How Long Does It Take USCIS To Process Form I-129F for a K-1 Fiancé Visa?

In a Nutshell

The processing time for a K-1 fiancé visa ranges from 12–18 months, and involves U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the National Visa Center, and a U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate in your foreign fiance’s country of residence. Right now it’s taking USCIS 5.5 to 15.5 months to process Form I-129F: Petition for Alien Fiancé, and it’s taking the NVC 16 days to create and review cases.

Written by ImmigrationHelp News TeamLegally reviewed by Jonathan Petts
Updated December 11, 2023

Updated December 11, 2023

If you are a U.S. citizen petitioning to get a K-1 visa for your foreign fiancé, you’ll submit two main forms. As the petitioner, you’ll file Form I-129F: Petition for Alien Fiancé with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and its required documents. As the beneficiary, your fiance will file Form DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application with the National Visa Center.

Form I-129F Processing Times

Form I-129F: Petition for Alien Fiancé is the first form you must file to start the K-1 fiancé visa application process with USCIS. This form also requires several supporting documents

Five USCIS service centers process Form I-129F petitions. Here are the current form processing times:

USCIS Service CenterLast WeekThis WeekChange?
California Service Center15.5 months15.5 monthsNo change
Nebraska Service Center5.5 months5.5 monthsNo change
Potomac Service Center14 months14 monthsNo change
Texas Service Center12.5 months12.5 monthsNo change
Vermont Service Center8 months8 monthsNo change

A U.S. citizen must file this form on behalf of their foreign fiancé. If you are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), you aren’t eligible to submit Form I-129F. 

Form DS-160 Processing Times 

Form DS-160 is the second form required for the K-1 fiancé visa application process. Your foreign fiancé will need to file this form online with the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) in the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC).

Here’s the current NVC timeframe for creating and reviewing cases:

National Visa CenterLast WeekThis WeekChange?
Case Creation Time10 days6 days- 4 days
Case Review Time11 days10 days- 1 day
Total Time21 days16 days- 5 days

Note that your fiancé will also have a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to them. This can add additional time to the process. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of State does not release current interview wait times for K-1 fiance visas by location.

How Long Will My K-1 Visa Application Take?

The entire K-1 visa process can take 12–18 months. Several factors influence wait times, including processing delays — such as the continued backlog due to the pandemic — and staffing or budget issues at USCIS service centers or field offices. 

You’ll also have to wait for USCIS to send your approval notice and then transfer your application to the National Visa Center. The NVC will request and process supporting documents, such as an affidavit of support that shows your spouse meets certain income requirements and evidence that your relationship is “bona fide” or legitimate. 

To learn more about the K-1 visa cost and timeline and how to adjust status to a marriage green card after you’re married, read our K-1 Fiancé Visa Guide and our Marriage Green Card Guide.

What’s Happening With My K-1 Visa Application?

If you’re wondering what’s happening with your K-1 fiancé visa case, you can check your case status online using the receipt number from your application receipt notice. Our Learning Center contains several articles that can help you understand your case status.

If your application is outside normal processing times, you can contact USCIS to ask for additional information.