How long does it take to get a K1 Fiancé Visa?
Generally, the K1 visa will be issued 5 to 6 months after the I-129F fiancé visa petition is submitted to USCIS. The overall K1 visa processing time will vary slightly depending on the state where the U.S. citizen resides and the country where the foreign fiancé resides. The 2017 K1 visa timeline below explains the entire K1 visa application process from start to finish.
K1 Visa Timeline 2017
First, the U.S. citizen petitioner prepares the I-129F Fiancé Visa Petition and mails it to USCIS.
2 -3 weeks later: USCIS mails the U.S. citizen petitioner Form I-797C (NOA1) confirming they have received the I-129F petition. (See: What does Form I-1797C look like?)
2 – 8 weeks later: USCIS mails the U.S. citizen petitioner Form I-1797 (NOA2) acknowledging the I-129F Fiancé Visa Petition has been approved and that they are forwarding the approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing (background checks on both the petitioner and beneficiary). (See: What does Form I-797 look like?)
Note: If there were any mistakes in the initial I-129F petition USCIS will mail the U.S. citizen petitioner a Request for Evidence (RFE), instead of Form I-1797. If you receive a Request for Evidence don’t worry these requests are usually sent for something minor, such as the petitioner forgot to attach a required document to the initial petition. The Request for Evidence will explain exactly what documents are missing from the petition and how to respond to the request. If you receive a Request for Evidence it is not the end of the world, but it will add a few extra weeks to the K1 visa process.
1 – 4 weeks later: After the NVC has completed the background investigation they will mail the U.S. citizen petitioner a letter informing him or her that the petition has been forwarded to the U.S. consulate in the fiancé beneficiary’s country. (See: Sample letter from the National Visa Center confirming the fiance visa petition has been transferred)
1 – 2 weeks later: The U.S. consulate receives the approved I-129F petition from the NVC.
1 – 2 weeks later: The U.S. consulate will mail the fiancé beneficiary instructions on how to schedule the K1 visa interview and what documents he or she needs to bring with them to the interview. (See: How to schedule K1 visa interview at the Manila Embassy)
2 – 12 weeks later: The Fiancé beneficiary attends a K1 Visa Interview at the U.S. consulate.
Some countries will issue the K1 Visa on the same day of the interviews, but others will mail it to the fiancé beneficiary 1 to 2 weeks after the interview.
In addition to the K1 visa you will also receive a Sealed Visa Packet. Do not open this sealed yellow envelope you must present it unopened to an Immigration Officer when you enter the United States.
The average K1 visa processing time for 2017 is around 5 to 6 months.
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