The hard part is over. You and your Filipina have found each other and made the choice to be together forever. However, you still might be in the US and she may still be in the Philippines. And - if you both want to be together in the US - your fiancé will need a K-1 visa from the USCIS. The forms to start this process are free and you can download them from the USCIS website. That is going to be the easiest and fastest part of the visa application process for you and your fiancé. Below, you will find out more about the K-1 visa application process and how long it takes to get a K-1 fiancé Visa from the USCIS to the US Embassy in Manila.
What are the Steps to get a Visa for my Fiancé in the Philippines?
- First Step - I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé is available from the USCIS website and also comes with instructions.
- Second Step - DS-160 K-1 fiancé Visa Application filed at the US Embassy in Manila Philippines. This will allow your fiancé to travel to and enter the US legally.
- Third Step - I-485 Status Adjustment to USCIS for a Green Card.This will allow your fiancé to gain permanent residency in the US.
The First Step basically confirms that your relationship is real and not for material or monetary gain - your intent to be married is based on a true love and deep affection for each other.
Second Step is where the relationship is tested and confirmed to be real by the fiancé. They may ask for proof of communications like love letters, text messages and emails and picture. During this step the USCIS may also check and review the criminal records of the fiancé to see if there is any criminal history that would prevent the Filipina from moving forward in the process.
Third Step confirms you got married to your fiancé within 90 days,as promised, upon entry on the K1 Visa. It also verifies that the marriage is for love. After being confirmed by USCIS the K-1 is changed or adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident (aka, Green Card) and you and your new spouse can move forward in building a life together.
Me and My Fiancé Want to be Together Now! How long does a K-1 Filing in The Philippines Manila Embassy Take?
- The USCIS currently lists the processing times for I-129 forms at 6 to 8 months at all their processing centers. You can check for a more accurate time for processing a K-1 Visa when you are ready to apply for the fiancé Visa in the Philippines here: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/
- Currently, lists this processing time for the DS-160 mentioned in the Second Step as 3-4 weeks. This is an electronic form that you will submit.However, it is not unusual for the Second Step to take longer because of the backlog at the US Embassy in the Philippines.
- Third step timelines can be a little harder to pin down. The process can take a few months or even years. It will all depend upon the USCIS Jurisdiction you are in. As mentioned above, we recommend checking the official USCIS site for the most accurate processing times here: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/
My Fiancé Visa Application Seems to be Taking Forever. Is There a Way We Can Check to See How Much Longer it Might Take?
Yes. It is hard to be apart from the ones you love. Waiting can be an emotionally draining and anxiety producing moment for many couples. However, there is a way to check up on your application.
First, go to the USCIS website to check average processing times. Make sure you choose the correct form type and the processing center; if you have that information. If your application has taken longer than the average time listed on the USCIS website - you can ask for a USCIS Officer's help by submitting an electronic form. Important: remember that your processing time must be outside of the normal times posted on the USCIS website to use this form.
The USCIS website has an electronic request submission option that allows you to ask for a USCIS Officer's help to review the file and determine the reason behind the slow processing. After checking the average processing times, you can use this link to access that submission feature. You cannot submit a request earlier than the average processing time.
Important: remember that your processing time must be outside of the normal times posted on the USCIS website to use this form. Electronic Request for USCIS Officer Review Submission link: https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/displayONPTForm.do?
How Will I Know if Me and my Fiancé will Qualify for a I-129F Filing?
- The US Citizen must want to start the filing.
- The relationship is genuine love and not for any other purpose other than to have a real genuine marriage and build a life together.
- In the last 2 years, the US Citizen and Filipina, must have physically met each other (physically, been in the same place, city, or country). USCIS does not consider skype or other video chat methods valid for this purpose.
- Filipina a US citizen, and Filipina, intend to marry using the K-1 Visa within 90 Days of entry. You must sign a letter promising that these are your intentions.
- The Filipina and US Citizen must be legally "free to wed." This can be tricky with divorce in the Philippines. If the Filipina was divorced, make sure the Philippine government recognizes it.
- The US Citizen has a steady income that can support the couple and others that are in the household with you and exceed Federal Poverty Level Guidelines.
I Am Not Even Halfway Through this Article and I am Overwhelmed. Is There An Easier Way to See If We Qualify for a K-1 Fiance Visa from the Philippines?
How do We File a Letter of Intent to start the K-1 Visa Process in the Philippines?
This is a pretty straightforward process. You can find two templates and the correct mailing addresses for filing here: https://eforms.com/letter-of-intent/to-marry/
What Documents Will the Filipina fiancé Need to Provide to the USCIS for the Immigration Application:
- PSA Birth Certificate: https://www.psaserbilis.com.ph/Default.aspx
- PSA CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage): https://www.psaserbilis.com.ph/Default.aspx
- NBI Police Clearance (Online): https://clearance.nbi.gov.ph/
How many interviews are there?
There are usually 2 interviews during the K-1 Visa application process in the Philippines.
- The interview is part of the Second Step. The fiancé must do this interview alone. If the US citizen is in the Philippines, they will not be allowed to enter the embassy in Manila. They must wait somewhere else during this time.
- Once you get to the Third Step and all other parts of the process have gone well, there will be another interview where the married couple must both be present for.
Do You have any Instructions, Tips or Life Hacks for Consular Interviews for K-1 Visa Philippines?
First and foremost, make sure you have ALL the documents that will need to be provided at the consular interview. There are quite a few documents necessary and forgetting just one could delay your application.
Regarding the actual interview itself - do not practice. The Officer will want to see genuine and non-rehearsed answers to prove that you both are really in love and that you love and want to be with your fiancé and build a life. If you sound too rehearsed or practiced - it will not look natural to the interviewing Officer.
That huge list of documents and other items needed for the consular interview can be found at the Manila Embassy website here:
How Much Money Does my US Citizen fiancé Need to Make if I Want to Come to the US?
The US citizen must prove that they have a stable income and earn more than the poverty level in the state that the couple will be living. You can check the most current information about the Federal Poverty Level here: https://aspe.hhs.gov/topics/poverty-economic-mobility/poverty-guidelines/prior-hhs-poverty-guidelines-federal-register-references/2021-poverty-guidelines
Note: Hawaii and Alaska have higher income levels than most other states.
Wow! This is Really Great Information About K-1 Fiance Visas from the Philippines, But I Could Still Use Some Help!
We are confident in our research. And we are confident in your abilities too! However, we understand many people don't want to read all the fine print and dive into the intricate details of the K-1 Fiance application process from the Philippines. Don't worry. We have bills to pay and we work with fully vetted partners that we trust to advise and consult you during the K-1 Visa application process.
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Marriage Visa Helper is not affiliated with any government agency. Mariage Visa Helper does not offer any official government forms. You can get free blank immigration forms directly from the USCIS website with detailed instructions on how to fill them. Marriage Visa Helper is not a law firm nor does Marriage Visa Helper practice law in any of the US states or any Province within the Philippines.Marriage Visa Helper and its writers do not claim any special knowledge or expertise in immigration law. Marriage Visa Helper exists solely as a supplemental source of information for users seeking more information about immigration from the Philippines to the United states. Marriage Visa Helper curates content from various sources about US to Philippines Immigration and produces content such as articles, blog posts and newsletters for its users. Marriage Visa Helper also produces content about international dating specific to the US and Philippines, as it is relevant to certain immigration types and we believe a related topic.