MY K1-FIANCE VISA INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE

I was never one for living in the USA. I have never envisioned myself staying there. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the country. It’s a beautiful country, even though I haven’t been there before. The movies got me thinking of how magical America is. It’s just that I thought everyone was in there already, and pursuing their dreams in that country. The American Dream, like they always say. And since I was the kind of person who didn’t want to go with what everyone wanted, I thought to myself, “Hmm, If I was going to live/work in another country, it would be another Asian country, or maybe Australia, or maybe, just stay home – The Philippines.”

But, connected to my previous post, fate has its own way of things. Of course, fate decides that I would fall for a guy that lives in California, and that actually, HE is that one I would be spending the rest of my life with. Thanks for turning my world upside down. But, I have no complaints. :)

Before I go posting my interview experience at the Manila US Embassy, I would just like all my other Filipinas to be SURE about the man that they are going to be spending the rest of their lives with. I know for a fact, from all the stories the elder ones have told me, that life in America ain’t at all what you call “The Life.” You have to work hard, and it is the survival of the fittest. Don’t be blinded. Work hard, and you reap the benefits. Marry cause you LOVE him, not because you want to go the the US. I don’t want to hear another story of a Filipina being used and abused. Know the person first. 

Now, let’s go to the interview experience!

There is a new building for interviews in the US Embassy and it is located right across Padre Faura. Eitherway, if you’re staying along UN Avenue or Padre Faura, it’s walking distance. My fiance and I stayed in Citystate Hotel along Padre Faura, although I think you can find better hotels than this one. It had old rooms, a super small television, and wifi is not for free.

Citystate_hotel

Here is a site to check what hotels are near the embassy: http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/48111-manila-embassy-and-st-lukes-area-hotels/

On our interview day, June 10, 2011, we woke up at around 4:15 in the morning. Got ready, ate breakfast. Don’t forget to eat your breakfast. It is very important because you would be staying inside the embassy for half a day. We walked to the embassy at around 5am. There was a short line already, so we went ahead and fell in line. There are about 3 lines – 2 for immigrants, 1 for tourists, and I think there was another one for seafarers though I’m not sure. Best to just ask the people already there. There are also seciruty guards to assist you there.  I wasn’t surprised to see many people selling ballpens and buggering you. They actually try to scare you by saying, “Do you have this or that?” then you double think to see if you DO have it. Just make sure you are ready when you get there.

Don’t forget:

  • documents
  • passport
  • appointment letter
  • 2×2 pictures
  • black pen (NOT a sign pen)
  • Don’t bring any electronics, no food or drinks. We just bought our papers and a wallet, that’s it. Just don’t bring anything. It’s less stress for everyone.

They started letting people in at 6am. You will go through this metal detector machine, but since we didn’t really bring anything, it was easy. Once inside, there are about 3 windows. Here, they will get:

  • 2 DS-156
  • 2 DS-157
  • 1 DS-156K
  • Appointment letter

They didn’t even ask for my eligibility letter, so for people who don’t have it yet, it’s fine. Until now, I don’t even know what an eligibility letter looks like. Weird, huh?

Also, there are people asking about the expiration of their forms specifically the DS-156. During my interview, my DS-156 was already expired, although they didn’t even look at it. Some people say that there will be an updated one soon, but until now, it is still not updated. 

I suggest that before going to the embassy, or before entering, get those documents together already so you don’t have a hard time looking for them in your folders anymore. Less stress, less time spent.. no worries. After that, they will give you a number plus those documents, then you will drop it in another window inside. I like the number we got cause it was a lucky number. 

Now, it’s the waiting game. We waited for 2 hours! Seriously a long time, good thing I had my fiance with me so we just talked and joked around.

Clock-spiral

After waiting for 2 hours, we were finally called. Always look at the number board to see who is called. It is called in RANDOM. They jump from 5000 to 7000. So, you better always check, so you don’t miss it.

Anyway, we were called for an initial interview with a balding Filipino guy. He asked more questions than the American did which I find annoying! Anyway, he basically talked to my fiance and was just telling stories. I HATE it that fellow Filipinos treat other Filipinos like they’re stupid. It is not an admirable trait at all! He asked us: 

  • What is your name?
  • What is your petitioner’s name?
  • Where does he live?
  • Where does he work? When I said Costco, the Filipino said, “Oh, I love Costco” and started telling stories for more than 10 minutes. (insert me rolling my eyes here)
  • How many boyfriends have you had? (WTF! What is the relation of this question to the petition!)

