(could someone sticky this, please?)
Been there, done it. United States and Canada, bringing fiance to the US. K-1 Fiance Visa. (Please note: Spousal Visa takes longer, so it is better, quicker, to bring fiance(e) to the US and then get married. You have 90 days from date of entry into the US to do so.
The paperwork looks like nothing at first. But there are a lot of requirements.
Seriously, expect to spend two months getting the paperwork together. Always keep a second set for your own records.
One thing I cannot stress enough is that it is better to send TOO much information that not enough.
That information is needed to establish your relationship. They want the following:
- Photos of you and your significant other, together, and showing you have been to each other countries. Have these photos taken in notorious places such as in front of an arena or other landmark that is known to only that area.
- Photos of you with his/her family, and vise versa.
- Save those Instant Messages and other Correspondense, even birthday cards. Copy these for that packet.
- Copy your phone bill with calls to each other.
- Keep copies of travel to visit each other. Copies of your ticket stub, passport stamp, etc.
- Make sure to get all the requested info such as copy of your latest paystub, bank statement, and letter from your bank stating how long you have been a customer and your deposit history for the past year. (I actually sent a full year of bank statements). Don't forget the fingerprints and criminal background check.
This does not cover all of it. And it's been 6 years since my now ex-hubby came here, even longer since filling out the paperwork. But the advice we found on many sites helped us and it was better to go "overboard" with the paperwork than have a request for more (which delays the approval). In the end, our paperwork was just over 400 pages, which included copies of phone bills, airfare receipts, instant message conversations, cards, photos, etc.
Approval back then was 4 months, plus another few months for him to get the Physical Exam and the Interview with the Consulate.
Definitely expect to spend money on this process, along with time.
Upon entering the U.S., you have 90 days to marry. The day after - your honeymoon will be spent at the nearest USCIS office, filing the marriage certificate, arranging another fingerprinting appointment, and arranging an interview. Yes, expect to write a few more checks.
I wish I could tell you more beyond this, but.....he is the ex-husband for a reason, so we never made it to the Post-Marriage Interview stage.