The Process in Applying for a U.S. Fiancé Visa in the Philippines | How to Apply

Applying for a K-1 fiancé visa is a process that will take several months to just under a year. There are several steps, and good legal assistance can help make the process a smooth one.

Step 1 – File with USCIS

All K-1 fiancé visa petitions are filed by mail at the USCIS office that serves the area where the petitioner lives. Even if the American citizen petitioner is living in the Philippines, the petition cannot be filed at a U.S. Embassy or USCIS office abroad.

Step 2 – NVC

After the USCIS has received and reviewed the fiancé visa petition, the case is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). It is the NVC that issues each file a case number and sends the petition to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to where the foreign national fiancé(e) lives. If the foreign fiancé(e) is a Filipina or Filipino living anywhere in the Philippines, the case will likely be sent to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, where it will be reviewed by the Immigrant Visa Section.

Step 3 – Interview Preparation and Medical Exam

After the case has been sent to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the applicant can begin to prepare for an interview. Preparation will involve collecting a number of documents and attending a medical exam at St. Luke’s Hospital in Ermita. A qualified immigration lawyer can help the couple by reviewing the documents in advance to spot inconsistencies or deficiencies.

Step 4 – Consular Interview

Finally, the foreign fiancé(e) will attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The staff and Consular Officer will review the documents the applicant has brought and will likely ask questions about the underlying relationship. If the interview is successful, the Officer will keep the applicant’s passport and mail it back several weeks later with the new visa.

Many couples have successfully prepared fiancé visa petitions with careful researching of the process on their own. The process is not a mystery, and much of the information is available online. However, many couples who try to prepare their own cases run into problems and delays. These are caused mostly by misunderstandings, oversights, or incomplete submissions, the chances of which can be lessened through the assistance of an American immigration attorney.