Before we go into what types of evidence to include, let’s take a look at the overall I-129f petition and steps involved.
Note: this post assumes you are eligible for the fiancé visa there you must also include proof of petitioners US citizenship, termination of all prior marriages, and letter of intent to marry.
I’ve personally submitted my own I-129F petition to USCIS. I will admit that it was overwhelming and scary. Never having dealt with US immigration at the time, I truly was fearful of being denied.
This fear seems unreasonable to me now but back then, it felt so real.
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I-129F adjudication is taking about 6-8 months for approval.
It’s just a tad bit longer than when I applied myself many years ago.
Casey met his fiancé Anne at a concert in the UK where they immediately hit it off. When he arrived back in the States, they decided to stay in touch and see what a long distance relationship would be like. Months later, they fell in love and decided to meet again and get engaged.
Casey and Anne didn’t know where to start when it came to the I-129F evidence to include. They began gathering all the documents they had together and hoped it would be enough for USCIS.
Hope is not something you want to count on when it comes to your USCIS case. Trust me, it’s better to be prepared and know that you’ve submitted the best I-129F petition possible.
I-129F Evidence of Meeting
List of Strong Evidence Of Meeting In Person
- boarding passes are very strong evidence to show you’ve met in person. They not only prove you were on the plane that was headed to a specific country but it also shows that you are who you say you are when it comes to ID. If you have thrown away your boarding passes, no worries but you will need to have a lot more secondary evidence to show you have met in person.
- these are similar to the boarding passes but not as strong. The reason simply including your online itinerary isn’t going to cut it is because anyone can buy a ticket online. This doesn’t necessarily mean they boarded the plane, right? Now if you include both the itinerary and the boarding passes, then that’s a slam dunk!
- Having a lot of photos together will help to show that you have both met in person. Although it won’t specifically show when you physically met it is still strong evidence to include.
- If you stayed at a hotel during your stay, be sure to keep the receipt. You can usually print the receipt from the email notification about your booking. This helps to prove that you were in the same city and USCIS can put two and two together that you must have met then.
- Although restaurant receipts are not very strong evidence, it can help with your overall evidence package. AS long as you have some of the stronger proof above, you should be just fine.
- Travel expense receipts
- If you’ve kept your train, bus or Uber receipts you can certainly include these. Again, this wouldn’t be considered strong evidence but it can help build your case if you have a variety of evidence to show you were in the same country.
I-129F Evidence of Intent to Marry
Getting engaged is one step of the K1 visa process but what’s more important is your intentions.
What do I mean by this? I mean that you actually will get married after the K1 visa is approved.
This is exactly why USCIS requires that you include a letter of intent to marry with your I-129F petition. They want to know that you are serious and not simply in the “getting to know you” phase of your relationship.
As you can see from the snippet above, USCIS wants you to write a signed statement saying that you plan on getting married to each other. Both you and your fiancé must sign a separate statement each in pen.
What should the statement say? Take a look at a sample Letter of Intent below.
Dear Sir or Madam:
I, (applicant’s or beneficiary’s name),do hereby state that I am legally able and willing to marry (petitioner’s or beneficiary’s name), and intend to do so within 90 days of my arrival into the US using the K-1 visa.
It’s important to note that you must sign this letter with ink and not use an electronic signature that you print out. The foreign fiancé must also sign their own Letter of Intent with ink and then mail it to you!
I-129F Evidence of Ongoing Relationship
Wondering what the heck evidence would count as “ongoing relationship?”
Let’s just say that USCIS wants to know that your relationship is serious and that you are continuing to communicate on a regular basis.
Remember, they are looking out for fraud or someone paying to get to the United States. This happens more frequently than you think! Take a look at this craigslist ad about an American offering a green card in exchange for money.
List of Evidence of Ongoing Relationship
- Including emails and chat records is strong evidence. It is document proof that you’ve been in contact for a long period of time. But, there is not set amount of time that you must know your fiancé so don’ worry about that. Just make sure to include records from multiple months during your entire courtship.
Phone call records
- Phone records are also great evidence of ongoing relationship. It shows that you’ve been calling each other regularly over the course of your relationship. You can usually request these records directly from your cell phone carrier.
Birthday cards, letters
- If you’re the type to send birthday cards or letters (how sweet! ????) then include copies of these documents. Definitely keep the originals since they have so much sentimental value.
- Take photos together is really really important! Even if you hate taking photos, just do it! Not only does it show that you’ve met in person, but it shows you have an ongoing relationship. Every chance you get to see each other should be used as an opportunity to take photos together.
- Plans for your future
- Making plans together is the fun part of being engaged. This is the time when you should be thinking about your wedding, marriage and life together. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to have a big wedding. A simply wedding or a courthouse wedding will do just fine.
K1 Evidence of Financial Support
Finally, we are on to the financial support part of the K1 visa process. Up until now, you’ve been dealing with USCIS directly but now it’s time to work with the National Visa Center.
What is the National Visa Center? It’s an organization that will handle your approved I-129F petition and be the middleman between USCIS and the US consulate.
They will oversee your visa application, payment and scheduling your interview. Although the NVC does a lot, your case usually doesn’t stay there very long (I’m talking just a few months.)
List of Evidence of Financial Support
- The US citizen should have filed taxes for the last few years. If you didn’t file taxes, take a look at this post for your options. Include at least 3 years tax transcripts that you can request directly from the IRS. Some consulate will be fine with just 1 years tax transcripts so check with your local consulate.
- If the petitioner is employed by a company, then you will likely have paystubs and W2. This is great and shows you have a steady form of income that can support the beneficiary. You will need to show that you meet the minimum income requirement for your household size.
Profit and Loss Statement
- If the petitioner is self-employed or a business owner, they can include a copy of the company’s profit and loss statement. This statement shows all revenue, expenses and net income.
- Including your bank account statements is usually a good idea if you don’t have regular W2 income. This helps to solidify your evidence showing that your income is consistent.
Other Types Of Income
- Being retired doesn’t mean you will have trouble proving your can support your beneficiary! Just be sure that you meet the minimum income requirement for your household size. This can be hard if your social security income is low so you may need to use assets in addition to retirement income.
- Using investment income is an option if you don’t have regular income or if your income falls short. Investments must be liquid and easily convertible to cash within 12 months.
Real estate Income
- When it comes to using real estate to help top off income shortfalls, you must not use your primary residence. The only real estate that will count is a rental property that can be sold in the event that you need the cash to pay back the US government. It must be convertible to cash with 12 months and the value is calculated less the loan against it.
- If the US citizen is a retired veteran or is currently on long term disability that will continue in the long run you can use it. Remember, USCIS doesn’t care where your income is coming from (as long as it’s legal) but they do care that it’s stable. Show proof of disability income by including bank statements and disability payments statements.
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Final Thoughts On I-129F Evidence
We’ve gone through a ton of information and I’m sure you are overwhelmed right about now. If I could give you one piece of advice, it’s to start gathering evidence before you even think about filing the I-129F petition.
Some couples in the Migrant Academy do their research well before even getting engaged or married!
By being prepared well in advance, you will know exactly what is needed to move forward in your application. You will also avoid not keeping evidence that you will need for your petition or visa application.
Finally, I want to remind you that this process can be stressful and aggravating. Especially how slow it all seems to move but I promise you that after you get approved and live in the US together, it will be a distant memory!
I’ve been where you are now and I felt like every day was inching ever so slowly. But guess what? In less than a year I was approved and on my way to the US. Since living here, I barely think about all those weeks of waiting for an approval letter or for my interview.
You will get there too. Then come back and let me know how relieved and happy you are! ????