“So Tell Me, How Did You Two Meet?”: No Seriously and Here’s A Pen!

On my Instagram account (@ FianceSpouseVisaLawyer) I often joke about how U.S. citizen fiancés and their foreign-born fiancés who are undergoing the K-1 visa process must unnaturally reduce their romance to photographs, emails, text messages, airline tickets, affidavits, boarding passes, passport stamps, hotel reservations, engagement ring receipts, etc as evidentiary support or proof of their sincere relationship. However, as we know, it’s not a joke! The couple must produce this paper trail in order to successfully complete the “document heavy” K-1 visa process.

While many hopeful K-1 visa couples are aware of the above-noted and necessary paper trail, many are either unaware or merely forget to include the mandatory Letter of Intent [To Marry] part of the complete K-1 visa petition.

The Letter of Intent is as the name suggests. It’s a required letter spelling out in long- form prose how the Petitioner and Beneficiary met, what caused the Petitioner and Beneficiary to fall in love, how both parties have met in person within the past 2 years of filing the K-1 visa petition, how both parties are currently “free to marry” AND the intent of the Petitioner and Beneficiary to marry within 90 days of the Beneficiary entering the United States.

The 2 Letters (the Petitioner and the Beneficiary must each write a Letter) need not be complex. Nor are the Letters required to be a certain length or as well written as a doctoral dissertation. I will note that if the Beneficiary’s Letter is not written in English, an English translation will be required and the original (non-English) Letter should be included with the K-1 visa petition.

When writing your Letter, be certain that: 1. You introduce yourself to the reader, 2. Note how you met (online, while on vacation, at school, at work, through a mutual friend, or while standing in line at the bank), 3. You include the date that you first met in person, 4. You mention if you have children together, 4. You write about some of the important dates or times that you have been together, in person (graduation from school, celebration of a major life event, etc), 5. You mention the endearing aspects of your fiance’s personality that helped you to fall in love; 6. You don’t forget to include a statement that you are “free to marry” and if the K-1 visa is granted, you will marry your fiancé within 90 days of his/her arrival in the United States.

Make certain that your Letter does not contradict any of your other submitted documents. It is easy to inadvertently write a wrong date/year! So the Petitioner and Beneficiary should proof read their Letters for errors and mutual accuracy before submitting.

Finally, in general there is no need to have your Letter notarized. Just make sure that you sign and date your Letter before submitting.

If you have further questions about the Letter of Intent or any other issues concerning the K-1 visa process, let’s talk!

Many thanks,
Jamene Christian,
The Fiance Spouse Visa Lawyer,
FianceSpouseVisaLawyer.com (LLC)