I'M LEAVING TO SEE MY FIANCEE: WHAT DO I DO?

(OR I'M READY TO START A FIANCEE VISA
FOR MY LADY: WHAT DO I DO?)

Many people ask me about a FIANCEE VISA or SPOUSAL VISA and what to do.Often, the folks who call or contact me are about to leave in a few weeks or even just a few days to visit their fiancee in her country. Or they might already be on vacation and visiting their fiancee's country and enjoying time with her. Or they may have already visited her and courted her for weeks or months, and are now ready to start a FIANCEE VISA.

FIANCEE VISA: WHAT TO DO.
Here's what I suggest:

FIRST OFF, SEE IF YOU "QUALIFY" FOR THE FIANCEE VISA
BY REVIEWING THIS CHECKLIST OF BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:

1. SHOW "U.S. CITIZENSHIP", WITH A TRUE INTENTION TO RESIDE IN THE U.S. WITH YOUR FOREIGN FIANCEE.

2. DEMONSTRATE A "SERIOUS INTENTION TO MARRY" IN THE U.S., TYPICALLY WITH LETTERS, CARDS, E-MAILS, CORRESPONDENCE AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION INCLUDING PHOTOS OF BOTH OF YOU TOGETHER AS A COUPLE. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SHOW A SERIOUS PRESENT INTENTION TO RESIDE WITH HER IN THE U.S. ON AN ON-GOING AND PERMANENT BASIS.

3. SATISFY A PERSONAL MEETING REQUIREMENT: DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU SAW YOUR FIANCEE IN PERSON "FACE-TO-FACE" RECENTLY (AT LEAST ONE TIME IN THE PAST 24 MONTHS, BUT PREFERRABLY MORE RECENTLY) SUPPORTED WITH PHOTOS OF BOTH OF YOU TOGETHER IN PUBLIC PLACES, AIRLINE OR TRAVEL TICKETS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS.

4. SHOW THAT BOTH OF YOU ARE "FREE AND ELIGIBLE TO MARRY":
IN OTHER WORDS, EACH OF YOU ARE EITHER SINGLE & NEVER MARRIED, OR IF MARRIED BEFORE, HAVE EACH PRIOR DIVORCE DECREE, OR IF WIDOWED, HAVE EACH PRIOR SPOUSE'S DEATH CERTIFICATE.

5. MEET 125% OF CURRENT YEAR FEDERAL MINIMUM INCOME GUIDELINES (CALLED "POVERTY GUIDELINES")
(*YOU SHOULD ALSO BE PREPARED TO MEET THESE INCOME REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS.)
FOR YOUR HOUSEHOLD SIZE AND THE STATE YOU LIVE IN ("INCOME" REFERS TO INCOME REPORTED TO IRS ON LINE 22 OF FORM 1040 WHICH IS TOTAL INCOME AFTER BUSINESS LOSSES, EXPENSES AND CAPTIAL LOSSES, OR LINE 15 OF FORM 1040A OR LINE 4 OF FORM 1040EZ:
CLICK HERE FOR THE GUIDELINES.

6. THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALIFICATION IS "PATIENCE"'.

U.S. VISAS CANNOT BE SECURED BY OVERNIGHT DELIVERY.
YOU AND YOUR FIANCEE NEED TO BUDGET REALISTIC TIMEFRAMES AND FIND GOOD WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR SEPARATION ANXIETY WHLE THE VISA IS PROCESSING. (FOR SOME SUGGESTIONS, CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE ABOUT STAYING PATIENT AND POSITIVE)

IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED THAT PEOPLE MAKE EXTENSIVE AND COMPLICATED PLANS BASED ON ROUGH PROJECTED TIMEFRAMES FOR SECURING A VISA. IMMIGRATION AND EMBASSY PROCESSING TIMES ARE TOO UNRELIABLE FOR THAT AND CONSTANTLY KEEP CHANGING BASED ON A VARIETY OF UNCONTROLLABLE FACTORS.

THE OFFICIAL POLICY OF THE EMBASSY IS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD NOT PURCHASE AIRLINE OR TRAVEL TICKETS,
QUIT OR LEAVE JOBS, BUY OR SELL HOUSES OR PROPERTY IN RELIANCE ON A REQUESTED VISA UNTIL THE VISA IS IN HAND.

