Olvis Immigration and Travel Services
SHO3, Level 4, Ayala Center Cebu Cebu Business Park, Cebu City, Cebu 6000
Phone: (+6332) 268-8279

Frequently Asked Questions

 
1Where can I find visa assistance in Cebu?

The easiset way to get quick visa assistance is to walk into the Ayala Mall shopping center in Cebu Business park and visit us on level 4 in the services section, just past Gold's gym.

Olvis Immigration, Visa paperwork preparation and full support services in the Philippines.

We are the oldest and most experienced Fiancée/Spousal Visa processing company of this kind in the USA or the Philippines for over 30 years. Our success rate is 100% with over 15,000 k1/k2, Spousal and k3 visa applicants approved.

2The IR Visa

A spouse of a U.S. citizen is considered an immediate relative (IR) and is immediately eligible to apply for an immigrant visa under the IR category. The Filipino spouse must be the beneficiary of an I-130 petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition must be filed at the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the petitioner’s (American spouse) place of residence. On a case-to-case basis, a U.S. citizen who resides in the Philippines may be allowed to file the I-130 petition at the immigration services office at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. However, the petitioner must be domiciled or residing in the United States at the time the Filipino spouse has a visa interview.

NOTE: Active-duty U.S. military personnel and other U.S Government personnel are considered domiciled in the United States while serving overseas.

Children (below 21 years of age and unmarried) of the Filipino spouse are also eligible to apply for IR visas if individual petitions are filed on their behalf by the U.S. citizen spouse. Under U.S. immigration law, only children under the age of 18 at the time their natural parent married a U.S. citizen are considered “step-children” for immigration purpose. Children who were 18 years or older at the time of the marriage may not be petitioned as step-children. They may be petitioned by the Filipino parent after he/she becomes a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States.

Once an I-130 petition is approved, the National Visa Center (NVC) in the United States notifies the petitioner and provides guidance on how the Filipino spouse and children can apply for IR-1 and IR-2 visas respectively.

The NVC queues the applicant(s) for an interview and forwards the approved petition to the Embassy in Manila. The NVC will likewise notify the applicant(s) when they are scheduled to report for the medical examination and visa interview.

It takes 4 to 6 months from the date a petition is approved for the IR visa to be issued. If an investigation is required and if the applicant does not satisfy all application requirements, visa issuance may take longer. A U.S. citizen should not arrange to take the Filipino spouse back to the United States immediately following the marriage. No travel arrangements should be finalized until a visa has been issued. Because of the time involved in processing the application for an immigrant visa, it is recommended that the petitioner and beneficiary gather the required documentation to submit with the visa application as soon as possible after the petition is filed with the USCIS.

The USCIS website offers more information on how to petition alien spouses to live in the United States.

3The K (Non-Immigrant) Visa

The K visa is a non-immigrant visa. It does not automatically grant U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident (LPR) status to the beneficiaries. Those who qualify for K visas will be able to join their partners in the United States sooner as non-immigrants, without the potentially long period of separation during the petition process. They will need to adjust their immigration status in the United States to become lawful permanent residents.

4K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa
American citizens who plan to marry their Filipino fiancé(e) in the United States must file an I-129F / fiancé(e) petition with the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the petitioner’s place of residence.

Once approved, the I-129F / fiancé(e) petition is sent to NVC, which forwards it to the Embassy in Manila. The Embassy will send the Filipino fiancé(e) information on how to apply for the K-1 visa, including how to schedule the medical examination and the visa interview.

Those applying for K-1, K-2, K-3 and K-4 visas who have been notified by the Embassy to prepare for their interview can call 1-909-101-7878 (within the Philippines) to schedule an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy. The cost of the 909 service is U.S. $0.98 per minute; this amount will be charged to your telephone bill.

Applicants, Agents or Petitioners calling from within the United States will also be able to use this service by calling 1-888-877-9888. The cost of the 888 service from the United States is a U.S. $18 PIN payable using a Visa or MasterCard once you have called into the service.

Applicants or their representatives must have the applicant’s Immigrant Case Number as given in the Embassy notification letter available when they call to schedule an appointment.

Callers can speak with an English or Tagalog speaking operator. The service is available to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, Manila local time.

Generally, it takes 3 to 4 months from the date the petition is approved for the K-1 visa to be issued. If a field investigation is required and if the applicant does not satisfy all the application requirements, visa issuance may take longer. The presence of the U.S. citizen is not required during the fiancé(e)’s visa interview.

