How Long Does It Take to Process a Fiance Visa?

By Mary Jane Freeman
Close-up of visa papers.

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If you've fallen in love with a foreign citizen, you don't have to marry him abroad. You can bring him back to the states for the ceremony by requesting a K-1 fiance visa on his behalf. With the K-1 visa in hand, your fiance can travel to the U.S. and marry you within America's borders. Although processing times can vary, the average wait time is between six and nine months from application to receipt of visa.

Ensure You're Eligible to Apply for a K-1 Visa

To ensure your fiance's K-1 visa application is not delayed unnecessarily, first make sure you meet all the necessary requirements. You must be a U.S. citizen and intend to marry your fiance within 90 days of his arrival to the U.S. If either of you had previous marriages, they must have been legally terminated by either death, annulment or divorce. Additionally, you must have met your fiance in person at least once in the past two years; this requirement can be waived if doing so would've created extreme hardship for you or such a meeting would've been a violation of your fiance's culture or social customs.

Both You and Your Fiance Must Submit Certain Documents

The next step to ensuring that your fiance's K-1 visa is processed as quickly as possible is to submit all documents required. First, you must submit Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e), to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once approved, it is assigned a case number and forwarded to the U.S. embassy or consulate where your fiance lives. Your fiance then applies for a K-1 visa online by completing Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and participating in a visa interview. Your fiance must bring a variety of documents to the interview, such as proof of financial support, passport and medical examination records. Once approved, the consular officer will return your fiance's passport along with his newly issued K-1 visa.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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