How Long Does it Take to Get a Fiancé Visa?

There are several factors which can affect the time it takes to receive a fiancé visa. In general, however, you should budget for a year or more.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019

The length of time it takes to get a K-1 fiancé visa varies. Currently, the entire process from start to finish takes roughly twelve months. 

Some people get their fiancé visa sooner, while others have been waiting since the end of last year to receive their fiancé visa.

In general, this variation is due to two primary factors:

  • The backlog of petitions currently being processed by your USCIS service center.
  • Whether or not the service center needs more information in order to process your application.

While you don’t really have any control over the first point, the second point is much more manageable.

The best way to ensure that your petition is processed as quickly as possible is to make sure you have followed all the directions and included all of the necessary documents. 

Sometimes, petitioners will file an incomplete petition by mistake, resulting in costly and time-consuming Requests for Evidence (RFEs). Other times, a USCIS officer may request evidence outside of the ordinary due to problems or inconsistencies in your application.

If your fiancé is in the process of filing your K-1 fiancé visa petition, you should remind him or her to follow all instructions and to pay all of the fees on time. Once everything is submitted, all you can do is wait.

After My Fiancé Submits The Petition, What Happens?

Your fiancé should have filled out Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé on your behalf and filed it with the appropriate USCIS service center.

Your K-1 Fiancé visa petition will go through three major steps after you submit the application:

  • First, USCIS must approve your fiancé visa petition, Form I-129F.
  • After that, the National Visa Center (NVC) will further process your petition and forward it to the U.S. embassy or consulate. 
  • Finally, it will take approximately one to two months for the U.S. embassy to receive and process your petition.

Next, you will have to complete an interview with a consular officer at the U.S. embassy. 

The embassy will notify you when it receives your petition and send you directions on how you can complete the rest of the fiancé visa process. 

Depending on where you live overseas, it can take anywhere from two weeks to four months before an interview time becomes available. 

Typically, the consular officer will let you know right after the interview whether your fiancé visa petition is granted or not.

Why does it take so long to get a fiancé visa?

There are several reasons. However, in general, the length of the process is due to an immense backlog of immigration petitions.

USCIS processing centers deal with more than just fiancé visas, many of which require a great deal of work to approve. Once a backlog of applications begins, it can be hard for USCIS to catch back up.

What are the current processing times for each service center?

The USCIS website lists the current processing times for each of the four service centers. The processing times are updated on the 15th of each month.

You can check the current processing times here.

Can I check the status of my petition online?

Yes. After your fiancé files the I-129F petition, USCIS will send a receipt in the mail confirming they received the petition. 

If you take a closer look at the receipt, you will find the location of the USCIS service center that is processing your petition. You will also find your receipt case number which will allow you to check the status of your petition online.

Conclusion

So, how long then does it take to get a fiancé visa? In general, you should plan for somewhere between 8 and 12 months, depending on a variety of factors.

Expect another 2 to 4 months before you are able to schedule an interview with your local consulate. All in all, the process should take somewhere around 10 to 16 months.

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