The Fiancé Visa ( K-1) is a nonimmigrant visa that permits a foreign national fiancé/fiancée of a U.S. citizen to travel to the United States to marry the petitioning U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of admission to the country.
If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must show that:
- You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
1. If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
2. If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
Fiancé(e) (K-1 ) Visa Timeline
The entire timeline can vary greatly from person to person. Some attorneys who do a few of these a year might estimate the average at about a year. As of 2017, if you do everything correctly, avoid getting a request for evidence, and aren’t from a high-fraud area, the process is taking on average from 5 to 6 months, from start to finish.
- Notice of Action1: 1 to 3 Weeks
After you file the I-129F, you will get notification that the USCIS has received it (NOA1/Notice of Action 1).
- Notice of Action 2: 3-5 Months Quite likely the most frustrating wait.
This is the time between USCIS receipt and approval. You’ll be notified via NOA2.
- National Visa center Notice: 2-3 Weeks.
When your case moves to the NVC.
- Embassy Phase: 1-2 Months.
When your case moves to the local U.S. embassy.
- Visa Granted: 2-5 Days
- The time after approval until you get the visa in-hand.
A visa allows you to travel to the United States as far as the port of entry (airport or land border crossing) and ask the immigration officer to allow you to enter the country. Only the immigration officer has the authority to permit you to enter the United States. He or she decides how long you can stay for any particular visit. Immigration matters are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Visas: Immigrant / Nonimmigrant
Immigrant Visas are for people who intend to live permanently in the U.S. Nonimmigrant visas are for people with permanent residence outside the U.S. but who wish to be in the U.S. on a temporary basis – for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.
Immigrants to the U.S.
Immigrating to the United States to live here permanently is an important, and complex decision. This section provides information to help foreign citizens desiring to permanently immigrate to determine the visas, requirements, and related materials they will need to apply to immigrate to the United States. For information on who can immigrate to the U.S., click on Visa Types for Immigrants . Click on the links below for information on visa forms, the Affidavit of Support, other requirements, and related materials for immigrants.
Effective March 20, 2007, consular posts abroad are again authorized to accept petitions for immediate relative immigrant classification from American citizens who are resident in their consular districts, U.S. service members, emergency cases involving life and death or health and safety considerations, and others determined to be in the national interest. See announcement about consular offices abroad accepting I-130 immigrant visa petitions.
Immigrant Visa Processing – The National Visa Center (NVC)
After the immigrant petition has been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the petition is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing . NVC plays an important role in the next steps of the U.S. immigration process. NVC provides instructions to petitioners and sponsors, and receives from sponsors, the required Affidavit of Support forms, fees, other required documents, and much more. For numerically limited family preference petitions, NVC contacts the petitioner once the petition’s immigration wait nears end, and the priority date is about to come current .
Learn more about the Affidavit of Support information and the National Visa Center .
See Visa Information for Immigrants for more information about the Visa Bulletin, required vaccinations, DNA testing and more.
Nonimmigrant Visas are for international travelers, (citizens of other countries), coming to the U.S. temporarily. This visa allows you to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (airport, for example) and request permission of the Department of Homeland Security immigration inspector to enter the U.S. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States.
International travelers come to the U.S. for a wide variety of reasons, including tourism, business, medical treatment and certain types of temporary work. The type of visa needed is defined by immigration law, and relates to the principal purpose of your travel. While in the U.S., temporary visitors are restricted to the activity or reason for which their nonimmigrant visa was issued, with few exceptions. For an overview of the types of nonimmigrant visas available under immigration law, please see Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications on the USCIS website. The Consular Officer at your embassy or consulate will decide what kind of visa you need, when you apply.
Advance planning can smooth the visa application process for you.
Apply for your Visa well in advance of your travel!
Important steps to remember:
- Review your visa status, and find out if you need a U.S. visa or a renewal.
- Review the visa wait times information for interview appointments and visa processing at each embassy and consular section worldwide available on our website at Visa Wait Times. Visit the embassy or consular section website where you will apply for your visa to find out how to schedule an interview appointment, pay fees and any other instructions.
- Plan on an interview at the embassy or consulate, which is required for most visa applicants. As part of the visa interview, a quick fingerprint scan should be expected. Applicants who need additional screening are informed during the application process.
Information Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service