U.S. Visas in Ghana
U.S. Visas in Ghana
U.S. Fiance Visa (K-1) in Ghana
U.S. Fiance Visa (K-1) in Ghana

A person who has a U.S. citizen fiancé may apply for a K-1 visa to join their partner in the U.S. The K-1 visa permits the foreign national fiancé to travel to the U.S. and marry their U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival and to subsequently apply for a green card visa with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United State Citizenship and Immigration services (USCIS).

Unmarried children under 21 years of the foreign national spouse are eligible to apply and travel with the fiancé on a K-2 visa. There are no quotas or limits on the number of people who can obtain fiancé visas and subsequent green cards through marriage to a U.S. citizen. A fiancé visa can take anywhere from 6 months to a year or more to obtain, depending on how backed up the various offices dealing with the applicant’s file are.

Who is considered a fiancé under U.S. law?

To qualify as a fiancé, the applicant must meet the requirement of U.S. law on who a fiancé is. Under U.S. immigration law, a foreign- national fiancé of a U.S. citizen is the recipient of an of an approved Petition for Alien Fiancé, Form I-129F, who has been issued a non-immigrant K-1 visa for travel to the U.S. in order to marry their U.S. citizen fiancé.

Who is eligible for a K-1 visa?

To be eligible, both the applicant and the U.S. citizen sponsor must have been legally free to marry at the time the petition is filed. There must be proof that there are no subsisting marriages and that any prior relationships are legally and effectively terminated. The marriage must also be legally possible according to the laws of the U.S. state in which the marriage will take place.

In general, both partners must have met in person within the past 2 years preceding the petition. This requirement may be waived on grounds of extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen sponsor to personally meet the foreign-national fiancé. An exception may also be granted where, for example, for cultural reasons, it is impossible for both parties to meet each other.

The Application process

This is for persons who want to study or train at a non-academic institution in the U.S.

  • The first step is for the U.S. Citizen Fiancé to file what is called a Fiancé Visa Petition, Form I-29F with the United State Consular and Immigration Services (USCIS). The object of this petition is to alert the immigration authorities that the U.S. fiancé is planning to marry the applicant and that he or she is willing to participate in the visa application.
  • Once the petition is approved the USCIS will notify the U.S. citizen fiancé and transfer the case to the National Visa Centre (NVC). The NVC will take care of some processing matters then transfer the case to the U.S. consulate in the applicant’s home country after the applicant has been assigned a case member.
  • The NVC will mail the applicant a letter after sending the case to the U.S. consulate or embassy. To keep the process moving, the applicant will be asked to fill out certain of the forms they receive fairly quickly. It is important to note that time is of the essence in this process since the approved fiancé visa petition is good for only 4 months although this may be extended by the consulate for one final 4 month extension.
  • The consulate will next contact the applicant by mail sending an appointment letter with the necessary forms and instructions for the application. This will include instructions for obtaining a medical exam and for finger prints.
Documents required in support of the application
  • a complete Form DS-160. The applicant and their children must each complete form DS-160 to apply for a K1/K2 visa;
  • USCIS Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support Form) if required by the consulate, signed by the U.S. fiancé petitioner stating that they will reimburse the government if the applicant receives public assistance or welfare;
  • State Department Form DS-1858, Sponsors Financial Responsibility under the Social Security Act;
  • a valid travel passport from the applicant’s home country, good for at least 6 months;
  • original USCIS Notice of Action approving the Finance Visa Petition;
  • originals of documents submitted in connection with the visa petition, such as the U.S. fiancés birth certificate and proof that any previous marriage is legally terminated;
  • documents to accompany form I-134 such as proof of U.S. Citizen’s employment, copy of U.S. Citizens most recent federal tax returns, and a letter from U.S. Citizen’s bank(s) confirming their account(s);
  • the applicants’ original birth certificate;
  • an original police clearance certificate. The applicant personally must collect police clearance certificates from each country they have lived in for one year or more since their 16th birthday. Additionally they must have a polite certificate from their home country or country of last residence, if they have lived there for at least 6 months since the age of 16yrs;
  • two additional photographs of the applicant, according to the consulate’s photo instructions;
  • result of the applicant’s medical examination in an unopened envelope;
  • Additional documents proving the relationship to cover the time since the fiancé visa petition was submitted. This may include phone bills showing calls to one another, copies of emails and other correspondence and photos taken during recent joint vacations;
  • fee receipt showing that the relevant visa application fee has been paid; and
  • finger print scans by the consulate as port of the interview processes.
What happens after a K-1 visa is issued?

Once a K-1 visa is issued, the consular officer will give the applicant their passport with the K-1 visa and a sealed packet containing the civil documents they provided plus other documents prepared by the U.S embassy or consulate. Normally the applicant must use the visa within 6 months, although the consulate can extend this period if necessary.

The inspection process during entry typically involves a U.S. border officer opening the sealed envelope containing the visa documents and making sure the applicant has not used fraud. The border officer has expedited removal power which means that the officer can turn the applicant right around and send them home if anything appears wrong in the applicant’s packet or with answer to the officer’s questions. When the officer is satisfied that everything is in order, they will stamp the applicant’s passport to show that they are now a K-1 visa holder and the applicant will be authorized to remain in the U.S. for 90 days.

If the applicant has accompanying children they must enter the U.S. at the same time as the applicant or after the applicant’s entry. The applicant can apply for a work permit once they are in the U.S. If the applicant desires to apply for a green card, it is important that he or she gets married to their U.S. Citizen Fiancé. They cannot apply for the green card until they have an official government certificate of the marriage.

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