Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Arriving in the US Port of entry

Arriving in the US Port of entry

The K1 Fiance Visa is a single use visa, that means that you can only use it once and so you had better make the most of it!  Arriving in the US with all my possessions in two suitcases, my passport with visa paper in it, and my sealed envelope with whatever documents the US embassy had decided to put in inside there, I was keen for everything to run smoothly.  After arriving in the US port of entry I followed the crowd as normal to the US customs desks.  Unlike previous visits to the US, when I was a temporary visitor arriving on a visa waiver and it was clear what my status was, this time I was unsure as to which queue that I should stand in as I was neither a tourist, or an American passport holder.  When I asked a kindly US Immigration Officer about it and explained that I was a US immigrant on a K1 Fiance Visa, she started a new queue and put me at the front(!)

I was nervous when a finally got to see a US Immigration Officer at the US customs desk - there was nothing amiss, I was just anxious that having gone through all the trouble of getting my K1 Fiance Visa from the USCIS, nothing should go wrong at the last minute.  As it was busy (I arrived at Orlando, Florida) and the US Immigration officer has to process all of the documents inside the sealed envelope, which takes some time, he directed me through to the waiting area, where I sat around for maybe fifteen minutes before I was called back to the US customs desk.  It took another ten or fifteen minutes to process the contents of my sealed envelope and take my fingerprints etc.  The contents of the sealed envelope appeared to be mainly just the original application documents and evidence from the K1 Fiance Visa process, but I could be wrong.

Eventually it was over and the immigration officials wished me well.  I still had to collect my baggage and go through more security, but I was through the US immigration part.  From now on, I would be living in the USA.

32 comments:

  1. Greetings! Can you please tell me your flight itinerary? I would like Orlando (MCO) to be my POE so I would really appreciate it if you can give me more details of your flight.

    By the way, I'll be coming from Manila, Philippines and on K1 visa. This will be my 3rd trip to US but this time will be using "immigrant" visa.

    Thank you so much! I'll be waiting for your next post.

    Chie R.

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    1. Greetings can anybody answer the question if my fiance is coming under a K1 fiance visa doe she have to have a return ticket? It would seem that only one way is required since we are getting married but it seems some airlines are hassling her on the return flight? She is flying from Manila to LAX> Any insight would be appreciated...

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  2. Sorry, Chie R, but I have no experience of flying from the Philipines and cannot give you any help with flights. I book my flights online using flight comparison websites to get the cheapest deals.

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    1. Greetings can anybody answer the question if my fiance is coming under a K1 fiance visa doe she have to have a return ticket? It would seem that only one way is required since we are getting married but it seems some airlines are hassling her on the return flight? She is flying from Manila to LAX> Any insight would be appreciated...

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  3. Thank you for this blog, you've really reassured me that I'm not going to get instantly thrown into jail when I land! Not that, that would happen but you must understand all the worrying.

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  4. @Tori hehe! Well, they let me in! Though, it was a bit worrying when they made me sit on own for a while. But the nice lady reassured me that they just wanted to deal with the rush of tourists first, as it takes time to process the K1 docs.

    Having come into the US different ways, it varies a bit which airport you arrive at, somewhere like Orlando is more touristy, so they tend to be a bit more smiley.

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  5. once you get into america on your k1 visa how soon can you leave? its just i read somewhere it can be up to a year which would be a bit limiting for me.

    oh and thanks for blog, it has many relevant and helpful points

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  6. I just wanted to say thank you so much for this blog!! I wish I had found it 8 months ago when my fiance and I started the process! This is an amazing resource and answers many questions I had from the very beginning. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us all!

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  7. Hello... I just wanted to ask if they asked you any questions? kinda like at the US consulates, i'm travelling with my fiancee and she doesn't speak that good english so am a little worried... thanks this is a great blog page :)

    Best
    AJ

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  8. @Anon - I don't remember them asking me any questions other than making sure that I understood that I had to get married within 90 days in order to fulfill the K1 Fiance visa requirements. It isn't like the embassy interview, it is more about processing the forms and making sure that the paperwork is in order.

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  9. hello! this was a very interesting and a very helpful blog. i am travelling to the US this coming November to see my boyfriend/fiancee. i am kinda worried because they might deny me if i'll say the purpose of my visit (which is to celebrate our anniversay together, and holidays before deploying to afghanistan). do you have any idea wheather i am going to be denied by the officer given this reason? thank you so much! ;)

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  10. @anon - I am not an immigration expert. Normally when entering the USA for temporary visits and holidays, you go under the visa waiver scheme, if you are from a country such as the UK that is covered by the scheme, as far as I know.

