First things first, it’s deemed necessary to consider whether you’re eligible for getting a Fiancé VISA or not. It’s best to run a background check. Otherwise, you’ll end up waiting for nothing. Also, make sure you’re getting the right list. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other consular may not have the exact list of requirements.
In general, it may take around 6 to 12 months before the approval of a fiancé visa. Working with a fiancé visa agency, an immigration attorney, or websites like visacoach.com would help. However, if you want to handle things personally, we’ve got you covered. We’ll provide you with substantial information on the processing time spent before approval of fiancé visa.
The partner, who should be a US citizen, must complete the required government form called I-129F or Petition for a K-1 Visa, which would validate the involved relationship. The form is downloadable and can be taken on this link: uscis.gov/i-129f.
The filing can be done within an hour or so, depending on how reliable the petitioner. Listed here are a few supporting documents that may be appended to the form as evidence:
- Petitioner’s proof of US citizenship. US birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, US passport (copy)
- Foreign/sponsored fiancé’s passport (copy)
- Evidence of the relationship’s legitimacy. Sworn statements from relatives or friends, couple photos, correspondence samples (Facebook, Skype, email)
- In-person meeting documentation (earlier than the filing, at least once every two years). Photos, flight or hotel itineraries, correspondence samples (Facebook, Skype, email)
- Letter of intent to marry.
- must include a brief statement about the relationship, check for an example here
- must include the intent to marry (within 90 days after the arrival of the foreign partner in the US)
- must be written and signed by both the petitioner and foreign fiancé
- better hand in the original statements and keep the copies as your records
- Two passport-style photos. One for the US citizen fiancé and another for the sponsored/foreign fiancé
After filling up the form, the petitioner should send it to the USCIS’ address together with the filing fee that costs $535. Within 30 days, the USCIS will respond and mail you the receipt of the petition. On average, you’ll receive this receipt within 2 to 3 weeks after filing.
Here’s a tip. Safe keep this important letter and keep in mind the 10-digit receipt number in it. You can use this receipt number if you want to have an update of your case. Alternatively, use it to make a case inquiry, especially when you receive an NOA, which will be mentioned in the following.
Provide sufficient evidence as much as possible. Otherwise, USCIS may ask for more information and send you a Request for Evidence (RFE). Of course, this will prolong your waiting time. If you receive an RFE, immediately submit whatever the immigration ask you to do so. Worst case scenario is when USCIS rejects your petition at all.
If you haven’t received any RFEs or you’re done with complying, expect that USCIS will send you a notice of action (NOA). Once you received an NOA, that means the immigration is working on your approval process.
In general, the processing will take around 6 to 9 months or seven months on average, depending on which service center will be handling the case. These service centers are either the Virginia Service Center or California Service Center.
4-6 weeks after the approval, the National Visa Center (NVC) of the US State Department will assign a case number after the petition is approved. After which, the petitioner’s application and important documents will be forwarded to the US embassy in the country where the foreign fiancé lives.
If you want to make sure that NVC has received your case, you may contact the department approximately two weeks after the receipt of the approval notice. You may reach them at their email address NVCINQUIRY@state.gov or phone number 1-603-334-0700.
Then, approximately two weeks after the embassy received and reviewed the case, they’ll send an embassy letter to the foreign fiancé. The letter will indicate Form DS-160 completion, medical exam and interview schedules, $265 consular payment, and many more. The form will either be sent online or submitted through other means as per what the local consulate’s instructs.
After the foreign fiancé submits the required embassy requirements, he/she needs to undergo an interview at the area designated by the US embassy or consulate. The foreign fiancé will know the result right after the interview. If nothing’s wrong, the embassy or consulate will issue the fiancé visa after few one or few weeks.