Ukrainian K1 Fiancee Visa K1 Fiancee Visa Support
A Guide to Ukraine Fiancée Visa Processing
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv processes fiancé(e) visas for Ukraine. The fiancé(e) or K visa allows the prospective spouse of a U.S. citizen to travel to the United States for the purpose of marriage. The minor children (under 21) of your prospective spouse may also travel to the United States with a K visa. We hope that this guide will answer most of your questions about K visas.
Terminology used in this guide:
|Fiancée||The term fiancée will be used to include both male and female prospective spouses|
|USCIS||The Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services|
|Petitioner||The U.S. citizen who files a petition with a USCIS office in the United States on behalf of a fiancée asking that he or she be admitted to the United States for the purpose of marriage|
|Petition||USCIS form I-129(F) "Petition to Classify Status of Alien Fiancé or Fiancée for Issuance of Nonimmigrant Visa"|
|Beneficiary||The fiancée named in the petition|
|K-1 Visa||The visa category for the fiancée of a U.S. citizen|
|K-2 Visa||The visa category for the minor children of a K-1 visa holder|
|Information Packet (Packet 3)||Information that the Embassy sends to your fiancée, which specifies the documents that must be obtained and presented at the visa interview, and explaining how to obtain the required medical examination|
|Appointment Packet (Packet 4)||Information that the Embassy sends to your fiancé(e) setting an appointment date for the visa interview|
Step 1 - Filing the Petition
To begin the K-1 process, a petition must be filed at the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office having jurisdiction over your current or intended residence in the U.S. There is a filing fee of $455.00 for the petition. As with all fees connected with visas, this fee may change without prior warning. The children of your fiancé(e) must be listed in the petition even if they will not be traveling at this time. USCIS sets the requirements for petition approval. Petitions for K-1 visas cannot be filed or approved outside the United States.
Please remember that petition approval is only the first phase of this process. Petition approval is not visa approval. The petition only supplies the basis on which your fiancé(e) can apply for a K visa at the Embassy. Your fiancée must still establish eligibility to receive a K visa.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PETITIONERS: When completing the petition, be sure to list all the last names your fiancé(e) has used in the past including maiden or prior married names. Failure to do so will result in a delay of the visa issuance, as additional administrative procedures will have to be applied to your fiancé(e) case.
Step 2 - When Your Petition is Approved
When your petition is approved, USCIS will notify you and will send the approved petition to the Department of State's National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH, for further processing. NVC will send a courtesy notification letter to the petitioner advising him or her that the petition has been received and that it will be sent to Embassy Kyiv.
It takes approximately four to six weeks for the actual approved petition and its supporting documentation to reach the Embassy. We can only start processing your case, (that is, send out the information packet and schedule a visa appointment), once we receive the hard copy of the approved petition.
Your petition is valid for four months, but may be extended by the Embassy if a visa cannot be issued during that period and the intention to marry still exists. (See Frequently Asked Questions)
To check the status of your petition go directly to the official USCIS website using your case number beginning with WAC, EAC, LIN or SRC.
When contacting the Embassy, use your fiancé(e)'s full name or the case number that starts with KEV.
Step 3 - Processing the Provisional Case
As of March 03, 2003, the Department of Homeland Security"s Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented changes in the fiancé(e) visa processing. Due to those changes, the need and the ability of the Embassy to continue setting up provisional cases service has been obviated.
All approved I-129F petitions are being sent by USCIS to the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, rather then being sent directly to the overseas issuing post. The NVC performs all initial procedures, after which the completed petition is sent to the appropriate office overseas. You may be sure that once we have received an approved petition, we will contact your fiancé(e) regarding preparations for the formal visa interview.
Step 4 - Scheduling an Interview
When we receive an approved I-129F petition, we send information to the beneficiary. The Information packet (the former Packet 3 and 4) tells the applicant what documents he or she must collect prior to the visa interview and how to schedule the formal visa interview. The Information packet for applicants from Ukraine is in Ukrainian. We also have forms in English. The complete list of the required documents is posted on this page.
Before notifying the call center that the applicant has obtained all the documents listed in the Information packet, every Ukrainian national must have an international passport valid for at least 6 months at the time of entering the U.S.
During an interview each applicant is required to present the completed and signed form KEV-1 and the original documents together with their photocopies. We do not require the original financial support documents. Petitioners can fax or e-mail them to the beneficiaries. Any document in a foreign language should be accompanied by a notarized/certified English translation. After the interview all originals except the police certificates are returned to the applicant.
When your fiancé(e) has collected all the documents specified in the Information packet, he or she should contact the call center and schedule the appointment for the formal visa interview. The completed and signed form KEV-1 from the Information packet should be presented at the interview certifying that all required documents have been obtained.
The Embassy will ONLY send out the Information packet to the beneficiary containing the application forms. After the interview has been scheduled by the call center NO written notification about scheduling an appointment for a visa interview will be sent either to the petitioner or the beneficiary. The date of the appointment also will not be confirmed by the Immigrant Visa Unit of the Consular Section over the telephone. Those applicants who wish to confirm their date of the appointments as well as reschedule them should contact the call center.