It took a long time basically because he was just telling stories. He even told us about his marital problems. Geez. Obviously, I didn’t like it.

After that, we waited for another 30 minutes for the finger scanning. Really fast, less than 5 minutes. By this time, the Miami-Dallas Game 5 was already starting, and we noticed that there was only one window open for the American interviewers. Our guess was that they were watching the game also! Just our luck. It was kinda okay though, cause we were entertained by the game as well. (There are huge TV’s in the waiting area)

Dirk-nowitzki-shines-as-dallas-mavericks-down-miami-heat-112-103-in-game-5-of-nba-finals-xtba5xuvce1iujfweebtfeic-

Finally, after an hour, we were called for a final interview. I was really nervous for this part, but apparently, there was nothing to be nervous about. The only window open, and it was a jolly woman with curly hair (which only confirmed our suspicion that all the guys are watching the basketball game). She was really nice and smiley which eased my nervousness. My fiance was re-assuring me and all. She asked:

  • What is your name?
  • What is your fiance’s name?
  • Where did you meet?
  • When did he go to the States? (My fiance is a Filipino who migrated to the States when he was younger)
  • Who petitioned him?
  • Where does he work?
  • How long has he been working there?
  • Where will I plan to live?
  • Where does he live?
  • What are your wedding plans?
  • Do you have kids? Previous marriages? (All no)

She would signal for my fiance to not say anything, so I did all the answering. 

My fiance and I would debate and joke at times, and the interviewer found it funny. She was really nice. We offered her the previous income tax of my fiance, but she only needed the most recent ones. She didn’t even ask for any pictures. It was easy. When she said we were approved, my fiance kissed me which caught me off guard so I kind of slapped his face and they all thought it was funny. That interview took us, i think, 5 minutes. It was fast.

After that, we were called to another window to drop off our mailing address for 2go to send my passport with the visa on it. Then, we’re done! It felt so great to get that off our shoulders because it has been a long process. We got out of there at 10:30am. The only problem was the long wait, but it was very organized. The place is clean and comfortable. Nothing really bad to say about it. It was great all-in-all, especially with the presence of my fiance beside me. 

I hope this helped you with your own journey as well. Feel free to ask me any questions, or share your experience as well! 

Break a leg! :)

92 thoughts on “MY K1-FIANCE VISA INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE

  1. Del E.Campo says:

    I wish I had a chance to take pictures during our interview process… unfortunately, cameras are not allowed inside the US Embassy. Memories are forever etched in my skull. That was so memorable!

  2. elsa says:

    hi jenina..sana ganyan din maing interbyu ko lol! i just wanna ask if my fiance has to sign the I-134? at do u think pwede ung hand written? and also ok lang ba kung photo copies ung divorce decree saka mga income tax? thanks

  3. Imigranteng Filipina says:

    Hi Elsa,Yes, your fiance needs to sign your I-134 with the date. What do you mean handwritten? The information in the I-134 are handwritten? I’m not so sure about that, but I read somewhere that it’s allowed, as long as it’s easily understood. The income tax, photocopy lang. With the divorce decree, I’m not sure eh, kasi we never experienced that cause my fiance and I are both single. It’s better to have the original divorce just in case the CO asks for it. Hope it helps you!Jen

  4. elsa says:

    Hi again…about Letter of Intent do i need also to make one? hand-written ba with signature at kailangan ba may pirma ng lawyer saka anong date dpt ilagay? ska are not they going to ask me any identification id? i will py my visa fee tomorrow and plan to schedule my interview the same day so i just want to be prepared in case…please help me what docs should i bring when i go for medical…and what docs to bring in my interview.

