Texas, Houston K-1 Visa Guide

This is a step by step Texas and Houston fiance visa Guide:

K-1 Fiancee Visa Requirements:

1. Petitioner must be a U.S. citizen;

2. Petitioner must be eligible to marry his or her fiance as of the date the I-129F petition is
filed (divorced, never married or widowed);

3. Petitioner and beneficiary must have met in person within 2 years of the date the fiance
visa petition is filed.

Click here to see our step by step Fiance Visa Guide

The USCIS Petition

Fiance visas: Houston and the rest of Texas are under the jurisdiction of the USCIS California Service Center (CSC). The first step in the Fiance visa process is submitting the I-129F petition to the Dallas Lockbox at the address below:

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
USCIS
P.O. Box 660151
Dallas, TX 75266

The lockbox accepts the petition and forwards it to the California Service Center for further processing. Presently the CSC is approving well prepared petitions in approximately 2-4 months. Once the petition is approved the file will be sent to the National Visa Center which is part of the US Department of State. Processing at the NVC takes 7-14 days.

For more detail please see our Fiancee Visa Guide

Consular Processing

Once the petition is approved by the NVC the approval is forwarded to the American Embassy with jurisdiction over your fiancee’s country of residence. This is usually the American Embassy in your fiance’s home country. The Embassy will send your fiance instructions regarding the DS-160, the I-134 and the necessary supporting documentation. The DS-160 is biographical in nature. Your fiance will need to obtain the following items before the interview can be scheduled:

1. Birth certificate for herself and any K-2 children;

2. Passport for herself and any K-2 children;

3. Police certificate for herself and any K-2 children over age 16;

4. The Petitioner’s Affidavit of Support (form I-134) and accompanying documentation including tax returns, employer letter, pay stubs, bank records and proof of selfemployment income (if applicable);

5. Medical Exams as instructed by the Embassy.

Fiance Visa Affidavit of Support Income Requirements

1. Stable Earnings: It is important to demonstrate a record of sufficient earnings over multiple years.

2. U.S. Based Earnings: Generally, the USCIS requires that the earnings used for the affidavit of support be generated from U.S. based employment, self employment or investments. Foreign income can sometimes be used for the affidavit of support and I have had recent success with a case involving foreign earnings.

3. Assets Instead of Earnings: The USCIS will typically accept liquid assets instead of income to satisfy the fiance visa affidavit of support. The petitioner must document $3.00 of assets to replace $1.00 of income.

4. Affidavit Co-sponsorship: The USCIS will generally accept co-sponsorship to satisfy the fiance visa affidavit of support.

5. Amount of earnings: The amount of income the USCIS requires is based on poverty guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services. The 2017 guidelines are provided below:

Fiance Visa Affidavit of Support Requirements

Stable Income History

The American citizen petitioner must establish a history of stable earnings. Specifically, the petitioner must provide at least one tax return showing at least the minimum required income. VA benefits, retirement benefits, Social Security retirement or disability are all good and valid sources of earnings for the purpose of the fiance visa affidavit of support.

The petitioner must execute the fiance visa affidavit of support at the end of the case in time for the foreign fiance to bring the executed affidavit to her interview.

U.S. Domestically Based Earnings

The income to satisfy the affidavit of support must be from U.S. based earnings. There is an exception for U.S. military stationed or on deployment abroad, and also for Department of Defense Contractors.

Assets Instead of Earnings

Generally, the consulates abroad do not accept proof of assets (instead of earnings) to satisfy the affidavit of support requirements. We have had some success in obtaining fiance visas in cases where the petitioner had substantial assets and limited income.

Co-sponsorship for the Affidavit of Support

Generally the consulates will accept a co-sponsor to satisfy the fiance visa affidavit of support requirements.

Amount of Earnings

For purposes of the fiance visa affidavit of support, earnings are defined as income after business deductions as reported on your personal income tax returns. The amount of income required is based on poverty guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services and is based on the number of dependants you have.

To obtain an approved fiance visa you must have stable earnings greater than the published poverty guideline numbers.


 

2017 HHS Poverty Guidelines


For the 48 Contiguous States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands:

Sponsor’s Household Size 100% of HHS Poverty Guidelines* 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines*
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child For all other sponsors
2 $16,240 $20,300
3 $20,420 $25,525
4 $24,600 $30,750
5 $28,780 $35,975
6 $32,960 $41,200
7 $37,140 $46,425
8 $41,320 $51,650
Add $4,180 for each additional person. Add $5,225 for each additional person.

 
For Alaska:

Sponsor’s Household Size 100% of HHS Poverty Guidelines* 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines*
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child For all other sponsors
2 $20,290 $25,362
3 $25,520 $31,900
4 $30,750 $38,437
5 $35,980 $44,975
6 $41,210 $51,512
7 $46,440 $58,050
8 $51,670 $64,587
Add $5,230 for each additional person. Add $6,537 for each additional person.

 
For Hawaii:

Sponsor’s Household Size 100% of HHS Poverty Guidelines* 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines*
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child For all other sponsors
2 $18,670 $23,337
3 $23,480 $29,350
4 $28,290 $35,362
5 $33,100 $41,375
6 $37,910 $47,387
7 $42,720 $53,400
8 $47,530 $59,412
Add $4,810 for each additional person. Add $6,012 for each additional person.

Federal Means-Tested Public Benefits.

To date, Federal agencies administering benefit programs have determined that Federal means-tested public benefits include Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

State Means-Tested Public Benefits.

Each State will determine which, if any, of its public benefits are means-tested. If a State determines that it has programs which meet this definition, it is encouraged to provide notice to the public on which programs are included. Check with the State public assistance office to determine which, if any, State assistance programs have been determined to be State means-tested public benefits.

Programs Not Included:

The following Federal and State programs are not included as means-tested benefits: emergency Medicaid; short-term, non-cash emergency relief; services provided under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Acts; immunizations and testing and treatment for communicable diseases; student assistance under the Higher Education Act and the Public Health Service Act; certain forms of foster-care or adoption assistance under the Social Security Act; Head Start Programs; means-tested programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; and Job Training Partnership Act programs.

* These poverty guidelines remain in effect for use with Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, from March 1, 2017 until new guidelines go into effect in 2018.

 

The Consular Interview

Once we submit the DS-160 and gather all the necessary supporting documents, we can schedule the interview. Most fiances consider this to be the most stressful part of the process because they are nervous about the Consular interview. We have learned that nervousness about the interview largely stems from fear of the unknown. We counter this fear by extensively preparing all of our clients for the interview. Once our clients know what to expect at the interview they are able to answer all questions in a relaxed and confident manner.

Houston Marriage and Adjustment of Status

After your fiancee enters the United States on her K-1 visa she has 90 days to marry you. After your marriage your new wife will file paperwork to adjust her status to become a conditional permanent resident. Your wife will file her Adjustment of Status petition at the USCIS Chicago Lockbox at the address below:

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:
USCIS
PO Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

The adjustment case will be processed at the USCIS National Benefits Center in Lee’s Summit, MO and at the Houston Field Office. While the adjustment is pending your wife is eligible for work authorization and advance parole (permission to leave and re-enter the United States while the adjustment is pending).

If you have any further questions about the Fiance visa process or specific immigration information please feel free to contact us.

For a free evaluation of your case please call us at: (952) 544-6804


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