THE K PACKET
U.S. immigration law requires that all K nonimmigrant visa applicants establish that they are not likely to become a public charge. Petitioners in K visa cases are generally expected to provide the adequacy of their own financial resources to ensure that applicants, after admission into the United States, will not become primarily dependent on the U.S. Government for subsistence.
While our immigration law does not disallow joint sponsorships for K nonimmigrant visa applicants, joint sponsors in nonimmigrant visa cases are not legally bound to address the financial needs of the applicant and are, therefore, not always sufficiently credible to overcome the public charge provisions of Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. For this reason, petitioners should be able to demonstrate their ability to maintain an income of at least 100% of the federal poverty guidelines for their prospective household sizes.
For the consular officer to be able to evaluate the ability of the petitioner to financially support the applicant in the U.S., an I-134 Affidavit of Support should be submitted together with a copy of the petitioner’s most recent federal income tax return (Form 1040) and wage statements (W2). If the petitioner is unable to provide a Form 1040, he/she must submit other credible evidence of assets to meet the federal poverty guidelines. Such assets could include bank accounts, stock, personal property, real estate, and non-taxable sources of income such as Social Security payments, which should be available in the U.S. for the applicant’s support and must be readily convertible to cash within one year.
For information about financial sponsorship guidelines, you may visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
For more information about the Form 1040 and W2s, see our recent post.
The vast majority of nonimmigrant visa applications received at the U.S. Embassy in Manila are for tourism or business travel.
Generally, someone who wishes to visit the United States must first obtain a visa. The type of visa you will need and the requirements to apply for that visa depend largely on your purpose of travel to the United States.
The “visitor” visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
Business Visitor Visas (B-1) are for business, including such things as a need to consult with business associates, negotiate a contract, buy goods or materials, settle an estate, appear in a court trial, and participate in business or professional conventions or conferences; or when an applicant will be traveling to the United States on behalf of a foreign employer for training or meetings. The individual may not receive payment (except for incidental expenses) from a United States source while on a B-1 visa.
Visitor Visas (B-2) are issued for general pleasure/tourist travel, such as touring, visits to friends and relatives, visits for rest or medical treatment, social or fraternal conventions and conferences, and amateur/unpaid participants in cultural or sports events.
A consular officer will determine the visa category you will need based on the purpose of your travel and your supporting documentation. In most instances, consuls will issue a combined B-1/B-2 visa, recognizing that most business travelers may also wish to travel for tourist purposes.
For more information about visitor visas, please visit our websites: http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwhniv7.html http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1262.html
I was interviewed last April 18, 2012, together with my husband and three children under the F3 visa category (married son or daughter of an American citizen). I understand that my father does not have enough income to support my family and me. However, I have a sister, who is an American citizen, as my joint sponsor. Vizard, I have submitted an I-864A from my sister, but I was told by the Consular Officer to submit an I-864 instead. What is the difference between the I-864 and the I-864A?
Dear Mr. Ramos,
A Form I-864 is the Affidavit of Support form. All family-based petitioners, whether they have income or not, must submit an I-864 to complete the requirements of family-based immigrant petitions. On the other hand, the Form I-864A is a Contract Between the Sponsor and Household Member. The Form I-864A is used in combination with the sponsor’s Form I-864, when a sponsor is using the income or assets of household members in order to meet the minimum income requirements as required by U.S. immigration law.
The sponsor is normally the petitioner, while the household member may be a spouse, sibling, parent, or adult child who resides in the same house as the sponsor. Petitioners who do not have enough income, but have a household member who is willing to add his/her earning to the petitioner’s income in order to meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines, need to submit an I-864A. Both the petitioner and the household member must sign the I-864A form.
Since your sister does not live with your father in the same house, she is not able to submit an I-864A. Instead, if she would like to serve as your joint sponsor, she should submit a separate Form I-864. By signing this form, the joint sponsor promises to provide any and all financial support necessary to assist the petitioner in maintaining the sponsored immigrant(s) during the period in which the I-864 is enforceable.
Note: K1 affidavits of support use the I-134 Form instead of the I-864 Form. For more information, see our blog post “K1 Visa FAQs: Affidavits of Support.”
For more information on the I-864 Form, see our blog post “Affidavits of Support.”
During the visa interview, if you are refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the officer will hand you a 221(g) letter (green paper) requesting additional information. To continue the visa application, please follow the instructions and provide the needed documents.
