My sweetheart and I did not hire a lawyer for our K-1 Visa Application. The K-1 Fiance’ Visa process seems long because of the amount of paperwork and forms to submit. Add the number of appointments and the waiting period, the process can be daunting. But guess what? The K-1 Fiance’ Visa process is really not hard. You can do entire K-1 Visa process without an immigration lawyer. I know several Filipino-American couples who done their application themselves too. The K-1 Fiance’ Visa process is simple and easy to follow. You just have to comply with the requirements and be organize with yourself to keep a good track of the documents and steps involved in the process. You also need to make sure that you have ALL the documents required for your case. Some K-1 Visa applicants were put under AR or Administrative Review because of insufficient documents. That’s why it is great to be resourceful, read and learn more about the process. If your case is complicated and if you don’t have much time to do all the work, then it is best for you to get an immigration lawyer.
Couples who are undergoing the K-1 Visa Journey can do research online to learn more about the whole process. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website has the detailed instructions about the different application and the requirements. VisaJourney.com has a very helpful post about the Step-by-Step Guide on How to File for a K-1 Visa for your Foreign Fiance(e)
During our K-1 Visa processing, I read a lot and searched a lot online. I found awesome forums where I can relate to other K-1 Visa applicants and compare our timeline. Though I know that every case is unique and that timelines are case to case basis, it feels good to connect and relate to fellow applicants. There are a lot things that I learned from them, especially from those Filipinas or couples who are ahead of us in the processing time. Learning about their K-1 visa journey has help me checked what other documents I might need, and what possible questions I’d get, learned about different issues and the possible scenarios that I “might” also go through. It was kind of funny because I gather other documents that I am not sure needed. Why? because I heard it from other applicants that some Filipino interviewer asked them about it, like Baptismal certificate and other stuff so I have mine ready. You can never be too prepared because when you want something so bad, you sometimes get scared to hear bad news. But it’s great to have the documents that you “might” need, than not have it and need it.
The NOLO book Fiance’ & Marriage Visas, A Couple’s Guide to U.S. Immigration written by Attorney Ilona Bray has helped us a lot. My now husband, brought me a copy when he visited me in the Philippines. It was a big help for us, especially the line-by-line Instructions for K-1 Fiance’ Visa Petition Forms and the other forms needed for the entire K-1 Visa Process. There’s probably a newer edition of the book now.
There were days that I got nervous, especially when I read “sad” news about other applications. But, I just remained positive about my case. When your relationship is genuine and your intentions are real, you already won half the battle. You just have to gather and organize all the proofs, and politely comply with the requirements. In short, there’s nothing to worry about.
Our K-1 Visa application was approved more than 6 months later. The U.S Embassy in Manila, Philippines sent my K-1 Fiance’(e) visa through Delbross mail. I got my Fiance’(e) Visa three days after my interview. You can read some of my Tips for K-1 Visa Applicants During Interview and documents organization. I also wrote 35 Sample Interview Questions for the USCIS K1 Fiancee Visa Applicants.
I hope those will help you in your journey. Good luck!