How To Write a Cover Letter for Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé)
To prepare a K-1 fiancé(e) visa application for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you must complete the required forms, gather supporting documents, and pay fees. It’s not mandatory to include a cover letter in your application packet, but doing so can help keep your application materials organized and make sure you don’t miss any required documents. You can also use the cover letter to highlight anything you want USCIS to know about your visa application. This article explains what a K-1 fiancé visa cover letter is and the elements it should include. There’s also a template you can use to write your own.
Written by Jonathan Petts . Updated May 17, 2023
What Is a Form I-129F Cover Letter?
You’ll need to file Form I-129F : Petition for Alien Fiancé if you are a U.S. citizen who wants your foreign partner to receive a K-1 visa . Though it’s not required, writing a cover letter to supplement this form can be helpful for USCIS. A cover letter is a document that outlines your application contents and addresses any unusual circumstances you’d like to flag for your application readers.
A cover letter can give your USCIS officer a useful overview of you and your partner’s case. You can also use your cover letter as a personal checklist to make sure you’ve included all necessary documents in your package.
Is a Cover Letter Required for My Form I-129F Application?
USCIS does not require a cover letter for your Form I-129F petition package. However, it’s often beneficial for applicants to include cover letters. A cover letter can help your USCIS officer better understand and evaluate your overall application.
If there is anything unclear about you and your foreign fiancé’s relationship, a cover letter gives you the opportunity to address these concerns upfront. Remember that USCIS only wants to distribute K-1 visas to couples in genuine relationships. If there is anything unusual about how your relationship started or progressed, you may wish to address it with a disclaimer in your cover letter.
If you call attention to any unusual circumstances in your cover letter, you’ll be able to explain your side of the story in greater detail. By giving USCIS greater clarity on your case, you can make it easier for the USCIS officer to process your application.
What Should My K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Cover Letter Include?
You should begin your Form I-129F cover letter with a heading and greeting. Your heading should provide USCIS officials with your mailing address, your name, and your foreign partner’s name. Your introduction should then explain your reasons for writing this cover letter. Use your introduction to give USCIS a basic overview of your relationship and tell them you are seeking a K-1 visa for your fiancé.
Checklist of Information To Include in Your K-1 Fiancé Visa Cover Letter
USCIS will find it most helpful if you include the following information in your cover letter:
Your contact information
The USCIS address to which you’re sending this letter
Your full name as the petitioner
Your fiancé’s full name as the beneficiary
A note stating which form and visa you are filing an application for
A list of all the supporting documents you’ve included in your package, in bullet points:
You must include evidence of your U.S. citizenship, such as your birth certificate , copy of your naturalization certificate, Form FS-240, an unexpired U.S. passport, or an original statement from a U.S. consular officer verifying that you are a citizen with a valid passport.
You’ll also need evidence that you and your fiancé have legally terminated any previous marriages. For example, you may need to include divorce decrees , annulment orders, or a former spouse’s death certificate.
You’ll need one color passport-style photograph of yourself.
You’ll also need one color passport-style photograph of your fiancé taken within 30 days of filing.
If you or your fiancé have ever changed your name, you’ll need to provide evidence of this legal name change.
You’ll need evidence that you and your fiancé intend to marry within 90 days of their admission into the United States.
Finally, you’ll also need evidence that you and your fiancé have met in person within two years of filing for this visa. Alternatively, you may submit evidence that an in-person meeting would cause extreme hardship or violate strict traditions of your fiancé’s foreign culture.
Your signature and the date
Lastly, you should thank USCIS for their time and conclude your letter. Remember that this cover letter should be the first part of your application package that USCIS sees. You should place it at the top of your overall package before mailing it out to the appropriate USCIS office.
