In order to establish eligibility to receive a K1 Visa, several core criteria must be carefully considered. One of the most important of these requires that both the U.S. citizen fiancé and the alien fiancé have met in person within two years previous to filing the I-129f petition. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) expect that evidence of this meeting will be verified with documentation.
Verifiable evidence of said meeting can include some of the following:
- Airline ticket receipts of visits to the foreign country
- Receipts of hotel accommodations
- Pictures taken together (Recently USCIS has indicated a preference for date-stamped pictures taken within the last 2 years.)
- Copies of passport with entry and exit stamps
- Credit card statements, including foreign transactions
- Other proofs of visit
These are a few examples of the sort of evidence USCIS will expect from you in order to verify that you and your fiancé have actually seen each other in person in the last two years. It is not necessary for people to submit all of the examples listed above, but I recommend to my clients that they try and submit as much proof as they possibly can. This will prevent any unfortunate delays in the case should USCIS ask you to submit additional evidence of meeting in the form of a Request for Evidence (RFE). RFE’s are not detrimental to your case, but it is absolutely necessary that they be replied to on time and holdups often ensue.
When discussing evidence of meeting, I always try to remind my clients that when they travel to or return from visiting the alien fiancé abroad they try to save copies of the documentation indicated above. U.S. citizens should not to forget to obtain a U.S. passport and visa from the foreign country they intend to visit before traveling. Most countries have embassies within the U.S. that can answer questions that you might have about obtaining such a visa. Applications for U.S. passports can be made and obtained from your local post office.
There is an exception to the two-year meeting requirement in instances where both parties could not meet because of either extreme hardship or due to a long established custom.
8 C.F.R. §214.2(k)(2). USCIS is granted the authority to waive the requirement in such cases, but it should be noted that such instances must be supported by documentation and are extremely rare. As a result, if you believe that this exception may apply to you and feel unable to travel to your fiancé’s home country to visit, you should consult an immigration attorney prior to filing.