The application for K1 fiance visa is just the beginning of your journey going to the United States. I know it’s been quite a long process but I would like to CONGRATULATE you now for getting through all the hustle of filling up the initial forms and passing the interview! So now that you finally received your K-1 visa, what’s next?
Here are the next steps you should start doing after you received your passport stamped with the visa from U.S Embassy.
CFO SEMINAR (LAST STEP after Release of Visa)
It’s a guidance and counseling program or pre-departure orientation required by our government in the Philippines for fiances, spouses and other partners of foreign nationals or of former Filipino citizens. Given and promoted by Commission on Filipino Overseas to protect the welfare and safety of Filipino immigrants. This program can be taken in different locations around the Philippines, Manila, Cebu, Pampanga, and Davao.
CFO – MANILA (+632) 552-4700 : Citigold Center, 1345 Pres. Quirino Ave. corner Osmena Highway (South Superhighway)Manila, Philippines 1007
CFO – CEBU (032) 255-5253 : 4th Floor, K&J Building #4 Don Julio Llorente St., Capitol Site, Cebu City 6000
CFO – CLARK EXTENSION DESK (045) 499-8119 : One-Stop Processing Center in Clark (OSPC) Clark Polytechnic Compound, Jose Abad Santos Ave., Clark Freeport Zone
CFO – DAVAO SATELLITE OFFICE (+6382) 228-2432 : 5th floor, AMQ Building, Lakandula St. Corner, Dacudao Ave., Agdao, Davao City
Before going to their office, be sure to make an appointment online or you can contact the office first if you have any other inquiries and complete all the required documents. Also, prior to scheduling an appointment for CFO Seminar you have to have your passport already with the stamped visa in it.
If you haven’t received your visa yet, CFO still allows you to take the counseling just comply on the following requirements:
- Two valid I.D with a photograph
- Completed guidance and counseling form from CFO
- Valid passport
- Valid visa
- Completed emigrant registration form
- Please provide the following if it’s applicable to you. (If you or your fiance have a previous marriage before)
- Divorce decree/certificate
- Annulment paper
- Proof of residency/Alien Registration Card-ARC (for foreign fiance)
- Proof of relationship (pictures together, chats, emails, etc.
- Death certificate (widow/widower
REMEMBER: You should bring the printed barcoded confirmation form with you during your scheduled appointment or you can present the digital copy (either on your phone,pc or tablet) as long as your name and the reference number are there.
Even though you made an appointment online, it doesn’t mean that you will be in the priority list so arrive early than your appointment time since registration takes time.
The counseling is done in groups in a small room with one speaker/counselor. It takes about an hour and the release of the certificate is given on the same day after your counseling session.
Your passport will also be released with CFO sticker together with the CFO certificate.
On my experience, I thought I would need the CFO certificate at the airport during our flight and upon arrival at the port of entry but officers didn’t even ask for it. What’s more important is the CFO sticker that was on your passport.
Even though the certificate is not that of importance I would still recommend keeping it on your important documents so that whenever or whoever will ask for it you are always prepared.
BEFORE FLIGHT REMINDERS
- Check all important documents especially the yellow packet/sealed envelope. Organize it in a clear book and bring it into your hand carry, NEVER put it on your luggage or suitcases.
- Be aware of your luggage weight just so you won’t be charged for any extra fees at the airport. REMEMBER, do not bring prohibited items such as food, liquid especially illegal items.
ARRIVAL TO POINT OF ENTRY
In California, the first process we went through is immigration then CBP or Custom Border Protection Inspection and Interview then to baggage claim.
Lines were separated among U.S passport holders and foreign passport holders so I was by myself when we through Immigration and Customs.
This is why it is very important to have your important documents in your hand-carry luggage so that whenever and wherever you go you have with you all the time.
First and foremost is, of course, passport verification.
There will be biometrics and photo capture when you pass through immigration.
If not all, most passengers pass by immigration so expect to spend some time here.
Then you’ll be asked to proceed to Customs and Border Protection.
CUSTOM AND BORDER PROTECTION (CBP)
Here you will meet the CBP Officer who will first ask for your passport again for verification.
Then together with your passport, hand over the Sealed Yellow Packet. Only the CBP Officer has the authority to tear the yellow packet and get the forms out of it.
After all the checking and verification of documents, the officer will start the interview.
Here are some of the questions I’ve experienced during my CBP interview.
- When is the wedding?
- Share a short story about how you met your fiancé.
- Do you know your fiancé well? Is he a good man?
- Have you talked to your fiancé’s family?
- Did your family approve or accepted him?
- Which city will you live here in California?
- The officer also reminded me to get married within 90 days.
REMINDERS TO ALL K1 VISA HOLDERS: You have to get married within 90 days to your U.S petitioner upon admission since this timeframe cannot be extended.
After the interview, the CBP Officer started to scan my passport and other documents. She then returned my passport and kept the other documents.
Until then you could proceed to baggage claim.
After going through all those procedures, finally going to the release and picking-up of your luggage and suitcases.
Some people go through further inspection of luggage before going out of the airport, officers ask to open your bags and investigate to each of the things you have inside.
Luckily in our case we didn’t go through further luggage inspection and just found ourselves straight to the gate going out of the airport.
These are the steps that you have to go through upon approval of your K-1 fiance visa. This is not the end of your visa journey yet since this is only the beginning of your AMERICA life and that there will be another process after you got married to your fiance and that would be the adjustment of status.
It will be a long journey but I assure you it will all be worth it once you’re done with everything.
I hope this gives you an idea of what to expect once you arrive in U.S.
Just a disclaimer, I’m not an expert, neither a lawyer. All information I shared with you here are all based on my experience.
I wish you a happy marriage and fruitful life ahead of your family!