USCIS Timelines – Having Realistic Expectations for the K1 Fiance Visa

01 Dec 2017

How long is the fiance visa process? Well that’s a great question and it gives us an opportunity to talk about timeline but to answer your question directly. You know all we can do is give you an estimate. And estimate we see five to seven months if I’m going to give you a two-month range. But that’s an estimate and that’s based on the thousand of petitions we see. But any estimate we give you or any estimate anybody gives you, even the government is rearward looking. Meaning, the people being approved right now applied applied five, six, seven months ago and now they’re being applied. If you’re asking me, and of course people usually are asking me or us, how long will my petition take if I apply today? Nobody knows. Even the government doesn’t know but based on current trend we’re seeing now, five to seven. It’s actually creeping a little bit now. So maybe I would say six to seven months. Could yours take four months? It might. Could yours take a year? It might.

Every individual case is going to be different based on a whole lot of factors. How complicated is your case? What’s the political environment, not only in the United States but in the country where the interview needs to be done. There’s so many variable that really nobody can give you and exact precise answer. We’d rather not even give you any timeline but I understand people want a timeline, of course. I would too. So I get why people would ask. You want some kind of ballpark. All we ask is that you please, please understand that’s a ballpark answer.

Yours might go quicker. It might take three times as long as our estimate. There’s just no way to know and not just with fiance visa. I’m referring to any type of visa. Even the government themselves if you call them they will not give you a time. And if they do they’ll estimate it long, which is probably wise on their part. Like right now I think they’re telling people it’s taking about a year for a fiance visa. We’re not seeing that. It’s very rare we see a fiance visa take a year but USCIS lately has been giving out that information probably just because it’s kind of the under promise, over relieved thing. If they tell you a year and it take nine months, you’re happy. If they tell you a six months and it takes nine months. Now you’re mad.

So maybe there some wisdom on their part to say a year, when in fact it rarely takes a year. So there you go. Can’t give you an exact answer, of course. And any answer anyone gives you is based on statistical data from the past since none of us can foresee the future. So there you go. Timelines are tough but I would look at … if you are planning, I would look at six, seven months don’t go buying plane tickets, spending money, reserving a wedding hall. Don’t go doing any of that stuff because there’s no way to guess how long your case is gonna take.

I was gonna add just one point. A lot of our customers that call in mention that they look at the processing times online with USCIS and I just want to let you know that a lot of times you’ll find the status is not updated on a regular basis and sometimes those timelines are out of date and also they do not list the timelines for all processing centers. They may only list processing times for four centers and a lot of times somebody will look at the processing time for California and say, “Well mine’s in Virginia or somewhere else.” And they think that applies across the board and it doesn’t always. So be careful of anything that you read online or hear from the USCIS.

It’s not that they’re trying to confuse you or lie to you. It just that they don’t always update those timelines. So I know you call in-

And important thing. I’m glad you brought up the USCIS timelines. USCIS timeline is only applicable to the USCIS process and of course, in the case of a K1, which you were asking about, that’s only half the process. You got to get approved by the CIS. So if you go on the CIS website and you find out what’s the timeline for … An I-129f that’s only for USCIS approval. You still have to go to the embassy. The USCIS timelines do not include embassy for processes that need embassy. Now if you are doing something like an adjustment status, where there’s no embassy involved. Yes, that timeline might be reasonable but if you’re looking at a fiance Visa, which what you asked about for a tourist visa or a spousal visa. That’s only the CIS part of the process. That has nothing to do with the State Department and the embassy. So that’s definitely gonna be longer than that time.

So again, timelines are just tricky.


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