Because of the time involved in processing the application for a K-1 / fiancé(e) visa, it is recommended that the petitioner and beneficiary gather the required documentation for the visa application as soon as possible after the initial application is filed with the USCIS in the United States.

Children (unmarried and below 21 years of age) of a K-1 applicant may derive immigration benefits from the same I-129 petition and are issued “K-2” visas. Children identified in the approved I-129F petition are called “derivatives”. Derivatives may apply at the same time as the principal applicant parent or may apply later, but must be issued K-2 visas within one year from the date the K-1 visa was issued to the principal applicant parent. Derivatives who are following-to-join the principal applicant parent must apply for their K-2 visas in a timely manner to allow visa issuance within the required period.

The I-129F fiancé(e) petition is a single entry visa that is valid for four months from the date of its approval. If the petition expires, a consular officer may revalidate it for another four months (provided that both parties remain legally free to marry).

5Application Procedures for the K Visa

STEP 1: File the Petition: File the I-129F / fiancé(e) petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that covers your permanent place of residence. The Form I-129F is available at the Department of Homeland Security’s public queries window at the US Embassy in Manila. The petition must be filed in the United States.

STEP 2: USCIS approves the petition: Once the petition is approved, USCIS sends it to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC forwards the petition to the Embassy in Manila. This process generally takes 4 to 6 months.

NOTE: Approval of a visa petition does not mean a visa will be issued. Only a consular officer at the Embassy may determine a person’s eligibility to receive a visa.

STEP 3: The applicant / beneficiary is notified: When the Embassy receives the approved petition from the NVC, it notifies the applicant / beneficiary that he or she may schedule the medical examination and visa interview.

Those applying for K-1, K-2, visas who have been notified by the Embassy to prepare for their interview can call 1-909-101-7878 (within the Philippines) to schedule an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy. The cost of the 909 service is U.S. $0.98 per minute; this amount will be charged to your telephone bill.

Applicants, Agents or Petitioners calling from within the United States will also be able to use this service by calling 1-888-877-9888. The cost of the 888 service from the United States is a U.S. $18 PIN payable using a Visa or MasterCard once you have called into the service.

Applicants or their representatives must have the applicant’s Immigrant Case Number as given in the Embassy notification letter available when they call to schedule an appointment.

Callers can speak with an English or Tagalog speaking operator. The service is available to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, Manila local time.

STEP 4: Apply for the visa: Seven to ten days after the applicant pays the non-refundable application/processing fee and completes the required medical examination at St. Luke’s Medical Center Extension Clinic, he/she appears at the Embassy for the scheduled visa interview with all the required documents.

The consular officer adjudicates the application based on the visa interview, documents submitted by the applicant and any relevant information available to the Embassy. The consular officer determines the applicant’s eligibility to be issued the K visa. If the application is approved, the visa will be delivered to the applicant’s residence by a guaranteed courier service in 7 to 10 days. If the consular officer determines that the applicant is not eligible for visa issuance, this will be explained to the applicant who will be provided a written refusal sheet that informs her/him of the following:

1) how the visa refusal may be overcome with additional documentation or information;

2) to await notification from the Embassy if the case will require further review; or

3) the basis for the determination of a visa ineligibility under U.S. immigration law and if a waiver of ineligibility is available.

6Frequently Asked Questions About the K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

How does one apply for a K-1 visa ?

A Filipino fiancé(e) needs an approved I-129F petition to apply for a “K-1” visa. Only a U.S. citizen may file the I-129F / fiancé(e) petition. This must be done at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in the United States that has jurisdiction over the place where the U.S. citizen resides.

What are the documents a K-1 applicant needs to submit?

A fiancé(e) is considered an intending immigrant and therefore must present basically the same documents as those required for an immigrant visa applicant. These include: a valid Philippine passport; a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) and printed on NSO security paper; legal documents proving the termination of a previous marriage; NBI clearance; police certificates from all foreign countries where the applicant lived for at least six months after the age of 16; evidence of the relationship with the petitioner; evidence of financial support; a medical examination completed by St. Luke’s Medical Center Extension Clinic and visa photographs.

Can an applicant request an earlier visa appointment?

If an applicant wishes to advance the visa interview appointment, he/she should write the Embassy or call the Immigrant Visa Call Center to request an earlier appointment. Requests for earlier appointments are granted only if there is a space available.

