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Eh, waste of time. Me and the wife wrote a couple letters AFTER we had met in person and were fairly sure about our relationship. They were just so we had some physical correspondence for the interviewer at the US embassy when she had her interview. Makes things look just a tad more authentic. Fake marriages are fairly common where she comes from.
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You can also just keep your IM logs and submit them. I think INS/State Dept realizes this is the 21st Century, you likely found her on some web site and have only met in person once, twice, maybe three times before you set the K-1 paperwork in motion.
I've been keeping my logs for a long time, but I've changed OS (Operating Systems) a few times so I don't have much of any more. But I believe I'll be using W7 for awhile and the next time I have extended conversations I'll have the logs and just print them out when the time comes.
Funny thing that you mentioned that actually. I almost mentioned that myself. I know an ABC who kept 5000 pages of IM logs that he sent his fiance for her interview. The embassy personnel rejected their claim during the interview. They never mentioned why. But a couple sweet intimate letters usually work better. The interviewer never even bothered looking at their logs (that's what he told me anyway). Too many photos is bad too. A small album of intimate photos is better. Too many photos will put you on the 'fake' radar of the interviewer.
The INS requirements for the K-1 visa are not vague, but very specific. These are not demanding requirements for proof. They just ask you to demonstrate that you're in love and not just trying to sneak someone in.
INS will ask for exactly 10 photos of the two of you together in her country; not more or less. They also ask for proof of travel - specifically, copies of travel itineraries, hotel receipts, and a photocopy of every page of your passport. They do ask for proof of romantic relationship and give examples of emails, letters, etc. But they leave it up to you how to demonstrate that. I provided four printed pages from our private online forum I'd set up. That was it. She had no email and there were no written letters.
It was enough. We did use an attorney to help us, which was helpful. When Anna got to the Embassy for her interview they looked through the documents and didn't even ask her one question. They verified her identity and told her the visa stamp and passport would be mailed out and in her hands within 10 days.
Also, you only have to make one trip to her country. One of the men I know met his wife on a tour, but could not get time off again to make another trip. In fact, he had to send for her and meet her at the airport when she arrived in the US.
If you haven't even gone overseas and you're worrying about such details you need to think about whether your playing Keyboard Romeo or if your serious.
Out of this entire string, that has had nearly 1,000 views, I've only heard of two people who said they thought they knew someone who married the person they'd been writing to prior to meeting in person. Yet there are more than 50,000 K-1 visa applications each year. 80% of those are from servicemen and US citizens traveliing abroad on business or recreation. That 80% happened to be on the ground and met someone in person - then fell in love. It is my contention that the other 20% who marry someone because they intentionally went overseas in search of the love of their life did it the same way. While there in person they met someone. That's how this stuff works.
There's a lot of over-thinking on the part of those writing letters who never go. What value is that? Where's the reward?
I had been talking to Larisa (look under my friends Mark I have her as a friend on Facebook) for less than 6 month online, occasional phone call.
After my other plans broke down, she asked if I wanted to come to Ukraine. I figured nothing ventured, so I went. If she was slightly better looking and a few years younger, who knows.