Where To Send Your Form 1-129F Application & Cover Letter
Note that USCIS processes Form I-129F at its Dallas lockbox, so you should mail your application to the address below that corresponds with your chosen mailing method:
U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
P.O. Box 660151
Dallas, TX 75266-0151
FedEx, UPS, and DHL
Attn: I-129F (Box 660151)
2501 South State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067-8003
Note that there is a $535 fee to file Form I-129F. You may pay this fee with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check. You should make any checks payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” When filing at a USCIS lockbox, you also have the option to pay by credit card. To pay with a credit card, you’ll need to file Form G-1450 : Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.
Form I-129F Cover Letter Template
You may use the following template for guidance when writing your USCIS Form I-129F cover letter. However, be sure to edit each field to reflect your own situation. You should replace each [bracketed field] with personalized information. To access an editable version of the Form I-129F cover letter sample below, you may make a copy of this sample USCIS cover letter .
Your foreign partner will be known as the “beneficiary” in this visa petition. You, the U.S. citizen sponsoring your foreign partner, are the “petitioner.” Note that you must be a U.S. citizen to sponsor your foreign partner’s K-1 visa application. U.S. green card holders cannot apply for K-1 visas for their foreign partners.
[Petitioner’s Street Address]
[Petitioner’s City, State ZIP code]
[Relevant USCIS mailing address]
RE:[Marriage Green Card Application]
Beneficiary:[Immigrant’s Full Name]
Petitioner:[Citizen/Green Card Holder’s Full Name]
To Whom It May Concern:
Enclosed, please find my [K-1 Fiance Visa Application] for [Immigrant’s Full Name], the beneficiary, and [Petitioner’s Full Name], the petitioner and [U.S. citizen/Green Card Holder fiance] of the beneficiary. The following documents accompany and support this application:
Filing Fee Payments
[Check or Money Order] in the amount of [Current Fee Amount] for Form I-129F or
Form G-1450 authorizing payment of the filing fees for all included forms (credit card charge authorization if you completed one)
[OPTIONAL Form G-1145 (e-notice authorization if you requested them in our system)]
Petitioner’s Form I-129F
[List of supporting documents]
If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at [Phone Number]. Thank you very much for your prompt consideration of my [K-1 Fiance Visa Application].
[Petitioner’s Full Name]
Tips for Writing Your K-1 Fiancé Visa Cover Letter
Be sure to write your letter clearly and concisely. Remember that your cover letter is only a summary of your application contents, so you won’t need to write too many details in this letter. You should also use bullet points when listing your included application materials. Using bullet points will help your USCIS officer more easily understand your application throughout the visa process.
Within your letter, you’ll want to mention that the documents you’ve provided throughout your package are accurate and unaltered original documents or photocopies. If you’ve included any certified translations in your package, be sure to mention this too.
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Do you have a sample I-129F cover letter?
Home » Do you have a sample I-129F cover letter?
May 31, 2021
Always keep your cover letter short and simple. Be concise when explaining the purpose of the letter.
Sample I-129F Cover Letter
CitizenPath offers a sample I-129F cover letters for your use. There is an example for fiancé-based petitions (K-1 visa request) and another example for spouse-based petitions (K-3 visa request). Select the one that matches your need and modify it for your use.
Sample Cover Letters for Form I-129F
Use these sample cover letters for Form I-129F as a guide. Do not submit any of these letters without updating them to fit your specific situation. What’s more, these sample cover letters are not comprehensive checklists for supporting documents. Use your filing instructions to confirm that you’ve included the correct supporting documentation with Form I-129F. It’s not mandatory to submit a cover letter when you file Form I-129F, but a cover letter can help to clarify the purpose of the petition and why your petition may require special attention.
RECOMMENDED: Evidence to Submit with Form I-129F
Mistakes on your I-129F petition can cause costly delays or a denial.
Where to address your cover letter.
You may write your letter using the same address where you filed the I-129F petition. Refer to USCIS page for I-129F . Or, if you used CitizenPath’s I-129F preparation service , refer to the custom filing instructions that we provided to you.
RECOMMENDED: Biggest Mistakes in the K-1 Visa Process
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How To Write A K1 Visa Cover Letter
December 6, 2021 by Beeraj Patel, Esq.