It is necessary for us to have the actual petition on hand in order to conduct an adequate visa interview for K visas.
The Information packet contains information on the documentation you must provide at the time of the interview. The medical exams must be performed only by the physician identified in the packet. K1 and K2 visa applicants are not required to submit proof of vaccinations or to undergo any vaccinations until they adjust status with the USCIS. Therefore applicants may wish to consider carrying their vaccination records with them to the United States to facilitate this process.
We also send out the Information packet (the former Packets 3 and 4) to the attorneys of record. The basic information contained in the packet is on the Embassy web page at http://kyiv.usembassy.gov/.
VERY IMPORTANT: We send the Information packet (the former Packets 3 and 4) to ALL of the beneficiaries without exceptions via regular mail. However, since the Ukrainian mail is slow and unreliable, it is often the case that the call centerpacket may not be delivered to the applicants on time To facilitate the process of obtaining information outlining the steps to apply for a fiancé(e) visa the Information Packet is posted on our website. You may download it at any time and use it to prepare for the visa interview. If you do not receive the Information packet from us, we strongly recommend that you extract it from the website. The downloaded packet has exactly the same information and validity as the one that we mail to our applicants.
It is necessary that the applicant print out, complete and present the application forms from the Information package during the interview. Two copies of the nonimmigrant visa application form DS-156 for each applicant including children must be submitted with proper photographs. The nonimmigrant fiancé(e) visa application form DS-156K must also be submitted only for the fiancé(e) . Application forms can be photocopied. Additionally the completed and signed form KEV-1 should be presented by the applicant. Admission to the Consular Section is by international passport. The guards have the list of applicants scheduled for the day and let people in regardless of whether they have an invitation letter or not.
If you change the interview date after it has already been scheduled by the call center, no written confirmation will be sent either to the petitioner or the beneficiary.
Step 5 - The Visa Interview
Visa interviews are held by appointment only. Beneficiaries should not travel to Kyiv until they have contacted the call center and scheduled the appointment for the formal visa interview. Applicants who have scheduled the appointment and have not paid for the call by either purchasing the PIN number from the ProCredit Bank or Raiffeisen Bank Aval. If you have the information that your case is on file at the Consular Section but failed to receive your Information packet either via regular mail or e-mail, you can download it from our website. On the date of the appointment your fiancé(e) should come to the Immigrant Visa section of the Embassy in kyiv. Minor children under 14 do not need to attend the interview. Your fiancé(e) and each dependent child will pay a $131.00 non-refundable machine-readable-visa fee on the day of the interview. Beginning January 01, 2008 the fee for K and V visa can be paid only at ProCredit Bank in Ukrainian hryvnyasInterviews begin at 8:30 a.m.
Your fiancé(e) will fill out a Nonimmigrant Visa Application DS-156 in duplicate, as well as one copy of DS-156K form. Each dependent child also needs Nonimmigrant Visa Applications DS-156 in duplicate. Original documents plus one copy together with a notarized/certified English translation thereof, should be brought to the interview. Originals of primary documents, such as birth, marriage, and death records, will be returned to the applicant after the interview.
Your fiancé(e) will be asked to present:
- Valid passports or travel documents for the beneficiary and any dependent children
- A notarized statement from an absent parent giving permission to a child to immigrate to the US along with a photocopy of the photo and signature pages of his/her passport OR court decree of sole legal custody OR death certificate
- Birth certificates for the beneficiary and any dependent children
- Proof of termination of any prior marriages of both petitioner and beneficiary
- Change of name certificates or marriage certificates
- Police certificate(s) for the beneficiary and any dependent children over 16 years of age
- Medical exam results for the beneficiary and any dependent children
- Proof of adequate financial support once in the United States to ensure that your fiancé(e) and dependent children will not become public charges
- Supporting documentation verifying the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary
All the original documents must be accompanied by a copy and certified English translation.
Documentation regarding financial support from the petitioner must be presented. It can be in any form so long as it contains enough detail and information for the consular officer to conclude that the beneficiary will not become a public charge, i.e. tax returns, bank statements, wage statements, etc. Petitioners may submit a notarized Affidavit of Support form I-134 if they wish.
For more detailed information about document requirements, please go to the Instructions for Fiancé(e) Visa Applicants in the Information packet.
After a consular officer has reviewed the case, your fiancé(e) will be interviewed. The consular officer will ask your fiancé(e) questions about your relationship, such as how you met and when you decided to marry. The consular officer is required by law to verify that your relationship with your fiancé(e) is real, that you met at least once within the last two years, and that you do intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e)"s arrival in the United States. The consular officer will thoroughly review the case to make sure that your fiancé(e) is eligible to receive a U.S. visa.
The Consular Section uses a delivery services to return passports to visa recipients. Following the interview, visa recipients should proceed to the FedEx representative to arrange for the return of their passports with issued visas. The cost for this service (delivery fee and insurance) is approximately $8.00 paid in hryvnas. The visa issuance and passport delivery can take up to ten days. (The company does not operate on weekends or Ukrainian and U.S. holidays). Please note that no exception to the process will be made. The Consulate strongly encourages you not to make any travel arrangements prior to obtaining a visa.