CURRENT PROCESSING TIME TO SECURE A FIANCEE VISA FROM START TO FINISH FOR MOST GENTLEMAN
RESIDING IN MOST PARTS OF THE U.S. IS
AT LEAST FIVE (5) TO SIX (6) MONTHS OR MORE FROM OFFICIAL PETITION FILING DATE.

(*THIS IS A VERY ROUGH BASELINE. AS OF APRIL 2009, AVERAGE TIME FRAMES ARE CLOSER TO ABOUT SEVEN (7) TO EIGHT (8) MONTHS FROM FILING DATE. SOMETIMES, IMMIGRATION SERVICE AND EMBASSY TIMES ARE EVEN LONGER DUE TO A VARITEY OF REASONS, AMONG THEM: PETITIONERS AND BENEFICIARIES WITH ISSUES IN THEIR BACKGROUNDS SUCH AS CRIMINAL RECORD, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RECORD, FIREARMS RECORD, OR PAST IMMIGRATION AND VISA RECORD. FURTHERMORE, SOME FIANCEE VISA PETITIONERS AND APPLICANTS MUST BE CONSIDERED "HIGHER-RISK" FOR DENIAL OR DELAY, AND AMONG THESE ARE GENTLEMEN WITH FOUR OR MORE DIVORCE DECREES, ESPECIALLY IF ONE WAS WITH A FOREIGN LADY, GENTLEMEN WITH A PAST VISA FOR FOR A FOREIGN LADY, ESPECIALLY IF THE LADY VIOLATED TERMS OF VISA OR OVERSTAYED VISA, OR LADIES WITH PAST VISA OR IMMIGRATION HISTORY WITH VIOLATIONS OR OVERSTAYS.)

IF YOU CHOOSE TO UTILIZE OUR SERVICES, WE WILL DO EVERYTHING REASONABLE IN OUR POWER TO SEE TO IT THAT YOUR LADY IS JOINING YOU IN THE U.S. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THIS IS BASED ON OUR EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE & KNOWLEDGE, AND ON OUR ASSISTANCE TO YOU AT THE IMMIGRATION OFFICE AND THE EMBASSY WITH WAYS TO "SMOOTH DOWN" AND "SHORT-CUT" THINGS AND AVOID PROBLEMS, AND ALSO OUR REPUTATION AND CONNECTIONS WITH IMMIGRATION, THE EMBASSY AND THE AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSN. (AILA). HOWEVER, SINCE WE DO NOT CONTROL THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, WE DO NOT AND CANNOT OFFER ANY GURANTEES OR PROMISES ABOUT TIMEFRAMES OR RESULTS.

SECOND:
Keep all your papers concerning your trip such as airline tickets, hotel receipts, and anything else. Do not throw them away. You will need them to prove that you met your fiancee in person and have a sincere relationship with her. It is also suggested that you begin gathering written communication with her to prove your sincere relationship, such as love letters, cards, E-mails and correspondence.

THIRD:
Go to this website and download the program called Adobe Acrobat Reader.
It's free and won't take long.

Now, you can open all the forms.You can also type into them because they are "online fillable", and then print them.

FOURTH:

To get started, you need to get:
1) Background Information on Your Lady and Yourself,
2) Documents,
3) Photos and
4) Signatures.

1. Background Information and Data from Your Lady and Yourself
(which you can get by having her and yourself answer our Online Questionnaire.)
Print this questionnaire, have her and yourself fill it out (either language version) and bring it back with you.