    I don't know what your background is in this case, maybe you have applied for a K1 visa and want to go to the US before it has been approved, I just don't know?

    I would rather just relate my own experiences of getting a K1 visa to be honest and not give out advice, which is a job for a professional. I think you would be better contacting the embassy, if you want advice on this matter.

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  11. Hello! First of all thank you so much for your blog, my fiance is from England and just finished his interview and we are just waiting for his visa to arrive in the mail! All of your blogs have really helped us and given us great tips on all of this! Just wondering though, we're trying to get information on how much money he can bring over, what (if any) forms he has to fill out either beforehand or on the plane for customs, what he has to declare (since it's all difference because he'll be staying here permanently), what he'll have to do at customs (which you kind of cleared up in this blog), etc. Any information would be fantastic, or if you know of a different website to get all that information that'd be great too! Best wishes!

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    1. If you are British, I would recommend britishexpats.com as a source of advice and info.

      I transferred my money directly to my wife's bank account using xe.com when I came over.

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  12. Hey Paul, I'm German and currently going through the K1 visa process, and your Blog has been a great help so far! I was just wondering about your experience at customs at the POE when entering on the K1 visa. I would like to bring my laptop, wedding dress, as well as two bags of clothes in, and I am extremely uncertain about the process. I read on a forum that since the K1 visa is not 'officially' an immigrant visa (it only authorizes you to stay for 90 days, unless you get married and apply for AOS), I might have to pay customs duty on ALL of my items that I'm bringing in. My goodness! That would be a lot of money! Do you happen to have any information on that part? Cheers, Sabine

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    1. I have not heard of paying customs duty on personal items like clothing and laptops, so I don't know about that. I went through with my laptop and clothing without being made aware that I might owe anything?

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    2. Alright, thanks! What did you write on that white customs form you get on the airplane and have to fill out? Did you list all of your items? I might just write "Personal belongings - traveling under K1 Fiancée Visa" - and hope they'll accept this.

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  13. i will travel to u.s next month.Iam a k1 visa holder..hopefully everything will be okay in my POE .

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    1. Best wishes! Be prepared for delays whilst they process your documents is all I say! :-)

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  14. yeah, thanks mr paul.:)

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  15. hello i want to ask if where can i found my visa number in my u.s visa?Can anyone tell me where can i locate this visa number..Iam confused cuz theres a control number and then a red mark F letter with 7 numbers.. please help .

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  16. hello i want to ask cuz my fiance and i are going to meet on las vegas nevada..and were going to stay for for 2 nights.. for sight seeing since we are in vegas .Iam a k1 visa holder and then we will go back to north carolina where he live to prepare the wedding..my question is.Will that be okay if we stay in vegas for 2 nights??and vegas is my port of entry..Please respond i need help

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    1. I am no expert, but I don't understand why that should be a problem? Your port of entry is just the first place that you land in the USA.

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  17. Hello I wanna ask about getting married on tourist visa or get start with K-1 visa? To understand further, We're engaged last dec. 2011 and plan to have a baby and get married this year. I am a landed immigrant in Canada and we agreed to live in us. I am 5months pregnant right now and still working as Registered Nurse thats why I couldnt just take a leave as easy as that. We're planning to deliver our baby in the US so by July i will be filling my maternity leave and fly to Us. My question is, am i allowed to get married in the us while on tourist visa and come home to Canada and wait for his petition to get approved? Or is he going to apply for me a K- 1 visa so We can get married and adjust the status afterwards? If this is the case, how long does it take to get approved?

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    1. I kept on coming back here hoping to get an answer to my question. I am looking forward to hear from you Paul. Thanks. -- velle

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    2. I don't know if you can get married on a "Canadian tourist visa". In the UK we have a visa waiver scheme for visiting the US. I discuss the relative merits of marriage vs fiance visa, as I understood it at the time, in a separate post called Fiance visa or marriage visa?

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  18. hey i was just wondering how long your delays were when they were proccessing the k1? i bout to book flight and dont know how long to make the layover as i have to catch another flight afterwards.. ?

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    1. They made me wait around for about half an hour. Then the processing took about 20 minutes. I arranged it so I had o connecting flight afterwards as I was concerned, like you.

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  19. I've been following your post and it amazes me how you did everything to be married with your American wife! What you did is one manly tough act to follow. Anyway, I believe the 15mins. of waiting is worth it. Maybe they just needed to check the validity of your passport, your citizenship, medical condition, and the likes for security reasons, of course. I suggest that anyone planning to apply for K1 should be prepared for supporting documents weeks beforehand. Anyway, how are you both?

    -Rachal Dworkin

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