Alternatively, you may be refused under 221(g) because your application requires additional administrative processing. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for the interviewing officer to tell the applicant exactly how long the processing will take. On average, administrative processing can take between one to two weeks, but sometimes it takes a little longer.
If you have been requested to wait until the Embassy contacts you, please do not make an appointment. The Embassy will contact you once the administrative processing has been completed. If you are requested to provide documentation, you have one year within which to comply with the requirement of the 221(g) letter.
For more information on 221g, read our blog post “Tips for Your Next Embassy Visit.”
THE K PACKET
An approved fiancé(e) (K1) nonimmigrant visa petition is only valid for four months from the date of its approval. Consular officers may revalidate the petition several times. Each revalidation is good for an additional four months.
The petition is routinely revalidated, provided the officer concludes that the petitioner and the beneficiary remain legally free to marry and continue to intend to marry each other within 90 days after the beneficiary’s admission into the United States.
However, if the officer is not convinced that the U.S. citizen petitioner intends to marry the beneficiary, including instances where no action has been taken on the application for a year (i.e., a visa interview for the applicant and submission of required documentation), the petition may be returned to the approving U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.
What is it?
Nonimmigrant visas are issued to foreign nationals visiting the United States for a short period of time for tourism, business, education, medical treatment, or petition-based employment. The type or class of nonimmigrant visa required depends on your purpose of travel.
What does it mean?
Below is an illustrated guide from the U.S. Department of State website on how to read and understand your visa. If you were issued a nonimmigrant visa, be sure to check that the information printed on your visa is correct. If any of the information on your visa does not match the information in your passport, please return your passport with the US visa to the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit through any 2GO courier branch and include a letter that clearly states the error.
What does it guarantee?
A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. Visa holders apply for admission to the U.S. at the point of entry and are subject to inspection there by officials of the Department of Homeland Security US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) who have the authority to allow or deny anyone admission to the United States.
Where to Find Help in the U.S. If You Are a Victim of Abuse
Domestic abuse (physical, sexual, and/or emotional) affects thousands of women, men, and children in the United States, including immigrants who may may be hesitant to reach out for help. Please remember that immigrants who are victims of domestic violence have rights and can get help provided by governmental or non-governmental agencies. Services may include counseling, interpreters, emergency housing, legal counsel, and even monetary assistance.
The hotlines listed below have operators trained to help victims 24 hours a day free of charge. Interpreters are available.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Sexual Assault Hotline of the Rape, Abuse
and Incest National Network (RAINN)
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The National Center for Victims of Crime
For more information regarding legal rights available to immigrant victims of domestic violence in the U.S., you may visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=8707936ba657d210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=8a2f6d26d17df110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD.
Bong Voyage received his visa packet and passport with immigrant visa. He read the enclosed Warning notification and decided to go to the U.S. Embassy to ask a few questions.
Bong Voyage: Good morning.
Jimmy Murdochs: Good morning, how may I help you today?
Bong Voyage: I received my visa documents last week. However, I read the enclosed Warning notification and don’t know how to retrieve my passport. I’m afraid to open anything because I don’t want to do anything wrong before I fly to America!
Jimmy Murdochs: I understand your concern. You may open the plastic envelope to retrieve your passport. Just be sure not to detach the Immigrant Data Summary nor open the yellow envelope when you do so. As stated in the Warning notification you received, only the Immigration or Public Health Service Officer at the U.S. port of entry is authorized to open the yellow envelope.
Bong Voyage: Thank you. I also would like to ask about the pre-departure seminar provided by the Philippine government. Am I required to attend the seminar or can I just register with government?
Jimmy Murdochs: The Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is conducted by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and overseen by the Office of the President of the Philippines. All immigrants must register with CFO prior to travel, as it is mandated by the Philippine government, and most will have to attend the seminar as well. Information about CFO and their seminar schedule is included in the packet you received.
Bong Voyage: Yes, I actually have it with me. So can I just register with CFO, or do I need to attend a seminar?
Jimmy Murdochs: Only individuals younger than 13 and older than 60 are exempted from attending the PDOS. They must, however be registered. A sticker is affixed on your passport as proof of your registration. You may read more detailed information on the leaflet that you have and by checking the CFO website at www.cfo.gov.ph. You may also call them at 552-4700.
Bong Voyage: You’ve been really helpful. I guess that’s my final question.
Jimmy Murdochs: We’re happy to help! Good luck with your move to America!