A K1 visa cover letter is a short and simple opening page for your Form I-129F (K1 visa) application. A cover letter is not required by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but it can be helpful to clarify your application and to add a level of professionalism. This review discusses how you can write a cover letter that enhances your K1 visa application .
What Is A K1 Visa Cover Letter (Form I-129F)?
The K1 visa is an immigration visa for foreign nationals that are engaged to a U.S. citizen. It allows the U.S. citizen to sponsor their fiancé so that they can come into the country for the purpose of marriage. Upon entry to the United States, the foreign national has 90 days to be married.
A K1 visa cover letter is included in the front of your Form I-129F that the U.S. citizen submits on behalf of their foreign fiancé. Once again, a cover letter is not required by the USCIS, but it can help ensure a successful application.
What Is The Purpose Of The K1 Visa Cover Letter?
The purpose of this letter is to make it easier for the USCIS consular to process the K1 visa application . The cover letter should be short, organized, and easy for the consular to read. Ideally, the primary section of the letter should have bullet points that highlight the content that you have included in your K1 visa application.
Who Needs A Cover Letter?
K1 visa applicants (the U.S. citizen that is engaged to a foreign national) must submit Form I-129F to start the K1 visa process . A K1 visa cover letter can be helpful to include with your K1 visa application.
A Step-by-Step Guide To Writing Your K1 Visa Cover Letter
Ensure That All Of The Details Are Accurate
The first and most important step in writing a cover letter is to ensure all of your information is accurate . You should first ensure that the consular understands that this is a K1 visa application (Form I-129F). Be sure to also verify that the USCIS address is accurate as well. Your letter can be any size, but the standard size is 8.5 by 11.
Write The K1 Visa Cover Letter Introduction
The next step to writing your letter is to craft the introduction. This should include a brief introduction of yourself and your fiancé. Be sure to use your full names and use a few sentences to describe your situation. Keep in mind, clear and concise should be the focus, so avoid making the introductory section longer than necessary.
List The Content Of Your Cover Letter
- The Form I-129F
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- The status of your fiancé
- Relationship information
- Any additional items
You may need to include additional documents. Be sure to provide a bullet point with a brief (yet detailed) description of each one. This helps the consular find everything they need in a timely manner and properly review your K1 visa application.
Thank The USCIS And Provide The Date And Your Signature
The last step to writing a K1 visa cover letter is to provide a thank you to the USCIS for their time and assistance in processing your K1 visa application . Be sure to end your cover letter with the date and your signature as well.
Get In Touch With An Immigration Attorney At Pride Immigration
An immigration attorney can help you through every step, including crafting your K1 visa cover letter. Pride Immigration assists foreign nationals and their fiancé (the U.S. citizen) through the K1 visa process. If you have additional questions and would like to schedule a consultation, then give us a call today at (571) 520-6116 or contact us online .
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How to apply for a social security number card, when you are a permanent resident, further questions, overview: what is a k-1 visa.
The fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a United States (U.S.) citizen. The K-1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The foreign-citizen will then apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Because a fiancé(e) visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen shortly after arrival in the United States, the fiancé(e) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa. Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants receive K-2 visas.
What Is a “Fiancé(e)”?
Under U.S. immigration law, a foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen is the recipient of an approved Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F, who has been issued a nonimmigrant K-1 visa for travel to the United States in order to marry his or her U.S. citizen fiancé(e). Both the U.S. citizen and the K-1 visa applicant must have been legally free to marry at the time the petition was filed and must have remained so thereafter. The marriage must be legally possible according to laws of the U.S. state in which the marriage will take place.
In general, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) and U.S. citizen sponsor must have met in person within the past two years. USCIS may grant an exception to this requirement, based on extreme hardship for the U.S. citizen sponsor to personally meet the foreign-citizen fiancé(e), or, for example, if it is contrary in the U.S. citizen sponsor’s or foreign-citizen fiancé(e)’s culture for a man and woman to meet before marriage.