How much time is given to complete the K-1 visa application?

A K-1 petition is valid for six months from the date of its approval. But this may be revalidated by a consular officer provided that both parties are still legally free to marry. Your beneficiary should gather all the necessary documents for the visa interview appointment as soon as possible after the petitioner receives his approval notice from USCIS.

Does the “K-1” visa grant an immigrant status and entitle the Filipino fiancé(e) to a green card?

No, it does not. The K-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, which allows the holder to stay in the United States on a temporary basis. After the marriage takes place, the alien spouse must file with the USCIS to obtain conditional permanent residence status. The Filipino spouse may apply for removal of the conditional status and become a lawful permanent resident three months before the second anniversary of the issuance of her green card.

What should the Filipino fiancé(e) do upon entry into the United States?

The Filipino fiancé(e) has 90 days from admission into the United States to marry his/her petitioner. The K-1 visa does not allow the bearer to marry anyone other than the petitioner. After the marriage, the couple must contact the USCIS to register for conditional permanent resident status for the Filipino spouse. Contact the USCIS in the United States for further information regarding the K-1 visa bearer’s status while in the United States.

Can the K-1 visa be used to travel in and out of the United States?

No. The K-1 visa is a single-entry visa, which means that the K-1 bearer who leaves the United States without changing marital and immigration status will not be able to re-enter the country on the same visa. A new petition and visa would be required

What are the main reasons a K-1 visa is denied?

K-1 applications are subject to the same review standards as immigrant visa applications. The main reasons for visa refusal are: lacking documentation; need to review or verify evidence; lack of a petitionable relationship; misrepresentation of the facts; medical concerns; criminal grounds and potential public charge.

A common basis for refusal is a prior marriage for the beneficiary or the petitioner that has not been legally terminated. There is no divorce in the Philippines. A consular officer will only accept a death certificate or a court ruling of annulment or of presumptive death as evidence that a Filipino marriage has been terminated. An American may terminate a Filipino marriage through a U.S. divorce.

Can family members of the Filipino fiancé(e) be included in the petition?

Only the unmarried, minor children (below 21 years old) of the Filipino fiancé(e) can be included in the K-1 petition. They are eligible to apply for a K-2 visa. If they are unable to depart with their Filipino parent, children who are named in the petition have one year (from the time the K-1 visa is issued) to be issued K-2 visas. They must apply for visas in a timely manner to allow visa issuance within the required time. Otherwise, the children will no longer be able to derive any immigration benefit from their parent’s K-1 visa and new immigrant visa petitions need to be filed on their behalf.

Can the Filipino fiancé(e) work in the U.S. with a K-1 visa?

Yes. When the fiancé(e) enters the United States he/she will be eligible to apply for a work permit with the USCIS.

What fees are involved in obtaining a K visa?

There is a $350.00 non-refundable application/processing fee for each K visa applicant. This fee is payable in U.S. dollars or its current peso equivalent. This is paid at an accredited branch of the Bank of the Philippine Islands. The required medical examination costs are U.S. U.S. $213.35 for adults (15 years and older) and U.S. $185.35 for children (under 15 years of age).

What if the fiancé(e) must delay their arrival in the U.S.?

The K-1 visa is valid for a maximum of four months from issuance. If the visa bearer is unable to leave for the United States immediately and the visa expires, a new one may be issued upon written request to the Embassy.

Where can I find additional information?

For general visa information about K-1, K-2, or IR1/CR1 visas visit or call:

The USCIS website U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

The Embassy’s Immigrant Visa Information Call Center in Manila at 1-909-101-7878. Callers in the USA can also contact the Call Center at 1-888-877-9888. There is a fee charged to callers by the Call Center for its services. You may call Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Cost is about 53 pesos per minute. This number can be reached from the Philippines using a PLDT or SMART telephone line with NDD access.

The State Department’s National Visa Center in New Hampshire can be reached at (603) 334-0700. The NVC handles petitions before they are sent to the Embassy in Manila.

Information about immigrant visa petitions is available at:

The US Embassy Manilawebsite and the Department of Homeland Security office at the Embassy in Manila, Window 44 (open Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Tel. no: (632) 301-2000, Ext. 2224).

Information regarding the “Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage” is available from the Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit at (632) 301-2000, Ext. 4106.

 

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