ENGLISH:
http://www.usaimmigrationattorney.com/images/engquestionnaireladies.pdf

PORTUGUESE:
http://www.usaimmigrationattorney.com/images/FIANCEEVISAQUESTIONNAIREPORTG2003.pdf

SPANISH:
http://www.usaimmigrationattorney.com/images/fianceevisaquestionnaire.pdf

RUSSIAN:
http://www.usaimmigrationattorney.com/images/russianladiesquestionnaire.pdf

2. Documents
(which are listed at the bottom of the same above Online Questionnaire any version.)
These documents are:
1. Notarized Copy of her "Long-Form" Birth Certificate with her Parent's Names on it from government Civil Registry.
2. Official Copy of her Baptism Certificate in her religion
3. A Notarized Copy of each of her Divorce Decrees, if she was married before (or Death Certificates of Ex-Husbands, if she is a widow)
4. If possible, try to get a Certificate or Affidavit of Singlehood or Single Status. Have her ask a Notary in her locality about how to get this.
5. Notarized Copy of her International Passport.
6. Notarized Copy of her Country Identification Card (in Colombia and many Latin countries, it is called ""Cedula")
7. Notarized Copy of Judicial Report (in Colombia called "Pasado Judicial")
8. Notarized Copy of Police Report of her country (often called "Certificado de Policia")(Optional)
9. I suggest that she write a short Letter of Relationship, saying that she is single and decalring her Intent to marry you, and whys he isengaged to marry you. (The letter is signed, dated and notarized)
10. If you want any Unmarried Minors of your Fiancee under age 21 years old to also secure a visa, you need the same information, documents and photos of each child.
11. Be aware that the Natural Father of any of her Minor Children who want visas must later sign and Letter of Permission to allow the choldren to leave their country to travel to the U.S. (There are some limited exceptions such as the father's whereabouts are not known.) The Letter is not needed however until the time of U.S. Embassy interview, later in the process.
12. If your Fiancee is from 16 and before 18 years of age, then a written, signed, dated and notarized Letter of Permission from her Mother or Father they they give permission to have her marry you and get a U.S. visa to leave Colombia for the U.S.
13. English Translations: We need English Translations of all Foreign Language Documents. We need both the English AND the foreign language version, NOT just the English translation. We need the name, address, signature, telephone number and date of translation of the translator. For List of Approved Document Translators in COLOMBIA, click here: Approved Translators List.
(Understand that this List is posted on the U.S. Embassy, Bogota website but refers to the Colombian Foreign Ministry. Choose "Ninguno" in the dropdown box for "Idioma", then press "Aceptar". You will her a list of some 20 Pages of Translators in Colombia. Look for a Translator close to her city or town.)

3. Social Photos and Passport Identification Photos
SOCIAL PHOTOS show both of you together in familiar places in your fiancee's country or a third country (holding hands, etc.). PASSPORT IDENTIFICATION PHOTOS consist of four (4) standard color passport photos of her and yourself. GO TO ANY GOOD PASSPORT PHOTO STORE.
You know what standard color passport photos are. Just look at your picture in your own U.S. Passport. (Head and Shoulders Visible, Color, Light or White Background, 2 x 2 inches)

Color Passport Photos

For More Precise Specification Requirements, Check State Department Page Here:

If you want any unmarried kids of your fiancee under age 21 years old to also secure a visa, you need the same information, documents and photos of each child.

4. Signatures of Your Lady
You also need to secure your fiancee's original live signature on the Form G-325A, also found on my web page:

Form G-325A (Go to www.USCIS.gov and click the word "Forms" and scroll down to G-325A)
If the above link does not work on your Browser, then type in the words www.USCIS.gov into your Browser window)

Print this form out on your Printer, and have your lady sign where it says "Signature". To be safe and to avoid mistakes, I suggest that you print this form out four (4) times and have her sign each page. (No need to fill this form out or date it. Just have her sign it.) If you have time, you can order the original form from Immigration Service by calling 1-800-375-5283 for more information.

I also like to keep your lady's signature on file, so open up this Signature Sheet Page and have her sign her name inside each of the three boxes in black ink without touching the lines of the box.

That's it.

If you bring all this back, you have effectively minimized standard preparation time and eliminated waiting time for your lady to mail things to you, and thus you are well ahead in the process to secure your Fiancee's Visa as quickly as possible.

(Obviously, there are more things I will need such as birth certificate and divorce decrees of you, tax returns, etc. but they can wait for you to return to the U.S.) ORDER YOUR RECORDS HERE: USA Vital
(*Special Note: Recent federal legislation requires that you submit information and documents about your past Criminal History and past Domestic Violence records such as protective orders to Homeland Security and State Department. Contact your state officials about how to order such records in your state.)

