The filing fees for various Family Based Visas have increased as of April, 1, 2024.

The new USCIS filing fees are as follows:

The USCIS filing fee for a K1 Fiance Visa, form I-129 is now $675.

Recently we received some good news from the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines. They are processing K1 Fiance Visas!
Its not back to normal yet, but cases are being processed and happy couples are getting their visas. As best as I can tell at this time, the Embassy is prioritizing interviews based on the following criteria:
  • K1/K2 cases where the K2 child will age out (turn 21 years of age) before December 31, 2021.
  • K2 cases where the child who is a follow to join who will age out (turn 21 years of age) before December 31, 2021.
  • K2 cases where the child who is a follow to join will lose follow to join eligibility (normally one year, but now one year plus 180 days) from the time the K1 visa was issued.
  • K1 applicants who are waiting to travel to the US with their US citizen child.
  • Petitioner is an active duty military member with Pending Deployment Orders, Pending Permanent Change of Station Orders or other logistical issues and/or considerations.
  • Petitioner with documented medical issues who cannot travel back to the US without the assistance of their K1 Fiance
I have also been advised that if your case shows “expired” on the Consular Electronic Application Center and you haven’t had your interview, contact the Embassy by email at Let them know that you still wish to pursue your case and provide an explanation as to why you didn’t take action and the Embassy staff will take corrective action to reopen the case.
The resumption of visa services is done on a post by post basis depending on local health conditions. As conditions improve, so will the visa processing services.  Stay patient, keep up on current changes and keep a record of any follow up trips and communications with your fiance. When the time comes, it will be important to show the Embassy that you have stayed in touch with one another and are still in love and wish to get married.
If you have any questions and would like to speak with me about your interest in a K1 Fiance Visa, please feel free to call me at 1-888-515-3529. You are always welcome to call me.
Attorney Jeffrey C Pettys

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Today, many Immigration clients search for and hire an Attorney from the internet. In my case, I would say that many if not most of my clients don’t ever meet me in person. They live or work all over the United States and around the world. Use of the internet has made the process of searching for and hiring an attorney so much easier and efficient, but in some unfortunate cases, it could lead to Fraud. Of course, I hope that everyone who contacts my office for a Fiance Visa, Marriage Visa or Family Based Green Card, ultimately chooses my law practice, but if not me, then I want you to find somebody else that is also honest and will do a good job for you.
There are some simple steps that you can take to make sure you are hiring a reputable and honest Lawyer:
1. Call and discuss your case with the Lawyer who will be doing the work. If you can’t speak to the Attorney, without charge, move on.
2. Make sure the Attorney you choose has an office address.
3. Check for length of service and years of practice on the internet. Google or the Attorney’s website should identify the number of years of practice and length of presence on the internet.
4. Check for your Attorney’s Bar Number and Good standing.  This can be done by asking for your lawyer’s Bar Number and contacting the State that he or she is licensed in. Immigration Attorneys only need to be licensed in one state to practice throughout the county. So check with the Attorney’s state of license. My Bar number is on my Home page and there is a link directly to The Ohio Supreme Court. I welcome checks.
5. Be wary of service providers who claim they can speed up the Governmental approval process. Once done correctly and filed, the Attorney does not have special influence over USCIS or the State Department during the approval process.
6. Your lawyer should never guarantee a result. Making a guarantee that your Fiance Visa, Marriage Visa or Adjustment of Status will be approved is in my opinion, unethical. Sharing past successes or promoting a general success rate is fine.
7. Memberships in Immigration organizations or being recognized for good service in your area of practice is always a good thing to look for.
These simple steps can be very helpful when choosing an Attorney for assistance with your application for a  K1 Fiance Visa, a CR1 or IR1 Marriage Visa or Adjusting Status to obtain a family based Green Card. 
You are always welcome to call me if you have any questions or would like to discuss your Immigration matter. I can be reached toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
Attorney Jeff Pettys

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Covid continues to impact the processing times for spouses who are in the US and apply for an Adjustment Of Status to Legal Permanent Residency. Processing times for Adjusting Status (AOS) have always varied depending on your location in the United States and the USCIS Service Center assigned to review your case. Covid has caused delays in the overall processing times for AOS applications, but the work has continued and Legal Permanent Residency continues to be granted for spouses of US Citizens without too much interruption or delay. At this time, I think you can reasonably expect it to take anywhere from 3-6 months to obtain your Work Authorization and another 6-12 months to obtain your Green Card.
My advice is to file as soon as you get married and get the process underway. Once filed, you have Temporary Protective Status (TPS) which allows you to remain in the US while your application is pending. You may also wish to file for an Advance Parole so you can leave the US and return while your application is pending as well.
If you have any questions about adjusting your status as a spouse of a US Citizen to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the US or wish to discuss your matter with me, you are always welcome to call me toll free at 1-888-515-3529.

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

As best as I can tell, with the various Embassy and USCIS office closures, I expect processing times for K1 Fiance Visas, Marriage Visas, Adjustment of Status to Legal Permanent Residency and other Family Immigration matters to increase by at least a few months.  At this time, some Embassy interviews have been canceled, but those interviews will be rescheduled as soon as possible. For those who have visas issued, but cant travel to the US because of a travel ban, that too will pass.
Our office is still working every day to help our clients and we are continuing to work on and file all Visa applications. As always, you are welcome to call me with questions. You can reach me toll free at 888-515-3529.
Stay safe and healthy for your loved ones and family.

Sometimes after the K1 Fiance visa interview, the Embassy will delay making a decision on the visa and place the matter into something we call Administrative Processing.
Administrative Processing essentially means that the Embassy wants more time to consider the merits of your K1 Fiance application. Sometimes they need more documents and place your case into Administrative Processing to allow the Petitioner or Beneficiary more time to obtain and submit the additional documents. Sometimes the Embassy needs more time to review the merits of the application and wishes to investigate matters pertaining to the application. None of this is good news to the applicants, but if there is a silver lining to Administrative Processing, its that Administrative Processing is not a denial. Its a delay and most times it all woks out just fine.
The amount of time that the Embassy takes during Administrative Processing can vary widely. Most times the delay is for about 30-60 days. Sometimes, the delay is much longer. From my experience, other than providing any extra documentation that is requested by the Embassy, there is not much you can do except to be patient. You just have to trust that the Embassy will carefully review your case and ultimately make the right decision.

Once you have received your approval from USCIS, you will need to take certain steps and actions to obtain your K1 Fiance Visa.
After getting notice of your USCIS approval, you will then receive an email or letter from The National Visa Center letting you know that your case has been sent to the US Embassy in Manila. You will also get a local case number starting with the letters MNL. You will need this case number so save your letter or email.
The first step is to prepare your online DS 160 form. Once completed and submitted, you will next want to prepare and finalize your I-134 Affidavit of Support form.  Once the I-134 Affidavit of Support form has been completed and is “in hand” with all the supporting financial documents from the US Citizen, it’s time to create a profile with the Embassy.  You can create a profile by visiting the following link: After creating your profile, you will then schedule your interview through this site.

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

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