July 14, 2016

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N-400 Instructions

Learn how to apply for the N-400 petition

You may file your USCIS Form N-400 ninety (90) calendar days before you complete your permanent residence requirement if your eligibility for naturalization is based upon being a:

  • Permanent resident for at least 5 years; or
  • Permanent resident for at least 3 years if you are married to a US citizen
July 14, 2016


The K-1 Fiance Visa

Falling in love can be an emotional roller coaster, especially with a long distance romance. Having a detailed step by step explanation of the the K-1 Fiance Visa can be a handy resource.


Both petitioner and beneficiary must be legally able and willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States.

The petitioner and beneficiary must have previously met in person within the past two years unless the Attorney General waives that requirement.

As soon as the processing of a case is completed and the applicant has all necessary documents, a consular officer will interview the fiance.

If found eligible, a K-1 fiance visa will be issued, valid for one entry during a period of six months.

A non-refundable application fee is collected at posts which issue machine-readable fiance visas.

First Step — Filing the Petition

To begin the K-1 fiance visa  process, you file a petition at the USCIS office having jurisdiction over your current or intended residence in the U.S.

There is a filing fee of $340 for the petition.

The children of your Fiance must be listed in the petition even if they will not be traveling at this time.

USCIS sets the requirements for petition approval.

Petitions for K-1 visas cannot be filed or approved outside the United States.

You must present the following supporting documentation
with your petition

Evidence that you are an American citizen, such as your Birth Certificate or Naturalization Certificate.
Proof of termination of any prior marriages of the petitioner and beneficiary, such as a divorce decree or death certificate.
Evidence that you have met your Fiance and evidence of your relationship, such as airline tickets, visa stamps, hotel receipts, and dated photos.

Any documents in a foreign language should be accompanied by an English translation.

This documentation confirms your identity and that of your future spouse and proves that both of you are legally free to marry.

You must prove have met your Fiance face to face during the two years prior to the filing of the petition.

USCIS will notify you when they have approved the petition and will send it the State Department, who perform a background check, and then forward it to the U.S. Embassy for final processing.

It often takes four to 12 weeks for a petition to reach the Embassy from the USCIS (then the State Department), sometimes longer.

Second Step — When Your Petition is Approved

USCIS will notify you when they have approved the petition and will send it the State Department, who perform a background check, and then forward it to the U.S. Embassy for final processing.

Each American Embassy may process the K-1 Fiance Visa process differently. Click here for a List of American Embassies.

Your petition is valid for four months, but can be extended by the Embassy if a fiance visa cannot be issued during that period and the intention to marry still exists.

Third Step — Packet 3

For all cases the American Consulate must send a name check cable that requires a reply from the FBI.

When the embassy receives the file from the National Visa Center, they send a Packet 3 to the beneficiary.

The Packet 3 tells the applicant what documents he or she must collect prior to the visa interview.

Packet 3 asks your Fiance to assemble the following documents:

Valid passports for the beneficiary and any dependent children.
Birth certificates for the beneficiary and any dependent children.
Proof of termination of any prior marriages.
A police certificate from the current place of residence of the beneficiary, as well as from any place or places of residence for 6 months or more since attaining the age of 16.
Police certificate(s) for any dependent children over 16

Original documents bearing the signatures and seals of the issuing authorities are required.

Any documents in a foreign language should be accompanied by an English translation.

When your Fiance has collected all the documents specified in Packet three, he or she should notify the Embassy by returning the form in Packet 3 (DS-156 and DS-156K) certifying that all required documents have been obtained.

Fourth Step — Scheduling an interview

The Embassy will send out Packet 4 explaining the process of obtaining medical exams and scheduling an appointment for a visa interview when we have received
the following items:

The actual approved petition from USCIS
Clearances from the required name checks
A signed DS-156 and DS-156K from the beneficiary

The Embassy will consider requests for interview scheduling on the basis of official telegraphic notification from USCIS of petition approval on a case- by-case basis.

In cases where the request is granted, the Embassy may request additional information from you regarding your marital history and the history of your relationship with your Fiance.

Packet 4 contains an appointment date and instructions on where to go to complete the medical examination.

The medical exams must be performed by one of the physicians identified in Packet 4.

Applicants should bring their vaccination records to the medical exam and may be asked to have additional vaccinations at that time.

In addition to mailing Packet 4, we will, upon request, notify by fax attorneys of record or interested petitioners not represented by an attorney that Packet 4 has been sent and an appointment date has been set.

This request should be included in the original fax sent to the Embassy asking us to open a provisional case.

Fifth Step — The Fiance Visa Interview

On the date of the appointment your Fiance should come to the Immigrant Visa section of the Embassy.

Minor children under 14 do not need to attend the interview.

Your Fiance will need to fill out a Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-156) in duplicate, as well as a supplement to form DS-156 required in K visa cases.

Each dependent child will also need Nonimmigrant Visa Applications in duplicate.  Original documents, not copies, should be brought to the interview.

Originals of primary documents, such as birth, marriage, and death records, will be returned to the applicant after the interview.

Your Fiance will be asked to present:

  • Valid passports for the beneficiary and any dependent children
  • Birth certificates for the beneficiary and any dependent children
  • Proof of termination of any prior marriages of both petitioner and beneficiary
  • Police certificate(s) for the beneficiary and any dependent children over 16 years of age
  • Vaccination results for the beneficiary and any dependent children
  • Medical exam results for the beneficiary and any dependent children
  • Proof of adequate financial support once in the United States to ensure that your Fiance and dependent children will not become public charges.
  • Supporting documentation verifying the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary

Documentation regarding financial support can be in any form so long as it contains enough detail and information for the consular officer to conclude that the beneficiary will not become a public charge.

After a consular officer has reviewed the case, your Fiance will be interviewed.

The consular officer will ask your Fiance questions about your relationship, such as how you met and when you decided to marry.

The consular officer is required by law to verify that your relationship with your Fiance is real and that you do intend to marry within 90 days of your Fiance’s arrival in the United States.

Your Fiance will be required to sign a statement regarding his or her legal capacity to marry and intention to marry.

Provided everything is in order at the time of the interview, your Fiance will receive a visa the same day.

Your Fiance and each dependent child will pay a non- refundable machine-readable-visa fee on the day of the interview.

Supporting documentation, including the K petition, birth certificate, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and medical exam will be placed in a sealed envelope and given to the applicant for presentation to USCIS at the port of entry.

June 10, 2016

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Green Card by Marriage to a U.S. Citizen

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