Pictured: A map of all diplomatic missions of the United States.
Question: I filed an I-129F for my fiancée in the Ukraine. When I received the approval notice, it said something along the lines of, this approval has been forwarded to “the listed consulate” or something similar. I cannot find a listed consulate. Is this the embassy in Kiev? Is the next step the embassy calling my fiancée and setting up an interview and physical? After the interview, is the visa issued from Ukraine?
Answer: The USCIS (part of the Dept. of Homeland Security) forwards the approved petition to the Dept. of State via the National Visa Center (NVC). This is a jurisdictional determination, based on where your fiancée is located. For example, if she is a Ukrainian citizen, but living legally in Moscow, it would be the US Embassy in Moscow. However, based on your fiancée’s citizenship, and the Consular Office we requested, this will be the U.S. Embassy in Kiev.
Usually within three weeks or so of USCIS approval, you will get a letter from the NVC providing you with her new State Dept. case number.
At the same time they are supposed to mail a packet to your fiancée in the Ukraine with instructions on what to do next. That was why they wanted her address on the I-129F form. If she doesn’t get that packet within a month or so of the USCIS approval, then she or someone on her behalf must contact the Consular Section at the US Embassy in Kiev. She can provide them with her case number and let them know she did not get the application packet. Depending on their internal procedures they will either mail it directly from Kiev, or provide email instructions on what to do.
A couple of days prior to her interview she will have to undergo a medical examination by a Consular Service approved civil surgeon in the Ukraine, probably in Kiev. She will then have to present her original birth certificate, passport and other original documentation concerning proof of her relationship with you. At the same time the Consular Officer will gauge her ability to speak and understand English. It is at this interview that she will have to provide the only remaining documentation from you; that is, an I-134 Affidavit of Support. Depending on when she interviews this will be based on either your 2012 income or your 2013 income. So we will cross this bridge when we come to it.
If the Consular Officer is convinced that the claimed relationship is real, then the K-1 visa itself will be issued by the US Consular Office there in Kiev. It will be good for four months, during which time she will have to come to the US. Once here, the two of you have three additional months in which to marry. Then she will have to file the paperwork necessary to adjust her status to that of permanent resident. Again, we’ll cross this bridge when we reach this point.
That is pretty much an overview of what is happening, and what is going to happen. I hope it helps you understand the process a little better.