Couple looking forward

Love knows no borders, but immigration law certainly does. With the guidance of Olena Manilich, a top immigration lawyer, comprehends the challenges applicants encounter during the K-1 visa process. In this guide, we will cover the essential aspects of the K-1 visa application process, with a focus on the processing times. Whether you’re contemplating a K-1 visa application or assisting someone on this journey, continue reading for valuable insights.

Understanding the K-1 Visa

The K-1 visa, also known as the fiancé(e) visa, offers an immigration pathway for engaged couples separated by international borders. It allows a foreign national engaged to a U.S. citizen to enter the United States with the intention of marrying their fiancé(e) within 90 days of arrival. This visa helps couples overcome boundaries, giving them the chance to start their life together in the United States.

Purpose and Eligibility: The primary aim of the K-1 visa is to facilitate the union of engaged couples through marriage in the United States. To qualify, the U.S. citizen petitioner must demonstrate a genuine intent to marry their foreign fiancé(e) within the 90-day period. Both parties must be legally free to marry.

U.S. Citizenship Requirement: Only U.S. citizens can petition for a K-1 visa; lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) are ineligible.

Fiancé(e) Abroad: The foreign fiancé(e) must reside outside the United States and meet specific health and security criteria for admissibility.

Intent to Marry: Demonstrating a bona fide intent to marry is crucial. Couples must showcase a genuine, committed relationship supported by evidence like photographs, correspondence, and concrete engagement plans.

90-Day Requirement: Upon arrival in the U.S. on a K-1 visa, the foreign fiancé(e) must marry their U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days. Not meeting this requirement could result in the visa expiring.

Transition to Green Card: Following marriage, the foreign fiancé(e) can apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident, setting the stage for their life together in the United States.

The K-1 visa acts as a bridge for couples separated by borders, offering the chance to come together and establish their future in the United States. However, achieving a positive outcome in the K-1 visa process requires thorough planning and preparation.

Application Preparation

Before embarking on the K-1 visa journey, thorough and meticulous application preparation is essential. Here’s what you need to know:

Forms and Documentation: Begin by familiarizing yourself with the required forms, primarily Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). Gathering supporting documentation, such as proof of relationship, is crucial. This may include photographs, correspondence, and evidence of visits.

Financial Support: The U.S. citizen petitioner must also demonstrate the ability to financially support their fiancé(e) in the United States. This often requires submitting Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, along with supporting financial documents.

Legal Requirements: Ensure both you and your fiancé(e) meet all legal requirements, such as being legally free to marry and not having any disqualifying criminal or immigration history.

Timeliness: Keep a close eye on processing times and USCIS updates, as they may change. Submit your application on time to avoid any delays.

Seek Legal Counsel: If you encounter complexities, doubts, or challenges during the K-1 visa process, don’t hesitate to consult with an experienced immigration attorney for personalized guidance and support.

Processing Time to Get a Visa

Based on 2023, The K-1 visa takes around 12-20 months on average, according to the analysis of monthly U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data. The processing time to obtain a K-1 visa can vary significantly due to several factors:

Location: The processing time can differ depending on the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview takes place. However, some locations may have faster processing times than others.

Volume of Applications: The number of visa applications being processed at a particular embassy or consulate can affect processing times. High-demand locations may experience longer wait times.

Security Clearance: If additional security checks or administrative processing is required for an applicant, it can significantly extend the processing time.

Time of Year: Processing times may also vary seasonally, with certain times of the year experiencing higher application volumes.

Accuracy and Completeness: Ensuring that all documents and information are accurate and complete in the application can help avoid delays.

While K-1 visa processing times aren’t set, applicants can check the U.S. embassy or consulate’s website for average updates. It’s essential to stay informed and be patient throughout the process, as various factors can influence the K-1 visa wait time. After the visa is issued, the beneficiary can make plans to travel to the United States.

How Olena Manilich Law Office Can Help with K-1 Visa Processing Time

Navigating the K-1 visa process can be challenging, and timing is crucial.  The Law Office of Olena Manilich is here to assist you in several key ways:

Expertise: Our team specializes in K-1 visa cases, bringing extensive knowledge to your application.

Error Prevention: We help you prepare a meticulous application, reducing the risk of processing delays due to errors or omissions.

Timely Submission: We prioritize the timely submission of your petition to USCIS, setting the right pace for your entire process.

Effective Communication: We maintain open lines of communication with USCIS and the U.S. embassy or consulate handling your case, ensuring smooth progress.

Responsive Support: Our team is available to address any questions or concerns that may arise during your K-1 visa journey.

Adjustment of Status Assistance: After your fiancé(e) arrives in the U.S., we can guide you through the adjustment of status process to help secure their lawful permanent residency.

Issue Resolution: Should any unexpected challenges arise, we leverage our legal expertise to find solutions and minimize delays.

With Olena Manilich Law Office by your side, you can increase your chances of a successful and timely K-1 visa journey. We are committed to reuniting you with your loved one in the United States as smoothly as possible. Feel free to reach out to us for personalized assistance and support throughout your K-1 visa application process.

Official Resources:

FAQs About K-1 Visa Processing Times:

  1. How long does it take to get a K-1 visa?
  • Processing times can vary widely based on factors like location, the volume of applications, and administrative processing. On average, it can take from 12 months to 20 months from filing the petition to receiving the visa.
  1. Can I expedite the K-1 visa process?
  • In certain cases, such as medical emergencies or urgent travel needs, you may request expedited processing. Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate where the beneficiary will have the interview for guidance.
  1. Can I check the status of my K-1 visa application?
  • You can track the status of your Form I-129F petition on the USCIS website. After the case is transferred to the U.S. embassy or consulate, they may provide tracking information for the visa application.
  1. What if my visa is denied?
  • If the visa is denied, the beneficiary will receive a letter explaining the reasons. Depending on the grounds of denial, you may have the option to appeal or reapply.
  1. Can I visit my fiancé(e) in the U.S. before the visa is issued?
  • While visiting your fiancé(e) in the U.S. on a tourist visa is an option, it’s crucial to uphold the K-1 visa’s marriage intent within 90 days.
  1. Can I work in the U.S. on a K-1 visa?
  • After arriving in the U.S., the K-1 visa recipient can seek employment authorization, enabling them to work while awaiting Green Card status adjustment.

It’s important to note that the K-1 visa process can be complex, and individual circumstances may vary. Consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer like Olena Manilich can provide personalized guidance throughout the application process and help address concerns or challenges. 


Embarking on the K-1 visa journey can be a life-changing experience, bringing separated couples back together. It also serves as the foundation for their shared future in the United States. Staying informed and adhering to requirements is key to increasing your chances of a successful immigration journey. Seek legal assistance when needed to ensure a lifetime of happiness with your loved one in the U.S. Reach out to the Law Office of Olena Manilich today to schedule a consultation.