Detailed information about IMBRA requirements is contained in the Form I-129F , Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), instructions.
- You, the U.S. citizen sponsor, must file Form I-129F , Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live. See Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) for information on where to file the petition. Further information is available on the USCIS website under Fiancé(e) Visas . Note: Form I-129F cannot be filed at a U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or USCIS office abroad.
- After USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) . The NVC will give you a case number and send your petition to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé(e) lives.
The NVC will mail you a letter when it sends your fiancé(e) case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Once you receive this letter, inform your fiancé(e) to take the below-listed actions to apply for a K-1 visa and prepare for the interview.
Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants may apply for K-2 visas. Separate applications must be submitted for each K visa applicant, and each K visa applicant must pay the visa application fee.
You, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e), (and eligible children applying for K-2 visas) will be required to bring the following forms and documents to the visa interview:
- Completed Form DS-160 , Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application . You (and any eligible children applying for K-2 visas) must: (1) complete Form DS-160 and (2) print the DS-160 confirmation page to bring to your interview.
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions).
- Birth certificate .
- Divorce or death certificate(s ) of any previous spouse(s) for both you and the U.S. citizen sponsor
- Police certificates from your present country of residence and all countries where you have lived for six months or more since age 16 (Police certificates are also required for accompanying children age 16 or older)
- Medical examination (vaccinations are optional, see below)
- Evidence of financial support ( Form I-134 , Affidavit of Support, may be requested)
- Two (2) 2x2 photographs . See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements
- Evidence of relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e)
- Payment of fees, as explained below
Note: The consular officer may ask for additional information, such as photographs and other proof that the relationship with your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) is genuine. Documents in foreign languages, other than the language of the country in which the application takes place, should be translated. Applicants should take to the visa interview clear, legible photocopies of civil documents and translations, such as birth and divorce certificates. Original documents and translations will be returned.
There may be additional instructions for collecting documentation needed for your K visa interview. Review U.S. Embassy/Consulate-Specific Instructions here , to learn what additional requirements there are, if any.
In preparing for the interview, applicants will need to schedule and complete a medical examination. Before the issuance of an immigrant or K visa, every applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination which must be performed by an authorized panel physician. You will be provided instructions regarding medical examinations from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for your visa, including information on authorized panel physicians. See Medical Examination for more information, including a list of panel physicians by country, and frequently asked questions.
K visa applicants are encouraged to get the vaccinations required under U.S. immigration law for immigrant visa applicants. Although such vaccinations are not required for K visa issuance, they will be required when adjusting status to that of legal permanent resident following your marriage. Applicants are therefore encouraged to fulfill these vaccination requirements at the time of the medical examination. See Vaccination Requirements for IV Applicants for the list of required vaccinations and additional information.
During the visa interview, applicants will be required to present evidence to the consular officer that they are not likely to become a public charge in the United States. You may present evidence that you are able to financially support yourself or that your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) is able to provide support. The Consular Officer may request that a Form I-134 , Affidavit of Support be submitted by the U.S. citizen fiancé(e).
The U.S. citizen fiancé(e) will need to submit Form I-864 to USCIS with the application for adjustment of status to that of legal permanent resident following the marriage.
No. The 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline minimum income requirement, the most recent year's tax return, and other requirements only apply when Form I-864 is needed. Applicants presenting Form I-134 will need to show that their U.S. sponsor's income is 100 percent of the federal poverty guideline.
Fees are charged for the following services:
- Filing an Alien Fiancé(e) Petition, Form I-129F
- Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee, Form DS-160 (required for each K visa applicant)
- Medical examination (required for each K visa applicant; costs vary from post to post)
- Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, fees for getting the documents required for the visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.), and travel expenses to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an interview. Costs vary from country to country and case to case.
- Filing Form I-485 , Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status
For current fees for Department of State, see Fees for Visa Services . For current fees for USCIS, see Check Filing Fees on the USCIS website.
