How USCIS processes the K1 Visa

USCIS will confirm the receipt of your case by sending a receipt notice. This notice will be sent to our office and will contain a case number specifically assigned to your case. Typically, the receipt notice arrives to our office within two weeks of the initial filing. Upon receipt of the notice, we will provide you with a scanned copy by email. The case number allows tracking the status of your case online on USCIS website (we will include instructions in the email).

Please note that your application may be at three different stages:

  1. Initial review: shows the date of receipt of your case by USCIS. Indicates that your case has been received by USCIS and is currently being processed.
  2. Request for the further evidence: rarely, but such request may be issued. Indicates, that USCIS needs additional documents or clarifications regarding submitted documents.
  3. Post-Decision Activity: shows the date of approval. Indicates that the case was approved by USCIS and has been sent to the National Visa Center for further processing.

USCIS allows themselves up to 5 months for processing of the fiance visa application. Each case has a different level of complexity and is assigned different examiners; therefore the time of approval of each case may vary. Also, if USCIS has a backlog – the time line for approval of the case may even exceed 5 months. In such event we will communicate with USCIS directly and file a request to take action on your case.

During the pendency of the petition, the USCIS initiates the background checks of the petitioner and identifies issues that may need to be addressed either during an interview or by asking the applicant/petitioner to submit additional information or documentation. USCIS reviews applicant’s/petitioner’s criminal history, determines if there are national security concerns that need to be addressed, and reviews the application/petition for fraud indicators.

Once your case is approved you will receive an immediate email with confirmation. Within 3-5 days of approval we will receive an original approval notice by mail and provide you with further instructions in the process. USCIS may send you an original courtesy copy of the approval notice as well.

At this point of the process your case will be sent to the National Visa Center, which conducts the background check for the Beneficiary (only for those who have previously been in the United States). Typically, the case passes the NVC stage within a week. Also, in the NVC your case will be assigned a new case number, which will be used during the U.S. Embassy stage of the process.

The National Visa Center also determines which U.S. Embassy to forward your case to. Typically, there is only one U.S. Embassy in each country that processes fiance visa applications, however, if there are two U.S. Embassies in your fiancée’s country that process fiance visas, – your case will be sent to the one with the least backlog.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

Change of Address. In case you or your fiancee change the address in the course of the adjudication of your case by USCIS – please notify our firm by email. We will submit the change of address to USCIS on your behalf.

Communication with your fiancee. Your fiancee may contact us directly by email or phone with any questions that he/she may have. Also, you may request one of our representatives to contact your fiancee by phone. In such event, in your email request please provide the telephone number and preferable time to call.

Evidence of genuine relationship. The function of USCIS is to examine your eligibility as a Petitioner and your fiancee’s eligibility as a Beneficiary for a K1 Visa. At this stage of the process the quality of your relationship will not be
critically examined. However, after USCIS issues an approval the original file is forwarded to the U.S. Embassy, which scrutinizes the documents that prove the veracity of your relationship. Therefore, it is important that you submit substantial evidence of your legitimate relationship with the initial filing. It will be necessary to bring the evidence of the
ongoing relationship to the fiance visa interview, however, please understand that the evidence submitted with the initial filing to USCIS bears high importance, as at the time of the interview the officer will mostly relate to the original documents submitted.

Ability to speak a common language with your fiancee. The ability to speak a common language with your fiancee is an important element in determining the quality of the relationship. An inability to effectively communicate may prove to be a basis for denial of the case.

Biographical information. Your foreign fiancee must know basic biographical information about you such as: your previous marriages, your children, your age, place of employment, place of residence, any previous applications filed, any prior convictions etc.

Misrepresentation of the information.

Typically, misrepresentation of the facts or non-disclosure of the relevant facts may result in the denial of the case. If you are concerned about a particular situation – we would advise to discuss it with our firm first.

Written by: Joel Turney