship, the USCIS forwards the approved Form I-129F DOS National Visa Center (NVC), which sends it to the embassy or consulate where the foreign fiancé/fiancée will apply for the K-1 visa, this is usually the consulate or embassy in the country that the person lives.

Step 2: Visa Application

The National Visa Center notifies the U.S. citizen/resident to inform the fiancé/fiancée to apply for the K-1 visa.

The applicant should submit documents to validate their application, including identity and civil documents proof of relationship and medical examinations, and the fiancé is will be invited to a consular interview in the US embassy in their country. If the relationship is bonafide, the K-I visa will be issued the applicant with a six month validity period and single entry limit.

 

How Long Until I Receive My K-1 Visa?

Unlike other visa categories, the pace of processing K-1 cannot be influenced by additional payment – like the other ‘premium’ options available when processing various visa categories.

However, the entire process spanning the initial filing of the petition with the USCIS to the transfer of the file to the consulate or embassy often takes an estimated six months. This does not include the process the application will undergo after arriving at the NVC.

To get exact information, peculiar to your location, use latest processing times at the Service Center serving your jurisdiction on the “USCIS Processing Time Information” page of the

Entry & Solemnization

After obtaining the K-1 visa, the foreign fiancé can enter the United States and marry the U.S. citizen who filed the I-129F petition. After the fiancé enters the United States, the marriage must take place within 90 days from the time of entry. However, if you plan to apply for a green card; so your solemnization early. So that you’ll have an opportunity to get the official marriage certificate; and also prepare your other paperwork for Adjustment of Status before the K-1 visa runs out.

A few More Tips To Improve Your Chances

The most critical part of processing a fiancé K-1 visa is perhaps the interview. The Interviewer may be the make or break point of acquiring the K-1; just remember not to try too hard

Also bear in mind that, whether or not it appears formal, the immigration officer is likely to ask you personal questions, but mostly about your relationship. You may also get a few questions concerning your intending spouse thrown at you; to test your knowledge of them and questions about what you have in common as a couple.

Overall, if you feel too overwhelmed at the prospect of navigating such a slow legal system; consider hiring an attorney  – if you can afford it.

 

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De Facto Visa

There are many reasons why two people may choose to co-habit. For individuals in de facto relationships, these reasons are usually bordering along the lines of domestic purpose. For the purpose of Australian Family law, a de facto relationship is a close personal relationship between two adults. In this relationship, two adults care for and/or provide domestic support to each other. Here are the steps necessary to obtain a de facto visa.

A De facto visa becomes necessary when one individual in the relationship chooses to invite their partner to Australia. The invitee must be resident in Australia and capable of sponsoring the other party on the basis of their partnership.

Applications for a de facto visa is only valid if the couple meets a few conditions. They would have to demonstrate that they have been in a de facto relationship in which –

  • The couple in the de facto relationship; neither married nor related to each other by family.
  • They have a mutual commitment to a shared life together.
  • The couple are in a genuine and continuing relationship.
  • They live together or do not live separately and apart in a permanent basis.

The application for the de facto visa is a two step process. The process only commences after haven verified and confirmed your eligibility for the visa.

Eligibility Criteria for a De Facto Visa

  • You and your partner must be 18 years or older according to Australian law.
  • Your de facto partner must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. ( Take note that you may still be eligible if the relationship breaks down subsequent to the application)
  • Your partner and sponsor must meet all required visa sponsorship requirements.
  • You meet all the health and character requirements of the de facto visa application process.
  • You haven’t already been refused a visa or had a visa canceled while in Australia.

The Two Step Application Process

You may apply for a temporary partner visa which allows you travel into and stay in Australia. In the meanwhile, a permanent visa is being processed or a decision is made to reject the application for a permanent partner visa.

  • Applying for a Temporary Visa

    Gather the relevant documents required for the applications and prepare them adequately.

  • Applicant documents include: Identity documents, documents that prove the relationship with your partner; such as a statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a partner or prospective marriage visa application. Documents about other relationships as well as health and character documents.
  • Sponsor documents include: Identity documents, character documents, relevant dependants documents.

Applications (Online or On-paper)

  • To apply Online: Begin the application by creating an ImmiAccount (if you do not already have one). When done, log in and start the application. When in ImmiAccount, select new application, then prospective marriage visa. Lodge your sponsorship form online and your partner’s details. Subsequently, attach the required documents as required by the ImmiAccount.
  • To Apply On Paper: Complete the 47SP form. The form is an application for migration by a partner. Subsequently, send the following to your closest immigration office; your visa application form, your sponsors completed application form, your documents, sponsors documents and the correct application fee. Also lodge your sponsorship form on paper. Then give the completed form as well as other relevant documents to your partner.

Wait For Decision on The Temporary Visa

  • Police certificates
  • Biometrics
  • Information on any other changes including the addition of children, or any information added to the application in error.

After the Temporary Visa Has Been Granted

When you arrive and begin residing with your de facto partner, you must;

  • Comply with Australian law and visa conditions.
  • Not get another visa. Otherwise, the new visa will replace your temporary partner visa; and you will not be eligible for the permanent partner visa that follows
  • Inform relevant authorities of any changes to your circumstance.

Applying for a Permanent Partner Visa

In most cases, applications would be automatically granted 2 years after the application has been lodged. Thus, the application is made alongside the application for the temporary partner visa.

The process requires similar documentation and processing as the temporary partner visa. It will automatically materialize following the expiration of the temporary visa.

The permanent partner visa cannot be granted until two years after the date of the application; assessments may begin only after that date. Documentation is required to demonstrate that the de facto partner still wishes to sponsor your stay; but also that you have maintained and will continue to maintain a genuine and continuing relationship; and have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others.

A de facto visa may also be denied individuals without proof that their relationship fits the description required. To further validate the relationship; prior to the application for a de facto visa you may register the relation with relevant authorizes within your state. Currently however, only the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria have laws in place recognizing de-facto relationships.

When submitting evidence to validate the de facto visa application process, the applicants must provide evidence of their relationship.

 

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