You should read the Rights and Protections pamphlet before your visa interview to learn about your rights in the United States relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and protection available to you. The consular officer will verbally summarize the pamphlet to you during your interview. Additionally, K-1 visa applicants will be provided with any existing criminal background information on their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)s that USCIS received from other government agencies during processing of their Form I-129F petitions.
My Petition Expired – Can It Be Extended?
The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval by USCIS. A consular officer can extend the validity of the petition if it expires before visa processing is completed.
Ineligibilities for Visas
Certain conditions and activities may make you, the applicant, ineligible for a visa. Examples of these ineligibilities include: drug trafficking; overstaying a previous visa; and submitting fraudulent documents.
If you are ineligible for a visa, you will be informed by the Consular Officer and advised whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility and what the waiver process is. Learn more and see the complete list of ineligibilities .
For Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), you can visit the USCIS website for the status of your petition .
Once your case has been received from NVC by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that will process it, the length of time varies from case to case according to its circumstances. Some cases are delayed because applicants do not follow instructions carefully or supply incomplete information. (It is important to give us correct postal addresses and telephone numbers.) Some visa applications require further administrative processing , which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer.
If you are issued a K-1 visa, the Consular Officer will give you your passport containing the K-1 visa and a sealed packet containing the civil documents you provided, plus other documents prepared by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It is important that you do not open the sealed packet . Only the DHS immigration official should open this packet when you enter the United States. As the K-1 visa holder, you must enter the United States either before or at the same time as any qualifying children holding K-2 visas.
With your visa, you can apply for a single admission at a U.S. port-of-entry within the validity of the visa, which will be a maximum of 6 months from the date of issuance. You must marry your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of your entry into the United States.
No. Your eligible children may apply for K-2 visas based on the approval of Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), that your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) filed on your behalf, but your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) must list the children on the petition. Separate visa applications must be submitted for each K-2 visa applicant, and each applicant must pay the K visa application fee.
After your marriage, your children will need to file separately from you for adjustment of status. They cannot be included on your application for adjustment of status. More information about adjustment of status is available on USCIS’s website under Green Card (Permanent Residence) .
Important Notice: Under U.S. immigration law, a child must be unmarried. In order to file for adjustment of status for your child following your marriage to your U.S. citizen spouse, the child’s stepchild relationship with your spouse must be created before the child reaches the age of 18.
Your children may travel with (accompany) you to the United States or travel later (follow-to-join). Like you, your children must travel within the validity of their K-2 visas. Separate petitions are not required if the children accompany or follow to join you within one year from the date of issuance of your K-1 visa. If they want to travel later than one year from the date your K-1 visa was issued, they will not be eligible to receive K-2 visas, and separate immigrant visa petitions will be required. If your child has a valid K-2 visa and you have already adjusted status to that of permanent resident, your child may still travel on the K-2 visa.
Entering the United States: Port of Entry
A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the U.S. port-of-entry and request permission to enter the United States. You should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the U.S. Upon arrival at the port-of-entry, be prepared to present to the CBP officer your passport with visa and your unopened/sealed packet containing your documents. Travelers should review important information about admissions and entry requirements on the CBP website under Travel .
Information for K-1/K-2 visa holders about adjustment of status, permission to work in the United States, and travel outside of the United States is available on the USCIS website under Fiancé(e) Visas .
To learn about applying for a Social Security Number Card, visit the website for the Social Security Administration .
Coming to the United States to live permanently, you will want to learn more about your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident . See Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants to review information on the USCIS website about living in the United States.
- If your inquiry concerns a visa case in progress at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, you should first contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your case for status information. Select U.S. Embassy or Consulate to review their website for contact information.
- Before making an inquiry, we request that you carefully review this website. Often, the answers to questions are easily found which enables us to help other applicants and U.S. sponsors in need of assistance. Due to the volume of inquiries we receive, Visa Services cannot promise an immediate reply to your inquiry.
- You can find contact information for our Public Inquiries Division at Contact Us .
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