So, according to my countdown, it's three weeks until I (may/hopefully/should) leave to be with my man again, and therefore three DAYS until my visa interview at the US Embassy in London. I am starting to get nervous. I'm not nervous because the interview itself sounds scary; on the contrary, the interview is not too tough from what I hear from other ex-pats who've gone through the K-1 process. I'm not nervous because we've got anything to worry about: we're in a genuine relationship, we have all our wedding plans already in place, and I am sure that our sincerity will be obvious from meeting me and from the evidence I bring (and have already sent, twice). I'm also not worried by the documents we've had to assemble for me to take along. They've been done for months and checked, re-checked, and then checked another 20 or so times. And I also know that the success rate of K-1 applications is extremely high: 95% go through first time, and half of those that don't are successfully appealed. I know that it is very unlikely that we will get turned down.
But we might.
It's ridiculous, isn't it? That's what's scaring me. But seeing as that is the case, at least I've been scared into checking the documents yet again (I've already done that twice today alone), and that's what made me decide to write a quick photo blog about that bit of the interview preparation. So, here we go. We start with the folders:
In the blue folder are the documents required by the US Embassy on the day of the interview. These will be highlighted by red text and in bold below, to make a sort of colour-coded list (yay!).
The purple folder is full of (a small amount of the) documents pertaining to proving our relationship . There are letters, cards, emails, phone records, Skype chats, a wedding invite, booking forms for the wedding, text message logs, proof of meeting (boarding passes, hotel reservations, plane tickets etc.), photographs and screen shots (from FB and blogs) in there. The letter doesn't actually say that any of this is necessary but in the spirit of "what if...?" and "just in case" and "I will have ALL THE DOCUMENTS you might ever require", I'm taking 'em.
This (above) is the letter that gives you your appointment time and directs you to the forms website. When you receive your appointment letter, you are told to visit this website, and then to click the relevant link(s) for your visa application type to find out what documents you need to bring. My visa application is a K-1, so that takes me to this page. The documents needed are listed there, and are in the blue folder in pretty much the same order as on the website. I've also included the appointment letter (which just seems sensible) and the MRV receipt for my interview fee payment, without which you will be refused entry to the US Embassy.
The MRV receipt proves you have already paid for your interview, which now has to be done in advance, and so must be taken with you to the interview. It is sent as a .pdf file via email after you have made a payment of $350 over the telephone. The payment is made after the US citizen has received the I-797 (NOA2) and the beneficiary - non-US fiancé(e) - gets a letter to say they will be contacted again after the medical and next set of documents have been sent to the relevant US Embassy in their home country. It has to be made then, as the application won't proceed any further without it and you won't get an appointment. It is, of course, non-refundable, even in the event of rejection of your visa application.
You need three passport photographs that meet US Department of State specifications. In order to make sure I didn't get this wrong, I got mine done at my local Snappy Snaps. They're a bit pricier than your average passport photos, but I did get an extra set and a digital copy, too, which was mainly what pushed the total cost up.
You need your original, full birth certificate and one photocopy of your original, full birth certificate.
You need your passport and one photocopy of the photo page of your passport.
You need your original police certificate and one photocopy of your police certificate.
You need an original, signed I-134 form, completed by your US fiancé(e). This will be accompanied by supporting documentation, which must all be submitted in duplicate. The form and instructions can be found here. The supporting documentation can be things like:
|bank statements (showing regular payments from employment etc.).|
|tax returns (last three years);|
|details of fiancé(e)'s current/past employment;|
- Appointment letter
- MRV receipt
- 3 x passport photographs fitting DoS specifications
- Birth certificate + one photocopy
- Passport + one photocopy
- Police certificate + one photocopy
- I-134 form and supporting evidence in duplicate
I've also included:
- Proof of relationship
- My own bank statements
- Affidavits of support from family
- Copies of my medical examination results and vaccination record (although they will have these)
You will also NEED:
- A method of payment (card) to pay for the courier service to return your passport and visa, if you get approved.
You MUST NOT bring:
- Anything electronic: all cameras, phones, iPods etc. have to be left at home.
Done. As that makes it about the 25th time I've checked over the paperwork, I am hoping it's all exactly as it should be, and that Friday goes smoothly. Then we can move on to Stage 14. Eek!
Note about other application requirements
Obviously, every K-1 application is different. Depending on your specific case, you might also be required to bring:
- All the same identity documents for any children accompanying you to the US
- Adoption certificate
- Proof of why you use a name different to that on your birth certificate
- Marriage certificates
- Evidence of termination of prior marriages
- Military records
- Court and prison records
You may also need to have documents translated to English and/or apply to the US Embassy for a translator to accompany you for the interview. If you want your fiancé(e) to accompany you, you would also have to apply to the US Embassy so that they can grant permission for them to enter the building.