Thursday, September 8, 2011

The K-1 Visa Application Process is Finally Complete

When I called the Department of Immigration in April, 6 months after I sent them the visa petition for Adam and learned that they weren’t even going to LOOK at it for another 3 months, it was devastating. 

So 2 weeks later when we got a letter saying that the petition was approved, we were pretty surprised.  And PSYCHED.  It was Friday April 22, Adam’s last full day of vacation here before he had to go back home.  We couldn’t have asked for a nicer consolation (well, maybe a volcanic eruption delaying his flight, but it was a nice second).  Form I-797, Notice of Action that accompanied the letter was dated April 9.  That’s 3 days after I phoned (coincidence?  I think not : )).  They basically said that Adam should start looking for a packet in the mail, and gave the address of the embassy in London where he’d have his interview! 

At this point, it was up to Adam.  Once he got home and got his letter, he had to get together:
  • A background check by the police
  • Vaccinations
  • A medical appointment with an embassy doctor in London (2 hour train ride for him)
  • 2 copies of Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  • Form DS-156K, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  • Form DS-230, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration
  • A copy of his passport
  • Up to date vaccinations
  • 2 2x2 passport style photos
  • And I don’t even know what fees were involved but I’m sure it a couple hundred 
And I had to mail him:
  • Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support)
  • Another letter of intent, notarized (luckily a friend of a friend did it for me free, AND came to the school!
  • A letter from the bank with my current savings and checking account totals
  • My bank statements (to show proof of savings and income stream) from the last 12 months
  • My tax transcripts from the IRS from the past 3 years
  • A copy of my driver’s license
  • My W-2s from the past year
  • My last 3 paycheck stubs
  • Photos of us together looking couple-y (to show proof of a relationship)
  • A letter from my employer stating that my job is permanent and my salary
  • 2 2x2 inch passport style photos
Amidst problems with forums expiring, issues with the timing of the vaccinations, and fears of missing one little thing and having the process delayed by months.  Not to mention the general anxiety of moving to a new country.  He’s a lot greyer now than he was before he started. 

Overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork, we seriously looked into eloping this past summer.  It was going to be less paperwork, and it would have been less money if we had done it in the first place.  However the catch is that after the wedding, he’d have needed to go back to England for a year.  Which seems, in my humble opinion, unnecessarily cruel.  So I’m glad we didn’t pick THAT route.  Who wants to spend their first year of marriage apart!? 

He sent in his fiancé visa application materials on June 9.

His medical appointment was on June 14.

At that point it was time to wait for them to schedule an interview at the embassy.  We started to wonder if he’d have his interview with the embassy while I was there!  How cool would THAT be?  We could take the train in the night before, spend a sleepless night freaking out (but at least we’d have each other, haha) and not have to worry about a long trip the morning of.  Then we could spend a few extra days in London together again, like the first year I went to see him, and celebrate how well he did.

On July 8 he phoned the day before I was scheduled to arrive, hoping to surprise me with an interview date.  Instead he got jerked around a little that they didn’t have all the forms, so he called another office right away who said they did, so he immediately sent them a strongly worded Email.  He got a reply on the July 11 that everything IS all set, but since he said we want to get married in January they’ll schedule it closer to that time, so he said he’d really prefer an interview ASAP. 

On July 15 he finally got an Email with an interview date.  September 8.

So…we didn’t get to do London together.  Oh well.  At least we avoided the London Riots!

The week leading up to his interview, he was a LOT calmer than I expected : ) Then the night before his interview we planned on not chatting that night because he wanted to go to bed just as I was getting home from work.  But since he didn’t sleep a wink he ended up coming on at night to chat with me, and also just before he left <3. 

The next morning at 8:15 am (1:15 pm his time) the phone rang.  Telemarketer, or Adam, I wondered.  It was…Adam’s step father, haha!  “I can’t talk long, but I just wanted to tell you.  HE PASSED!  Adam passed his interview!  He’s going to America and the two of you are getting married!  It’s so beautiful!”  :)

After much rejoicing with him, (I was a LITTLE disappointed in him for spoiling Adam’s news for him.  But I quickly realized that since Adam was with his parents, his mum must have called him and he was just so overcome that he had to share the joyous news with somebody :) ) and going to work and much rejoicing with my coworkers, I got home and got to hear all about the visa interview.  Other than struggling to get a decent fingerprint taken and having a mumble-y clerical guy who he could hardly understand, the actual interview sounded like it was a breeze.  He didn’t need half of the things he brought in his binder (he brought SO much stuff “just in case.”) and the guy joked with him about a photo he brought as "proof of an ongoing relationship" that happened to be taken at the New England Aquarium, “This is a cute photo of the two of you with a dolphin statue!  That cinches it, anyone with a dolphin statue automatically goes through to America.”  They let him know that his visa would be mailed to him in about 7 to 14 days.  He left the embassy to celebrate at a pub with his parents.

And slept through most of it.

“So now we finally get to set a date!”  <-- me

“(…) Tomorrow.”  <-- Adam


  1. Just the list of that admin makes my head hurt! And I thought we had difficulties getting our banns read in two parishes!
    (Don't think you have that in the US, in the UK if you get married in a CofE church, rather than go to the register office and declare your intention to marry they read Banns of marriage on 3 consecutive Sundays at some point in the 3 months before your wedding. The idea is that it's a call to the local community to double check you are legally allowed to marry. We were getting married in a different parish to the one we live in so had to have them read at two churches, one staffed by the most incompetent vicar ever!)

    Have you set your date now? I'm still ridiculously excited by all things wedding related!

  2. We're not getting married in a church, so no problems there :)

    And no date yet! I'm pretty confident about the WEEK (we were pretty sure about that back in June because at that point they were pretty true to the projected timeline). It pretty much has to be during one of my 1 week school vacations. So once Adam talks to his parents about getting time off work we'll be good to go :)

  3. Also worth pointing out is the fact the passport-sized photos had to be *US approved* dimensions, not the standard UK! US are half an inch bigger both ways. Little things like that really throw you out of the loop, especially when there's so much to do already.

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