  5. Imigranteng Filipina says:

    Elsa,I made a Letter of Intent, pero during the interview, they didn’t ask for it naman. I just made one to be sure. You can have it computerized, just make sure it has your signature. I had 2 Letter of Intent’s, one from me and one from my fiance. No need for lawyers. Yung date, kahit ano basta malapit sa interview date mo. When you pay for your visa fee at BPI, just bring your passport and a photocopy of your passport. That’s it.For your medical, I’ll be posting something about that soon, so just keep checking on my blog. I’ll also update you about it.For your interview, I think these posts will help you:What to do after NOA2 (These are what you need to bring for your interview):http://buhaynamakulay.posterous.com/what-to-do-after-notice-of-approval-noa-2How I Organized my Documents for the Interview:http://buhaynamakulay.posterous.com/how-i-organized-my-visa-interview-documen…I’ll be making a post with regards to the medical so that I can help.I hope I helped you, and don’t hesitate to ask me questions if you need any help.Jenina Marie

  6. elsa says:

    HI..MY FIANCEE RECEIVED A PACKAGE FOR USCIS ANO KAYA IYUN? HE’S ON THE ROAD THAT’S WHY HE HAS NO IDEA WHAT’S INSIDE THE PACKAGE YET…THANKS

  7. elsa says:

    My fiance received a package from the USCIS sorry for incorrect word…it’s his grandma who informed him. we didnt know exactly what’s inside the package can u give me idea? did ur fiance once receive it also?

  8. Imigranteng Filipina says:

    Hi Elsa, did you just recently get approved? That’s probably form I-797, or your NOA2. Ask your hubby to scan it and e-mail it to you, because you’ll be bringing that for your medical. :)Jenina Marie

  9. Dean says:

    Question: What’s the remark/s on your NBI Clearance? No record on file? No criminal record? No pending criminal case?

  10. Imigranteng Filipina says:

    Hi Dean,On my NBI Clearance, it says “No Derogatory Record”They say that if it’s your first time to get an NBI Clearance, what will show is “No record on file”. If it’s your second time and so forth, “No Derogatory Record.” That’s assuming that you or your fiance (?) have a clear record. If it says, “No criminal record” I think you’d need to get a letter of explanation because it means that you did have a record, but you were cleared. I think this thread will help you: http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/172723-nbi-no-criminal-record-letter-…But, I hope things go smoothly for you and your fiance.I hope this helped! Don’t hesitate to ask me more questions. :)Jenina Marie

  11. Imigranteng Filipina says:

    Elsen,That’s good! Just give the originals to the interviewer. I think you’ll be fine. :)Jenina Marie

  12. joyce says:

    its was very nice to read the story about how and what interview usually asking with. but i have additional question,can i use tagalog to answer them ,cause i can’t speak nice and i am just high school graduate in our providence.thank you hope you understand me.

  13. Imigranteng Filipina says:

    Hi Joyce,At least you’re trying. I don’t think they will talk to you in Tagalog, but you’ll be fine. The questions usually just require a “Yes/No” answer, so in short “Yes” or “No” lang po ang sasabihin niyo. Tsaka I think na simple English words ay pwede na, wala naman sila pakelam kung minsan may mali sa grammar, kase hindi naman talaga naten 1st language ang English. Hope this helps! :)

  14. Hi Jenina, I was going through your blog and was looking for a way to contact you directly. I was wondering if we can discuss possible partnership opportunities with you in relation to K1 & K3 visa related matters? Can you contact me through the email address i provided with this reply? thanks

  15. swit chill says:

    hello there just want to ask u if may iba ka pa bang binayaran sa embassy for the interview besides dun sa BPI na interview fee… thanks…

  16. swit chill says:

    hello again i have another question again really its really bother me please help i am done with my interview already today but i dont know if i am passed or denied coz they dont tell it to me on the spot after my interview at releasing area the filifino guy just tell me to wait for the text if my passport was ready to pick up i choose pick up my documents than deliver our home but didnt say anything about approval or deny he just put stamp on my appointment letter he return to me it says BIO F/S DONE …..10 2013 immigrant visa unit what is this mean i am denied or passed my interview please i need help with this question….thanks again for this blog very helpful ….

  17. hello there i just finished my interview this day and the consulate don’t tell me if i passed the interview or not i feel so confussed and dissapointed. wha if i get denied that’s what i thinking as of now..the guy from the releasing area asked me if i have husband or child so i tell them the truth that i don’t have. i wait for him to tell me if i can get a visa or not to my suprised he just tell me to go home. i feel that some snake bite me so i didn’t move for a second. please help me i need to be clear for someone who experience this and they get a answer please. i need the answer for a something fears….

