K-1 Fiance/Fiancee Visas and Immigration

Clients often ask which is the fastest way to bring their fiancé(e) to the United State, with fiancé(e) visa or after marriage with an I-130 relative petition? In general it will be faster to file the I-129F fiancée visa petition as it can be done immediately (presuming you have already met your fiancée in person) and does not require processing at the National Visa Center.

The typical K-1 visa process takes 6 to 9 months, assuming no problems of any kind. This is a long period to wait especially for the immigrant fiancé(e) who may have many questions about how his or her case is proceeding. At the Law Offices of M. Margaret O’Hare we have more than 15 years of experience handling K-1 visa applications at U.S. consulates in countries such as Turkey, Bosnia, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, and Mexico . We keep both the U.S. citizen and their fiancé(e) updated on the progress of their case, what documents to obtain for the next step of the visa application and how long to expect each step to take.

The process of applying for a K-1 visa has two parts. First the U.S. citizen files an I-129F petition with USCIS along with documentation of having met the fiancé(e) in person within the last two years. Processing time for the petition at USCIS is between one and six months and is subject to frequent change.

Once the I-129F petition is approved, it is transferred to the Department of State’s National Visa Center where it receives a new case number and is forwarded to the U.S. Consulate in the fiancé(e)’s country. The Consulate will then send forms and instructions for processing the K-1 visa application to the fiancé(e) and set an interview date. Requirements for the interview will include application forms, medical exam, original or certified copy of birth certificate, divorce decrees from prior marriages, police certificates and affidavit of support from the U.S. citizen petitioner. Documentation of the bona fide nature of the relationship and intention to marry will also be required. The interview is usually set for two to three months following approval of the I-129F petition.

Since the K-1 visa process spans many months, we strive to collect all necessary documents and information in a timely manner in order to prevent any unnecessary delay in an already lengthy process. The K-1 visa beneficiary is given an admission to the U.S. of 90 days and during that period is expected to marry their fiancé(e) and apply for U.S. Permanent Residence using form I-485. Contact our St. Louis family immigration law office to learn more about how we can help you and your fiancé(e) begin your new life in the U.S. in the shortest time.