My K1 Visa Journey: The I-129F and NOA

As an introduction let  me tell you that Leo, my fiancee, doesn’t like bullshit or processes/requirements that seem to be senseless and stupid for the common man. I used the following websites to guide me:

  • USCIS
  • TRAVELDOCS
  • MRS PRESSON’s BLOG

Also be guided about the conditions specific to us as a couple which I thought had an influence in everything that happened during this whole K1 visa process:

  • Leo is in the army (Seriously believe this influenced it a lot!)
  • I got denied of my tourist visa July 2015 (not much bearing)
  • 99% happened early in 2016 (processes and requirements change, always check)
  • I am from the Philippines. Processes and requirements vary per country.

Our I-129F packet was very basic and simple. We just put whatever was mentioned in USCIS website. We only provided 2 couple photos and 1 thread of email exchange along with the other requirements. We got approved roughly a month after submitting it to USCIS. We actually submitted it November but Leo forgot to include the payment in the packet (of all things!), so we had to submit a new one in December.

According to the NOA, Notice of Approval, we were approved January 29. We submitted the packet first week of January. He received the NOA on February 7. The NOA/NOA2 will not really contain useful information aside from the fact that it will say the your petition got approved. The date on the NOA (any NOAs) can be used as your PRIORITY DATE when filling up forms for your medical and visa interview schedule.

MY NOA FROM USEM

Now in reality after learning that our petition had already been approved, I could’ve started with my “tasks” right away. I didn’t cos I was probably in a daze but I also chose to wait for my NOA before starting anything. Several fiancees will say that they never got theirs but I was hopeful. I waited for mine and it arrived around early April. My petition will expire May 28. No I didn’t cram. I just knew that the process is fast and easy. Or I was too confident.

After receiving my NOA I then proceeded to book my:

  • NBI Clearance renewal (you need the green one, or the TRAVEL ABROAD/ US version)
  • Medical Exam
  • US Visa interview

And ordered copies of my:

  •  CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage)
  • Birth Certificate (get lots)
  • Transcript of record from UPLB (not required,  I just wanted some)

I will write in detail the other crazy processes I had to go through but for now, here is our timeline:

  • Mid-November 2015: Submitted first I-129F. This got returned cos there wasn’t any payment in the pack.
  • Early December 2015: Submitted second I-129F. Include a G-1145 or the E-Notification Application. This is just for you to/petitioner to get notified if USCIS has already received your application. They will send you an e-mail or SMS, or both.
  • February 7: Received our NOA, but in reality petition got approved January 29.
  • May 3: Visa interview at the US Embassy Manila. Approved!
  • May 10: Received my passport with visa. (It was my birthday so I was elated!)
  • May 13: Flew to USA. Port of Entry: San Franciso, CA.
  • August 8: Got married (88th day)

In reality we could have done everything in 5 months. It can be that quick but everything will depend on your preferences.  So good luck, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and have a clear mind 🙂

 

Toodalooo!

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