  18. swit chill says:

    hello immigrantingfilipina i want to thank u for Ur reply about my question i really like this blog its very helpful to everyone who needs answer with their respective questions…

  19. Mitch says:

    Hello I have some questions regarding the fiancé visa.How long it takes to receive an approval for the interview in MAnila. I have been waiting for 5 months already and until now I did not receive any emails or mail from Us embassy.I need some ideas if how long is the waiting time before they invite you for an interview?

    • During my time, which was July 2011, average is 6 months. It may take earlier than that, and longer, but average is 6 months. Wait for a couple more months. It should come soon. :)

      Sincerely,

      ImigrantengFilipina

  20. Emina says:

    hi,,my name is Emina and I would like to ask you for how long did you wait for notice for your interview after your papers vas sent from national visa center to your country,,,I got noticed from NVC on january 25,2013 that my papers was sent to my fiancee country but he never heard about his interview yet,,can you please tell me anything about it,,thank you

    • Hi Emina,

      You are the ones that schedule your interview. You have to pay for the visa fee in any BPI branch, wait for 24 hours, then you can schedule your interview.

      Sincerely,
      ImigrantengFilipina

      • Emina says:

        Hi,,I called NVC and they told me that my fiancée is going to received package with all informations what he is supposed to do first and how to apply for visa and then he needs to pay for visa but I’m wondering how long is going to take for him to received that package ,,,Emina

      • Hi Emina,

        Basing from my experience, and I’m not saying it’s the same for everyone.. I never received a packet of how to apply for the visa. When I found out that our application was approved and that they were going to send it to the Philippine US embassy, I waited for about 2 weeks, paid for my visa fee, and then scheduled my visa interview. I left the Philippines without receiving any letter. If you have more questions, this is the forum that helped me out a lot in my visa application process. http://www.visajourney.com

        Maybe that will be more of help to you.

        Sincerely,

        ImigrantengFilipina

  21. Cindy says:

    Sana magkachat tayo. Kailangan ko pa ba talaga memorize mga date and year NG parents NG bf ko at bro and sis Nya at mga Anak?

    • Hi Cindy,

      I didn’t realize memorize any information except for my husbands.. They didn’t really ask me a lot of questions. I think they rely mostly on the evidence that you show them, and if they’re satisfied, then they don’t really ask that much.

      Sincerely,

      ImigrantengFilipina

  22. ramgen says:

    hello imigranteng filipina, nung iniinterview kaba, enough for u to hear the questions?ung window po ba nila ay same sa window nung pagkuha mo ng passport sa dfa?nagwoworry po kasi ako, i had hearing problem & baka hindi ko marinig and masagot yung mga questions ng interviewer

  23. anne says:

    my bf is a U.S. citizen and he just left last oct 23 2012 and go back to the U.S.We’ve been together for 3 months.here in Philippines.Sya ang nag asikaso ng visa ko ngayon.and im just waiting.Ask ko lang if lahat ba ng answer ko sa form ay kailangan exact lahat?Kc ung iba matagal n kaya nakalimutan ko na.Like for example residences and employment for the last 5 years.I really cant remember some of the dates.Im just worried na baka tanungin ako about it.And need ba talaga na my current work ako?Please help me.Thanks

    • Hi Anne,

      I only had 1 job before going here, so it wasn’t hard for me. I think estimates are fine, as long as andun yung history mo. You don’t need to have work currently. And kelangan na may work is your boyfriend or whoever is petitioning you.

      Sincerely,

      ImigrantengFilipina

  24. jie says:

    HI Imegranteng Filipina! Thank you for this blog because my interview is on May 16 and until now I’ve been waiting for my eligibility letter. I get frustrated waiting for it because my interview date is getting closer. Its good that I read your blog…. very helpful…. Thanks again.

  25. maricel says:

    hello,
    nabasa ko dito yung message mo,tatong ko lang kasi kumuha ng abogado yung fiancee ko para mag proses ng mga document namin sa washington…tapos yung petition visa ko approve na xa with in 7months,ano ang next ko gawin dito sa pinas!,then all my document in not here….only i have passport and also pictures at yung passport din ng anak ko!at mga birth certifcate namin…

    i hope mabigyan mo ako ng idea salamat

  26. Angel says:

    Hi there! This is really helpful. I enjoyed reading your blog. My fiance will soon file a K1 visa and am excited and nervous at the same time, so I keep on reading and researching. I am an OFW here in Bahrain. Me and my fiance went to Philippines last April for vacation. I really wanted someone to talk to regarding K1 visa na makakapalagayan ko ng loob.. Thanks & God Bless..

