Help with Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé

Form I-129F is the form to use when you want to bring your fiancé and (if applicable) your fiancé’s children into the United States. This allows your fiancé to obtain a K-1 visa, which will allow them to enter the states and enter into marriage.

After the marriage is complete, they can then pursue an adjustment of status for a green card. Your fiancé must enter the United States within six months of receiving the visa, and you must get married within 90 days of entry.

If you need help petitioning for your soon-to-be spouse, contact Boston immigration attorney Giselle M. Rodriguez.  Giselle helps clients with the full range of immigration challenges, including Form I-129F. She is bilingual (English & Spanish), and works with clients throughout Greater Boston and Massachusetts. Contact Giselle today to discuss your case, or read on to find out more.

Who needs to file a Form I-129F?

The United States citizen must file the form on behalf of the foreign spouse.

K-1 visas are not available to permanent residents. If you are a permanent resident, you will need to marry your spouse abroad and then use Form I-130 to petition to bring them into the United States.

What are some common mistakes on the Form I-129F?

Here are some of the most common mistakes I see:

  • Failing to provide proof that you intend to marry your fiancé within 90 days of entering the United States. Of course, that can be difficult when you aren’t sure when you’ll get permission to marry. I recommend you go ahead and schedule a date with the courthouse that’s about 6 months out from the date of your petition. 6 months is the average amount of time it takes to process these applications. You can always reschedule with the courthouse if necessary.
  • Failing to provide proof that a bona fide relationship exists. This can include pictures, letters, travel tickets showing you were in your fiancé’s country long enough to forge a relationship, affidavits from friends and family members, and more.
  • Failure to use “None” and “N/A” where necessary. For example, question #2 asks for your USCIS Online Account number. If you don’t have one yet, it’s appropriate to write the word “NONE.” Place one letter in each of the boxes.
  • Failure to use “Deceased” where applicable. Questions 31.a. And 31.b in Part 2 ask for your parent’s City of residence and country of residence. If they’re deceased, you write “Deceased,” NOT the city or country where they last resided.
  • Failing to use “Unknown” where applicable. If you don’t know a fact, don’t guess it or make it up. It’s better to simply admit that you don’t know the information. That is a truthful answer. It’s even better to try to locate the information before you have to use it, but there could be good reasons that that is not possible.
  • Failing to heed the word “Ever.” For example, Part 3, Question 2 asks if you have ever been arrested or convicted of certain crimes. Note it is an “or” question, and “arrested” is one of the options. If you were arrested and acquitted, for example, or arrested only to see your charges dropped or dismissed, you still need to check “yes.” Many people think acquittal, or dropped charges, or dismissed charges, mean you don’t have to answer yes to this question, but that is not the case. Rest assured that USCIS can find information about the circumstances of your arrest. Let them see for yourself that you were acquitted, or that the charges were dropped or dismissed.

More info on Forms I-129F

These forms can take months to process, which can make wedding planning tricky. Many of my clients choose to get courthouse weddings to meet the federal immigration requirements on-time, and then choose to have religious weddings or larger receptions later.

Of course, the timeline becomes even longer if you make mistakes on the form. Mistakes can end your dreams of bringing your fiancé to the United States.

If you’re serious about marrying a foreign-national spouse, it’s best to work closely with an immigration attorney like me from day 1, so that we may find and address any possible problems and so that we can ensure your application packet is in good order before we send it to USCIS. You can contact me, Boston immigration attorney Giselle M. Rodriguez, to discuss your case.