If your fiancé(e) is not issued a visa, he or she will be given notification in writing giving the reasons for the temporary refusal. The letter will explain either how to drop off the missing documents or how to schedule a second appointment. Your fiancé(e) will not be required to pay again.
Supporting documentation, including the K petition, birth certificate, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and medical exam will be placed in a sealed envelope and given to the applicant for presentation to USCIS at the port of entry. We do not keep copies of this documentation at the Embassy after the case is adjudicated.
Medical examination for immigrants and K visa applicants
ALL immigrant visa and K visa applicants, regardless of age, must have a medical exam. It can be done only in Kyiv at the following address:
for Oil-Refining Industry of Ukraine
8, Mykoly Amosova St.
Telephone: 044-270-2709, 044-275-4181
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Appointments, Fees, Document Requirements
The Clinic performs medical examinations each working day (Monday through Friday), between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. by appointment only. The results of the examination are given to the applicants at 3 p.m. on the same day.
The fee for a medical exam is no more then $125 per person, excluding the vaccination fee for adults and children. The clinic accepts payments for medical exam in US dollars only, but vaccination fee must be paid in Ukrainian hryvnyas only.
Each applicant must present the following documentation:
- Passport or other photo-bearing document as ID (both for children and adults)
- 3 full frontal view photographs 50 x 50 mm
- Military service card
- Vaccination chart with the seal of the issuing clinic (mandatory for immigrants, optional for K visa applicants)
- Embassy case number beginning with KEV
Effective January 4, 2010,
HIV infection is removed from the list of communicable diseases of
public health significance which serve as grounds of inadmissibility
into the United States. This means that HIV testing will no longer be
required for medical examinations for visa purposes. Applicants who are
HIV-positive will no longer require waiver processing by the Department
of Homeland Security (DHS), and applicants previously refused visas for
HIV infection, and on no other grounds, may no longer be ineligible.
(for immigrants only, not for K visa applicants)
Recent changes to US immigration
law now require immigrant visa applicants to obtain certain
vaccinations (listed below) prior to the issuance of an immigrant visa.
Panel physicians who conduct medical examinations on behalf of
immigrant visa applicants are now required to verify that immigrant
visa applicants have met the new vaccination requirements, or that it
is medically inappropriate for the visa applicant to receive one or
more of the listed vaccinations:
influenzae type B (HIB)
In order to assist the panel physician and to avoid delays in the processing of an immigrant visa, all immigrant visa applicants should have their vaccination records available for the panel physician’s review at the time of the immigrant medical examination. Visa applicants should consult with their regular health care provider to obtain a copy of their immunization record, if one is available. If you do not have a vaccination record, the panel physician will work with you to determine which vaccinations you may need to meet the requirement. Certain waivers of the vaccination requirement are available upon the recommendation of the panel physician.
Only a physician can determine which of the listed vaccinations are medically appropriate for you, given your age, medical history, and current medical condition.
The validity of the medical examination is one year. If there is tuberculosis condition, the medical exam is only valid for six months, instead of 12 months.
In a time of great controversy over foreign residents, the legal immigration process is considered slow nd underfunded. A review of 1,899 K1 Visas showed that the average wait from initial filing to a Consular interview is 181 days, with more delays possible after the interview. However, this is considered an improvement over the old-style spousal visas.
A foreigner may enter the US on a different type of visa, and then get married. However, the laws on temporary visitation are clear that the purpose of the visit must be honest. If someone has this intention to marry a US citizen when they first enter the US as a visitor (e.g. on a tourist or student visa) and then plan to remain in the US to live and work, they can be denied admission if immigration finds out that they had concealed this intention at the time of admission. This requires the tourist to be quite covert about their intentions, hiding things like engagement rings, photos of the couple together, and large amounts of personal belongings that might signify an interest in moving permanently to the US. It is important for the applicant to keep a clear intention when entering the US on any visa: are they entering to work, to study, to visit as a tourist, to do missionary work, or to immigrate (which is the only status that seems to include everything). Behavior that mixes these codified intents is, at best, frowned upon by immigration, and at worst might ultimately result in denial of visa, entry, adjustment of status, and possible deportation of the foreign national, even after a couple is legally married. They must maintain good records of their relationship and eligibility and show the government no cause whatsoever to believe that the fiancee is not eligible for permanent residency.
Expert Tip # 5
Attach a typed cover letter to the I-129F. As you have attached many documents to the I-129F, sort these out in a logical order, then type a cover sheet as an index to list all of the documents submitted. A sample cover letter is shown at Fiancee Visa Secrets eBook. This will make it easier for the USCIS officer to review your file, to find the documents he is looking for. A neat, easy to examine package gives the impression that yours is a serious and sincere application. The less doubt the examining officer has regarding the sincerity of your application the faster it will be processed.
More Expert Fiancee Visa Tips