  27. Are the petitioners (fiances) allowed to enter the U.S. Embassy for the interview process? I know during the medical exam it is not allowed. Also, where there stalls that would hold your phone and other personal belongings (for a fee) while you are inside the embassy?

    • switchell says:

      its not for free u have to pay 50 pesos to them to keep and watch ur phone yes its allowed to bring ur petitioner as long as they had ID.

    • HI Kendra,

      Yes. Your fiance is allowed to enter the US embassy, as long as he shows proof of his US citizenship (bring his passport with him). And if I’m not mistaken, there is an area where you can leave your belongings for some amount of money.

      Disclaimer: I’m going by with my experience in July of 2011, so I’m not sure if they have changed any policies since then.

      Sincerely,
      ImigrantengFilipina

  28. Miles says:

    Hi po ask lang po sana.. My bf is a us citizen then nag file po sya nung I-129 petition nung march this year then nung june pinagpasa kmi ng letter to intent.. Tas until now wala prin po sinasabi.ask ko lang po sana anu po ung nxt na magyayari.. Tnx po..

  29. Hi . Im excited for my k1 visa interview.
    Sa ngaun po ba ano ano na ang mga kailangan at mga tatanong kpag ininterview ka as fiance visa?

    Pls help me to have me a good idea.

    • Hi Joan,

      The questions asked from me are in the article you just read. Those were basically the questions they asked… Simple, basic questions. Keep in mind that my interview was over 2 years ago. I’m not sure if they have changed anything with the process recently. My blog is simply going by my experiences.

      Sincerely,

      ImigrantengFilipina

  30. Dalane says:

    My question is what is the next step after receiving approved NOA2. I am waiting for something or can just schedule my physical exam & interview.

  31. Miles says:

    Hello again po..meron na po kming natangap na approval. Just need to wait 2 to 4 weeks pa daw po then hihingan daw po ung husband ko ng mga ipapasa nya like ung mga w2 nya. Ahhm ask ko lang what else pa ung mga kailangan nya.. Kuning para just in case na hinin nila un maibgay na po nmin kaagad. Tenk you po.

  32. nez says:

    ask ko lang kun san iaadress pag gumawa ng letter of intent. uscis california center ba o un sa texas.. taga california fiance ko, tnx

  33. maam ask ko lang po kung ano pa po magandang diskarte kc po kinakabahan aq nabasa q na malaking katanungan kapag ang fiance mo or bf mo ay malaki ang edad ng agwat sau. im 25 po kc and my fiance is 60 yr old.. pls help me kc po kinakabahan aq… here is my number 09474925774

  34. hello .. ask ko lang auntie ko kasi may coming interview na.. gusto nya kasi itanong kung may tagalog ba na mag iinterview sa loob? i mean tagalog talaga ha ang gamit.. ang kulit kasi ni auntie.. d kasi cya marunong magtagalog.. gusto ko lang sana i clarify kasi nag tutor ako ng english sa kanya.. nag iinsist cya na may interview daw tagalog gamit.. meron nga po ba..? i hope you reply

  35. Angel says:

    I admire your story (imigranteng Filipina). i hope all of us get the success.

    Please i need someone’s answer.. I have my interview next month for K1 visa and i cant sleep because of it.

    I went to Japan 2006 with 2mos visa but i didnt go back to the given date that i am supposed to leave. I overstayed for 1 year and i am really worried that it might affect my K1 visa issuance.the consulate will know it because of the DS-157 where we write the list of countries we have been in 10 years. I met my fiancé Dec.2005, and we decided to get married as soon as i arrived in the US. Also, how will i able to get a police certificate in Japan? And it was long time ago!! It says if you live in other country for more than 6mos when you were 16y/o and up the consulate requires police cert. in that particular country.

    PLEASE. anyone there who knows an answer to my worries. I want to be with my future husband, and the distance is killing me.

