K1 Visa Processing Time in 2021: From Start to Green Card
The K1 visa is a powerful option which allows U.S. citizens to bring their fiancé to the United States. Through the K1 visa, someone can come to the United States, marry their U.S. citizen fiancé, and apply for their green card without leaving the U.S.
The K1 visa processing time varies on a case by case basis. In this guide, I’m going to go over each step of the K1 visa process from the start of the process up until getting the green card.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and I’d be happy to help you
As a general overview, the K1 visa is a special visa which allows a U.S. citizen to apply for a visa to bring their fiancé to the United States. Once the fiancé is in the United State, the engaged couple can get married, and the fiancé can apply for a green card in the U.S.
Regarding the K1 visa processing time, it takes about 8 months to 1 year to get your K1 visa. Once you are in the United States on your K1 visa, it takes about another 7 to 9 months to get your green card and become a permanent resident.
Step 1. File Form I-129f (5-7 Month Processing Time)
The first step in applying for a fiancé visa is that the U.S. citizen petitioner must file a Form I-129f with USCIS. The Form I-129f is also called the “Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).” This form is submitted along with several documents demonstrating that you satisfy the K1 fiancé visa requirements.
USCIS takes about 5 to 7 months to process the Form I-129f. To see current USCIS processing times for the Form I-129f you may check the USCIS Case Processing website here.
Step 2. File DS-160, Attend Visa Interview, and Issuance of Fiancé Visa (3-5 Month Processing Time)
Once the Form I-129f is approved, the next step is for the foreign fiancé to apply for a K1 visa. To apply for a K1 visa, the foreign fiancé must file the Form DS-160. The DS-160 is Application for Non-Immigrant Visa. After filing the Form DS-160, the foreign fiancé will attend a visa interview at a consulate or embassy in their home country. At the interview, a consular officer will ask various questions to determine whether the relationship is real and whether the fiancé visa requirements are satisfied. Following successful completion of the fiancé visa interview, the foreign fiancé should receive the K1 visa affixed into their passport.
From the time the DS-160 is filed until the fiancé visa interview is completed and the K1 visa is issued takes about 3-5 months.
Step 3. Entry to the U.S. and Marriage (0-3 Months)
Once you enter the United States on your K1 visa, you have up to 90 days to marry your U.S. citizen fiancé. The length of time it takes you to marry your fiancé will depend on your particular situation and circumstances.
Step 4. File Form I-485 Adjustment of Status (7-9 Month Processing Time)
Assuming that you marry your U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days of your arrival to the U.S., you are eligible to file your Form I-485 with USCIS. The Form I-485 is the application to adjust status.
The adjustment of status is the process of converting from non-immigrant status to permanent resident status (green card). The adjustment of status is the form that is required to apply for your green card.
USCIS is currently taking about 7 to 9 months to process the Form I-485. To see current USCIS processing times for the Form I-485 you may check the USCIS Case Processing website here.
- When filing your Form I-485, you may also apply for employment authorization (Form I-765) and Advance Parole (Travel Permission: Form I-131).
- Both the EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and Advance Parole should be issue within about 6 months (even before the adjustment of status is finalized)
The fiancé visa is a great option for U.S. citizens to bring their foreign fiancé to the United States. Once in the U.S., the foreign fiancé may marry their U.S. citizen fiancé and then apply for their green card.
To provide a quick recap on the K1 visa processing time, it takes about 8 months to 1 year to get your K1 visa. Once you are in the United States on your K1 visa, it takes about another 7 to 9 months to get your green card and become a permanent resident.
If you have any questions on any of the information in this guide, or if you need help with your K1 visa, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and I would be happy to help you.
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Michael Ashoori, Esq.
U.S. Immigration Lawyer
I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.
Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.
Got a question? Send me an email.