Good luck,

Gary Bala
USA Immigration Attorney

ATTORNEY FEES FOR CURRENT YEAR:
Flat Fee of $1500.00 for Fiancee Visa,
plus $535.00 US Government filing fee.
$100.00 for Each Minor Child's Visa or for Co-Signer Affidavit.
$350.00 Retainer-Deposit Requested (Non-Refundable)

As concerns the balance, our office policy is to receive full payment no later than when your legal petitions are ready for filing. This gives you at least a few weeks, sometimes a couple of months or more to secure the funds to use us.

We accept Checks, Money Orders, and also Credit and Debit Cards of Visa, Mastercard and Discover which we accept through PayPal.com. There are additional U.S. Embassy charges at the Consulate when your lady travels there for final visa processing, for things such as visa application, interview, medical examination and vaccines which will total approximately $400-$500.

  • SPECIAL COMMENTS. PLEASE READ:
    1. We no longer give Free Consultations by E-Mail or Telephone About Documents in your case. We offer Paid Telephone Consultations at $50.00 for Half-Hour for special issues about documents or other concerns in your case. Click here: Consultations.
    2. If you are meeting your Fiancee for the very first time on this trip, then we suggest that you NOT put "getting her documents" as your top priority. We think your top priority should be the "Big Picture": Your qualifications for the visa, and any special problems?, Do you have serious intention to marry and a final decision to do the visa and use our office?, Will you (or she) change your mind?, etc. Work on the relationship first. She can always mail to the USA any missing documents. Contact us only AFTER you both have a serious intention to marry and a final decision to do the visa and use our office, not before.
    3. Getting all her Documents does NOT mean that the visa processing with the U.S. Government will go "faster". it just means that you both save some preparation time and mail time.
  • ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • PARA SU VISA: Preguntas y Documentos
  • LISTA DE DOCUMENTOS EN ESPANOL PARA LA DAMA Y HIJOS
  • Necesito una Copia en Notaria de:
  • 1. Usted y CADA HIJO "el Certificado de Nacimiento" oficial de Registro Civil
  • 2. Usted y CADA HIJO "el Pasaporte de Colombia"
  • 3. Usted "el Certificado o Papel de su Divorcio (todas paginas)", si Ud. tiene Divorcios
  • 4. CUATRO (4) fotos colores COMO PASAPORTE de Usted y CADA HIJO
  • EJEMPLO:
  • 5. Su firma en el Formulario G-325A y El Papel de la Firma (ABAJO)
  • 6. Copia de CEDULA autenticado de Usted y CADA HIJO, SI HAY
  • 7. Fe de BAUTISMO o Certificado de Bautismo autenticada de Usted y CADA HIJO
  • 8. Certificado de Policia de Usted y CADA HIJO, SI HAY, (En Colombia, se llama: DAS Pasado Judicial o Certificado Judicial)
  • 9. Una CARTA sobre su RELACION sincera con SU NOVIO en sus palabras y con su firma y la fecha.
  • 10. Certificado o Papel de SOLTERA (prueba que Ud. es soltera)(Pregunta a su Notario sobre este documento.)
  • LINK PARA DOS FORMULARIOS SU FIRMA NORMAL EN DOS PAPELES: FORMULARIO G-325A Y PAPEL DE LA FIRMA
  • PUEDE ABRIR ESTES FORMULARIOS AQUI (SOLO SU FIRMA)
    (NO TIENE QUE LLENAR ESTE FORMULARIO)
  • 1. http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/g-325a.pdf

  • SE NECESITA DOS COPIAS DE ESTE FORMULARIO CON SU FIRMA.

  • 2. http://www.usaimmigrationattorney.com/SignatureBoxSheet.html

  • SE NECESITA DOS COPIAS DE ESTE FORMULARIO CON SU FIRMA.
  • SE NECESITA UNA TRADUCCION DE SUS DOCUMENTOS EN INGLES TAMBIEN
  • TRADUCTOR EN BARRANQUILLA
  • Sr. Michael Taboada, Cra. 44 No. 80-144,
  • Barranquilla (Atlantico), Colombia Tel: 377-5562, 377-5646
  • GRACIAS.
  • ATENTAMENTE, GARY BALA