  36. Sheryl says:

    hello girl :) thanks for this information,. i am an applicant for fiancee visa and right now we’re still waiting for the eligibility notice,. so they said pued nmn daw magpa sched ng appointment without eligibility notice but pro my chance na e tuturn away ka dw ng consulate kung wla kapa nun,. so this things makes me worried,. ksi its been like 1 week n and wla prn kming eligibility notice and ive read it on your post na ok nmn khit wla nun,. do you think e tuturn away nila ako kc wla pa akong ntatanggap na eligibility of notice? hope to get your response,.thanks and more power to you :* Sheryl here :)

  37. sharon says:

    ellow…my question is regarding my Ds-156…ngsign up kc me online..and im so stupid n npress ko ung continue button with incomplete information…directly un nsesend sa embassy db…dko kc alam kung need ko mgsign-up ng bago or i can edit it :(

  38. imee katrine tuason says:

    hi i just want to ask kung need na ba ng wedding dates and plan bago kmi mag start mag file ng visa? na gather na kasi namin lahat ng requirements kaya mag start n kami mag file this month kaso wala pa kmi plans for wedding kasi yung visa muna sana yung gusto ko maayos. pls help me tnx :)

  39. Monique says:

    Hi, ANg helpful ng blog mo. Kakapass pa Lang ng fiancé ko papers namin pero sinama na namin ung letter of intent to marry namin were both annulled / divorced. We hope maayos na agad kz ngayon pa Lang kinakabahan na ako ng sobra. Annulled ako pero wala akong copy ng court order ng annulment namin. Need daw kz hingin yun eh.. Sana maayos na cause I’m so excited and nervous at the same time.. Tnx

      • Gud day po. Ask q lng kc po 2weeks ago na nung nag pasa aq or nagpadama ng mga documents q proof of relationship with my fiance like emails,chat,phonecall,cards,pictures,western kaso po 2weeks na wla p dn email and txt skn ang embassy;-( pag chinicheck q status ng visa q under processing pa.. Ask q lng po may chance ba na me deny or d maa prove ang visa pg d nla nagustuhan ang mga pinadala kong documents???? Pls help me po dahil super stress aq nag aalala aq na bka d p q maaprubahan…

      • Nagsend na po aq ng mga proof of relationship nmn ng fiance q s embassy pero wla p dn po email and txt ang embassy 3weeks na po.. May possibility po ba na d aq maaprubahan?

  40. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m searching the net for this kind of post and I’m lucky I stumble on your article. I hope I will not encounter a Filipino guy on my interview. Filipinos are always like that, acting real assholes and pain in the ass. Most of the time, they really look down on Filipinas who are marrying a foreigner. I think it is one of the so called Filipino crab mentality. One reason why I do not want to marry a Filipino guy at all.

  41. star says:

    hi, i just want to ask sana ^^.. 1.) if i needed to present a financial statement too? or certificate of employment? btw, i am the beneficiary. 2.) if my fiance needs to have the 1-164 notarized? 3.) will the medical result be given to me or the SLEC will forward it directly to the embassy?.. i’m excited and nervous.. my fiance and i have been together for more than a decade now and i’m hoping we’ll be together this year, in god’s will. i really hope you can assist me because my schedule in on 2nd week of March. thank you.

  42. Marites says:

    Hi ,,tanong LNG po if paano ko po malalaman Kung pasa ba ako sa interview o hindi kc sabi sa kin sa last window since wala nman hinahanap yong consul sayo na ibang document pwedi knang omowi hintayin nlng yong delivery sa binigay ninyong address ,,diko po alam Kung pasa po ako o deny:(

  43. Raquel says:

    Hi im so glad n nakita ko to blog mo mag ask din ako about s k1 visa meron n nariecive ang fiance ko n letter gaing NVC ang sbi na forward n nla s us embassy or consulate sa manila un petition last sept 29 2014 ilang week po b ang hintayin ko for medical? Salamat

  44. Surviving the 90-Day Fiancée
    An Interview with
    International Relationship Expert John Adams
    By Joseph Foster, 1st World View

    Just when you thought there was no more new “reality” to be uncovered along comes “90-Day Fiancée”, TLC’s new series designed to showcase the drama that takes place during the 90 days that international couples have to either marry or have the fiancée go back to his or her country. The stakes are high which can make for some pretty interesting drama, which of course TLC is certainly hoping for. We all know that there are varying degrees of reality in the so called reality shows, so we thought we would reach out to one of the experts in the field in order to illuminate what really happens during this very interesting 90-day fiancée period. John Adams, CEO of A Foreign Affair, (http:www.loveme.com) has spent the last 20 years working with couples from all over the globe going through the 90-day fiancée visa process. More importantly, he and his Russian wife Tanya, went through the process some 15 years ago, which makes Mr. Adams one of the leading experts as to what can and does happen during that all-important 90 days:

