Last Updated: June 29, 2014 at 4:09 am
US citizens, can either sponsor their spouses for legal status in the United States, or can sponsor their fiancé(e)s. K-1 visas issued to the fiancé(e)s of US citizens are generally known as fiancé(e) visas.
US citizens can sponsor their foreign born fiancé(e)s for these visas and bring them to the country. To get these K-1 visas for their fiancé(e)s, they need to file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
While filing this petition for a fiancé(e), the US citizen sponsor must submit a variety of supporting documents. Likewise, while applying for K-1 visas, fiancé(e)s in foreign countries must submit certain supporting documents. They need to undergo medical examinations and appear for interviews.
USCIS will process these visa applications sooner; it will approximately take 4 to 6 months to process fiancé(e) visa applications. At times applicants will be required to wait up to a year and the processing time depends on the number of applications the agency receives.
Priority date is the date on which the petition was filed. There are no priority dates for fiancé(e) visa cases. This category is not subject to numerical limitations and there are no limits on the number of visas issued to the fiancé(e)s of US citizens every year. Priority dates are not meant for the applicants applying under the immediate relative category and for the fiancé(e) visa applicants.
USCIS will review Form I-129F that the US citizens file and then forward the applications to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC will take around one month to process these petitions. NVC will take more time to process these applications if additional supporting documents are required.
After the approval of the fiancé(e) visa applications, NVC will forward the applications to the US Embassies or Consulates, in the home countries of the beneficiaries. After verification, the beneficiaries will be called for interviews.
Fiancé(e) visas will be issued after the consulates or embassies ensure that the beneficiaries are eligible for visas. Based on the interview, the consulates will issue visas. These visas will be valid for a 90 day period, before which the beneficiaries must get married to the petitioners in the United States. The beneficiaries will fall out of status, if they do not get married to the US citizen sponsors within that period.