Covid continues to impact the world over but total processing times for K1 Fiance Visas are starting to hold steady at 9-12 months. With most cases being approved by USCIS in 5-7 months, the slowdown continues to be with the NVC and the various Embassies that have been closed or have operated on a smaller staff. The NVC has only been sending approved K1 Fiance Visa cases to Embassy locations that are open and again processing K1 Fiance Visas. This week I have begun seeing more and more cases sent to the various embassies around the world by the NVC. I have also begun to see some previously scheduled interviews that were once canceled due to Covid, being rescheduled. This is all good news and my hope is that we will start to see more improvements in total processing times for the K1 Fiance Visa. Based on what I am seeing, I think we will soon be back to the 7-9 month processing times that we had pre Covid.
If you have any questions about the K1 Fiance Visa or wish to discuss your matter with me, you are always welcome to call me toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
Jeffrey C. Pettys
Once your fiancé enters the US on a K1 Fiance Visa, you have 90 days to get married. After getting married on the K1 Fiance Visa, your new spouse must take steps to apply for his or her Legal Permanent Residency. This is also referred to sometimes as getting your “Green Card”. It is at this time that I also recommend that you apply for your work authorization as well.
When your fiancé enters the United States, US Customs will stamp your fiance’s visa and passport for a period of 90 days. In years past, I have always advised my clients not to be too concerned with the 90 day period so long as they get married within the 90 days. And then, as soon as conveniently possible, apply for your Green Card and Work Authorization. So long as you didn’t put it off for months after getting married, there really wouldn’t be a problem. Recently however, I have had two K1 Fiance Visa clients visited by ICE after getting married because they did not file their Adjustment of Status within 90 days of arriving in the US. In both cases, once the Adjustment of Status was filed, there was no more issue with ICE. Nevertheless, there appears to be a much more careful review of fiances coming into the US on a Fiance Visa and for that reason, I now recommend that you take quick steps after getting married to file for your Adjustment of Status and Work Authorization. There is no need to panic, nor do I think a Fiance would ever be removed from the US after getting married for simply failing to file their Adjustment of Status within 90 days after entering the US. But, its is clear that the US Government is watching some of these cases much more closely than ever before.
If you have any questions about the Fiance Visa or Adjusting Status to obtain legal permanent residency after getting married, please don’t hesitate to call me toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
There is no legal requirement that you have a wedding ceremony, reception and honeymoon planned and reserved before you can be issued a K1 Fiance Visa. It is still perfectly acceptable to make plans once your fiancé has arrived in the states to either get married at the “Court House” or have a so called “Church Wedding”. How you chose to get married is really up to you. However, if you have already made some decisions about how you wish to get married and can submit some paperwork at the Embassy interview to show how you will get married in the US, I think that would be helpful to getting your approval. For example, if you have make arrangement to have a church wedding and have reserved a date, get a letter from the church showing that you have their facility reserved for your wedding. If you have made plans to have a reception, or dinner out for friends and family, get something from the reception hall or restaurant showing that you have made reservations. Same for any hotels stays for trips and honeymoons. If on the other hand, you plan to get married at a local court house, print off the court rules and instructions for getting married at the court house and any marriage license requirements. Show these materials at your Embassy interview. At the very least, this will show that you are thinking about and working towards getting married after getting your K1 Fiance Visa. Again, you are not required to do any of this, but based on my experience in helping couples get their K1 Fiance Visas, I think these are all good ideas because it will be helpful to getting your approval.
If you have any questions about the K1 Fiance Visa, you are welcome to call me toll free at 1-888-515-3529. I am always happy to help.
Attorney Jeff Pettys
The issuance of K1 Fiance Visas were down sharply in 2017 by nearly 33%. This trend seems to be continuing in 2018. This downward trend in approvals is due to tougher standards of proof and a slow down in processing times.
To meet these new challenges, I recommend that each applicant provide more proof of their relationship and further take steps to plan your wedding in the US. Additional proof would include more examples of your online communications while apart, a history of love letters and cards, and now maybe more than one in person meeting. Although only one meeting in person is still the requirement (within a 2 year period), proof of more than one in person meeting would be very helpful. As the US Citizen Petitioner, you might consider making a second trip a week or two before your fiance’s interview, so that he or she can provide the Embassy with addition pictures of the two of you together.
I would also suggest making more formal wedding or reception plans in the US. Once approved, many of my clients have simply gotten married at a local court house instead of spending for an elaborate wedding. This is still ok. But, I would now take steps to at least plan and secure a date for a small reception or dinner party at a special restaurant or reception hall to show the Embassy that you are treating your marriage as a special occasion. I would then provide proof of a deposit or reservation at the Embassy interview. Continue reading →