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How Long Does It Take to Get a K-1 Visa?

How Long Does It Take to Get a K-1 Visa?

PUBLISHED ON: December 28

The United States government avails various visas, both immigrant and non-immigrant types, or for temporary or permanent stay in the United States. The categories and classifications of these types of visas are a mile long all have waiting periods that could be years, but if you intend to marry a U.S. citizen our lawyers at Sverdloff Law Group in Chicago can help you get through that process faster by making sure you have filed a case that can be approved without delays.

A K-1 visa — also known as a fiancé(e) visa — allows someone who is engaged to a U.S. citizen partner to travel and enter the United States based on that engagement, provided the couple gets married not more than 90 days later. Once the couple gets married, the newly married spouse will then be eligible to apply for lawful permanent legal status (a green card) based on the marriage.

Processing Time for a K-1 Visa

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handling applications for our area is taking approximately 11 months to 14.5 months to process fiancé(e) petitions. That time is measured from the time a properly filed petition for a K-1 visa is received and accepted for processing by USCIS.

If you improperly file the K-1 visa petition or file in the wrong office, the petition will be rejected, and the time for processing will not start counting until you properly refile the petition. It is wise to have an experienced fiancé(e) visa attorney make sure your petition is properly filed to avoid delays or denials.

Eligibility for K-1 Visa

U.S. immigration law allows a U.S. citizen to file a petition which, if approved, will allow their fiancé(e) to come to the United States to be with them. However, both partners must have the intention to tie the knot within 90 days upon the foreign-born fiancé(e) arrival in the United States.

Specific requirements for a K-1 visa include:

  • The partner sponsoring the petition must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Both partners must be legally eligible to marry. For example, they must be single, and if previously married, those marriages have been legally terminated.
  • The partners must prove the bona fides of their relationship with enough evidence to have the petition approved.
  • Other than in limited exceptions stipulated in the law, the partners must prove that they have met in person one or more times within the past two years before filing the visa petition.
  • Each partner must provide a signed statement noting an intent to marry within 90 days of the sponsored fiancé’s arrival in the United States.
  • The U.S. citizen fiancé(e) must show that their adjusted gross income on their most recent tax return is equal to 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or higher. If they don’t meet this requirement by themselves, then they must file an “affidavit of support” from a joint financial sponsor.

If you need help with a K-1 visa, look no further than Sverdloff Law Group. Please contact our Chicago immigration law office for a consultation.


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