    1WV: Thank you for joining us for this interview. You are considered one of the leading experts in the world or International Introductions, can you share with us a little about your background and how you came to work with International couples going through this 90-day Fiancée Visa Process?
    Adams: Thank you for inviting me. About 20 years ago three of us started a company called A Foreign Affair to introduce men here in the states and even other countries to foreign women. We started in Russia and quickly expanded to the Ukraine and then Colombia, Philippines and China. We are currently in well over 10 countries and numerous cities throughout the world. We provide full service introductions including communication via the website and actual tours where we take men to the various countries to meet the women. Obviously quite a few of these relationships develop to the point where the couples wish to marry. The most common way to accomplish that is to apply for a K-1 visa, or as it is commonly called, a Fiancée visa. We supply the men with a kit so they can do the process themselves or they can hire an attorney to assist them. I was lucky enough to meet my wife, Tanya, about 17 years ago and we went through the 90-day fiancée visa process and were ultimately married on day 89! Not an easy process for the couple, so I can see why TLC started the show. Actually the production company working on the show has reached out to us for couples who may be interested in appearing on the show and we have sent them several candidates, although I am not sure if they have used any of our couples to date. It is a very private, and can be a very difficult process so it takes the special couple who is willing to share what they are going through with the world.
    1WV: What are the requirements to start a Fiancée visa?
    Adams: First, you must have met sometime within the last 2 years. You just can’t write letters to someone overseas and then invite him or her over and expect to get the visa; there must be a personal meeting somewhere within 2 years of filing the petition. The petitioner (the one filing for the fiancée to come over) must be single and earn at least 120 percent or more of the Federal poverty level. The beneficiary, (the foreign fiancée) must also be single, and must undergo a police background check, as well as a medical test. There must be proof of a real and on-going relationship, such as photos together, letters, phone records, etc. etc.

    1WV: How long does the process take and where does the 90 days factor in?
    Adams: It depends. The USCIS is the Federal agency in charge of the process. I have seen K-1 petitions go through and the beneficiary receive the visa as soon as 4 months and as long as two years. I would say that the average is about 6 to 8 months for the entire process. Once the fiancée is issued the visa he or she has 6 months to use it and enter the United States. Once the Fiancee enters the US a new clock starts and he or she now has just 90 days to marry the person who submitted the petition (the fiancée cannot marry someone else and still say in the country, it must be the original petitioner)
    1WV: It seems like 90 days is not enough time, you can barely plan a wedding in that time, do they grant extensions for couples who need more time?
    Adams: There are no extensions, at least I have never heard of one in the 20 years I have been doing this. The 90 days is a very hard number and it comes very fast, trust me, I speak from personal experience. The short time limit is what puts a lot of artificial pressure and stress on the relationship that really should not be there. Granted if a couple is doing a Fiancee visa they should be as close to positive by the time they file that this is something they both wish to do, but there are a lot of factors that go into it that can complicate the process.
    1WV: What are some of those factors?
    Adams: Well, like what I affectionately refer to as the “dirty underwear” factor. Because of the distance between them, many of these couples have not lived together or have been able to spend a ton of time face to face prior to him or her coming here, maybe a week here or a couple weeks there, and that time is usually much more like a vacation than what real life will be like. Yes, most couples will use skype or E-mail to communicate daily, but it is not the same as being around each other on a 24/7 basis and dealing with mundane chores like doing laundry, or cleaning the house. Not all couples will live together during that 90 day period prior to marriage, but in my experience almost all do. That can be a real eye opener for one or both of the couple, it isn’t always what was expected. A lot has to do with how honest each person was about what their life style really was like and what they really expected out of the relationship. If there is any disconnect it is really going to be magnified during this process.
    Some couples have no problem whatsoever. They are married within a few days or a few weeks of arrival and move on from there. Others however, are more complicated and this is where the drama comes in. These are the situations where normally one, or even both, couples are still not 100 percent sure and are using the 90-day fiancé period as a sort of “test drive” to see what life is really going to be like. That is where the problems – and the drama come in. The issue is that both individuals are well aware of what is going on and both constantly feel as though they are being judged and evaluated, which may be the case. The most drama and stress occurs in situations where one person is committed and ready to walk down the aisle and the other is still somewhat hesitant. This is where the excuses to delay will begin. No one wants to come out and say, “Well let me think about this for a while”, so we make up excuses to delay moving forward all the time evaluating every move and every word and every action and of course the stress level continues to increase as the 90 day deadline looms ever closer.
    1WV: What are some other factors that come into play during the 90-Day Fiancée process:
    Adams: One huge factor is children. If either person has a child, especially the beneficiary, it can be extremely stressful. Now you are introducing a third (in some cases even more) person and personality into the equation. With domestic second marriages, dealing with the children and everyone adjusting is difficult enough, just imagine bringing a child who may not speak English to a totally new home in a totally new and strange country. Not easy. The child will impact the dynamics of the relationship, sometimes in a positive way, sometimes in a negative way. In a lot of cases the couple did not spend a lot of time with the child when getting to know each other in the beneficiary’s country and in most cases did not live with the child. The age of the child does not really matter there are challenges associated with very young children and different challenges associated with older children, the challenges are there.
    Another factor that can really throw a monkey wrench into the works is ex-spouses. I recall a case where the man had his fiancée come from the Ukraine and was living in his condo, the only problem was that his ex-wife lived in the condo next door. The man and his ex-wife were on good terms so the ex-wife would just let herself in and start making coffee like she lived there. I knew the woman from the Ukraine, great woman, and she told me that she just could not deal being that close to his ex-wife all the time, and she didn’t think it would ever change, actually she thought it would get worse after the marriage, so she went back the Ukraine – single.

