Attending Your Interview

After the medical exam, you and your accompanying children will report to the consulate for the interview. Bring with you to the interview the items on the checklist above, and anything else the consulate requested. The interview pro­cess involves verification of your applica­tion’s accuracy and an inspection of your documents.

For details on what to expect dur­ing your consular visa interview, see Chapter 4. Also see Chapter 4 if your visa is denied.

F. Step Four: You Enter the U. S. on Your Fiance Visa

Normally, you must use the visa to enter the u. s. within six months, though the consulate can extend this period if nec­essary. The inspection process involves a U. S. border officer opening the sealed envelope containing your visa docu­ments, and doing a last check to make sure you haven’t used fraud. The border officer has expedited removal powers, which means he or she can turn you right around and send you home if any­thing appears wrong in your packet or with your answers to the officer’s ques­tions. Be polite and careful in answering.

When the officer is satisfied that everything is in order, he or she will stamp your passport to show that you’re now a K-1 visa holder, and you will be authorized to remain in the U. S. for 90 days. If you are bringing accompany­ing children, they must enter the U. S. at either the same time or after you do. You can apply for a work permit once you’re in the U. S.—see “Employment Authoriza­tion,” below.

If you’re planning to apply for a green card, your most important task at this point is to get married. You can’t apply

for the green card until you have an of­ficial government certificate of your mar­riage, which sometimes takes weeks after the wedding to be prepared. For more information on applying to adjust status based on your marriage, see Chapter 7. For a fuller discussion of all aspects of applying for a fiance visa and for your green card after you’ve arrived in the U. S. and gotten married, see the lat­est edition of Fiance and Marriage Visas:

A Couple’s Guide to U. S. Immigration, by Ilona Bray (Nolo).

To file an application for employment authorization for the 90 days you’re on a fiance visa, complete Form I-765 and file it with a USCIS service center, according to the instructions on the USCIS website. Answer Question 16 of the form "(a)(6)." Together with Form I-765, you must submit a copy of your I-94 card. The filing fee is $1 75.

You can also apply for a work permit when you submit your green card application. This may be worth waiting for—you’re unlikely to get the work permit approved before your 90 days are up and the permit would expire anyway. The work permit you receive after applying to adjust status will also last a lot longer.