When couples decide whether to go for a fiance visa or not, one of the crucial factors they consider is the timeline of the whole process. This is because if the time period from the date of applying to get the visa is too long, the couples might not prefer to go for the K 1 visa option and will seek other visa categories to enter the United States.

This article will explore about different time periods that you should expect for K 1 visa processes:

What are the different waiting times for different K 1 visa processes?

The K 1 visa process starts with the US citizen sponsor filing Form I 129F (Petition for alien fiancé) along with the other supporting documents and carries on with the foreign citizen fiancé filing Form DS 160 (online nonimmigrant visa application) and appearing for a K 1 visa interview at the US embassy or consulate. The usual time taken by the above processes are:

Processing time for Form I 129F – Petition for alien fiancé

When the US sponsor is ready to file Form I 129f along with the supporting documents (You can verify your documents from Herman Legal Group’s experienced immigration attorneys by arranging a consultation with us), they can file it at the following address:

U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

USCIS

Attn: I-129F

P.O. Box 660151

Dallas, TX 75266-0151

FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

USCIS

Attn: I-129F 

(Box 660151)

2501 South State Highway 121 Business

Suite 400

Lewisville, TX 75067-8003

Once you have filed your petition, the USCIS will review your petition to check if it is completed and send you USCIS Form I 797 (Notice of Action), which is the acknowledgment (receipt notice) from the USCIS that they have received the petition. The receipt notice might take a few weeks (typically four weeks) to arrive.

The next thing is the USCIS determining officer will assess your application and documents submitted and will make their decision on that basis. The primary thing that the USCIS officer will check is the proof of a bonafide relationship between you and your foreign fiancé.

When the USCIS determining officer is satisfied with the application, they will send an approval notice to the US sponsor. You could expect an average of 7-8 months for your I 129f petition to get approved by the USCIS.

Processing with the NVC and US embassy/consulate

Processing with the NVC and US embassy

Image Source: Pexels

After the USCIS approves your I 129f petition, your case will be transferred from the USCIS service center to the US Department of state National visa center (NVC).. The NVC will forward the case to the nearest US embassy or consulate from the place of residence of the sponsored fiancé.

The US embassy or consulate will send a notice to the foreign fiancé mentioning the date, time, and location of the visa interview and the documents that the sponsored fiancé has to carry at the time of the interview.

The processing time from transferring your case to NVC to getting your case processed at the US embassy or consulate can typically take around 6-8 months. However, do not worry; the process could be shorter depending on the country in which you are living and the workload on the embassy or consulate in which your case has been referred by the USCIS.

Make sure to complete Form DS 160 (online nonimmigrant visa application), which is your actual K 1 visa application. The interviewing officer will check the completion of the form at the interview.

Interview Process and timeline

The interviewing officer/consular officer will check your documents and ask you several questions to check if your relationship is bonafide and your intentions to go to the US. Fortunately, your interview result will be told to you either on the same day of the interview or the next day of the interview.

Overall visa timings

Overall, you can expect anywhere between 13-15 months to get your K-1 visa in your hand. It may be longer and shorter depending on your country and the burden that the USCIS is facing.

Why is there a waiting time for a K-1 visa?

When a person first files a petition for a visa, it is not granted immediately; rather, the process takes time and could be longer depending on many factors such as:

#1 Work Load on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

The workload on the officials that are making a decision on your application plays a crucial factor when it comes to the length of waiting times. When the workload is heavy, the decision on your application might take longer than usual and vice versa.

Furthermore, the availability of staff members is also a key determinant in deciding the waiting periods. For example, US immigration has witnessed significant waiting periods because of COVID 19, which caused the unavailability of staff who were positive or were in quarantine.

#2 Sufficiency of documents and Evidence that you have submitted

The USCIS determining officer will approve your application on the first go if he is satisfied with the documents and pieces of evidence that you have submitted along with your petition. However, if the case is otherwise and your petition lacks sufficient pieces of evidence, then the determining officer will send a Request for Evidence (RFE) or deny your petition.

In the prior case, the whole process gets delayed as; first, you will receive an RFE, and then you will respond to it, after which only a final decision will be made on your application.

For example, While filing the petition, I 129F, the sponsor must submit documents proving their bonafide relationship with the alien fiancé. However, if because of improper evidence submitted, the officer fails to agree on the proof of a bonafide relationship between you and your foreign fiancé, they will ask you for further evidence to prove the bonafide relationship.

That is why getting an immigration attorney services can save your time, efforts, and frustration. Herman Legal Group immigration attorneys personally verify each and every piece of evidence submitted to avoid any future issues with the application.

#3 Holidays and Office closures

We have seen that in the COVID times, the waiting period of each visa category was drastically increased because of offices being closed during lockdowns and people completing their quarantine. However, in normal circumstances, only public holidays should matter.

Why should I consider K-1 visa waiting times before applying for the visa?

It is important to know the waiting times as some couples will change their mind about getting the K-1 visa and will try for a different visa. For example, if your overall goal is to come to the United States and settle there by applying for United States citizenship through a marriage-based green card, and the waiting time period for the k 1 visa is more than expected, you might prefer not to wait that long for the visa.

The other alternative that the couples have is that they can get married outside the United States and apply for a marriage-based green card from outside the US. So, say if the waiting period for a K-1 visa is 20 months, and the couple is expecting a waiting period of 10 months, they might change their mind and apply for a spouse visa from outside the US after getting married.

By doing this, the foreign spouse only has to wait for their immigrant visa process, and they save the waiting time for a K-1 visa.

How can Herman Legal Group help you?

You are certainly not alone in your visa application. Herman Legal Group is there for you to help you in each and every visa step and guide you with the best immigration expertise available in the market.

Herman Legal Group was founded in 1995 and is an AV-Rated law firm and has been awarded the designation of “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report. Our law firm offers comprehensive immigration services ranging from initial consultation to appealing for your visa denial. We bring results.

We assess your application beforehand and can tell you the possibility of approval of your applications. Book a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys and clear all your visa-related queries. You can schedule a consultation with one of the immigration lawyers by calling 1-216-696-6170, or by booking online. Consultations can be conducted by zoom, skype, whatsapp, facetime, or in-office.

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