    You really never know what the factor or factors are going to be until you are in the middle of it. I had one client who lived in Los Angeles and thought the woman from Colombia was going to love the LA area because a lot of people speak Spanish. But as soon as she arrived she really did not like LA at all and wanted to go back to Colombia. He ended up moving there and marrying her and living there.
    1WV: So it does sound like the 90-Day Fiancée Visa Process can produce quite a bit of drama which should be good for TLC. Do you have any advice for anyone that may be contemplating the process?
    Adams: Realistic expectations. Both have to be very honest about who they are, what they want, and what they are willing to give. The more honest up front, the less drama on the back end. If you are going to do the fiancée visa and survive the 90-day fiancé visa period you have to want to be married. Don’t do it and think, “ we will see what happens”, or 90 days is a long time I’m sure it will work out. I will tell you from experience those 90 days go by like a wink of an eye, and you want that time of your life to be joyous and happy, not stressful and dreadful. So if you are not sure then put it off until you are and if that point never comes than you probably should not have done it in the first place. The last thing you want to do is to bring your fiancée here and have him or her ready to commit and you get cold feet and have to send him or her back, that is one of the most difficult, most stressful of tasks you will ever encounter. Try to spend as much time as you can with your fiancée before he or she comes over. I was lucky enough to live with Tanya for a couple months in Russia so that helped us quite a bit, but even still it was a hard process.
    One other thing, this is not a fantasy, this is real life and as you know real life is not perfect. Nor is your fiancée going to be perfect. Perfect only happens in movies and in books, the rest of us have to deal with real life. All too often I see men who are searching for this romanticized fantasy of what they think married life will be like, and sometimes life may be like their ideal, but not all the time, actually that would probably get boring. Relationships are full of ups and downs, wins and losses, good and bad, and the 90 Day Fiancée Visa Process has a way of magnifying everything the good and the bad.

    Joseph Foster
    1st World View

  45. emery mae says:

    hi there… thanks for the blog.. I really had similar experience, its just that my fiance was not with me that time. The waiting period really drove me crazy and yes having breakfast is realy important. I got my worries too like most of them posting here… you havent encounter this since both you and your fiance are single… but maybe the forums could help or might have experienced this. I am done with my interview December 10, 2014 and I lack divorce decree of my fiance. The person on the releasing window told me to go home and check my email which I did as soon as I got home. I was told to submit my fiance divorce decree via 2go express which i took action on the next day. Now, i am waiting to hear from the embassy and its almost 3 weeks now. Should I be worried or not?

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