k1 visa timeline

Time flies!
So here it is, as I promised yesterday. The K1 visa timeline, or how long the k1 visa process took us. As you will see, we took time with some steps, so if we truly rushed, it all could have been a bit faster.

We were still undecided if we would end up in the States or stayed in Europe longer. That's why, although our I-129F petition documents were ready by the end of September, we only sent them two months later! The k1 visa processing time on USCIS side were quite fast and as showed on their website. It took only 5 months to have the petition approved!

I could have also picked an earlier date for my embassy visa interview, but I didn't have all the vaccinations and background checks ready. So I picked the last possible date before the embassy's summer break! It worked out though! I will share my interview experience later of course.

Once in the States, things went as expected. My husband was out of town during our first green card interview appointment, so we had to re-schedule. It was not a problem at all. We actually almost re-scheduled the second time too! My husband was unexpectedly out of town again, so I just took the risk and showed up at the interview alone. It went smoothly, and I will post more detailed article about green card interview later.

But as you see, it wasn't that bad! So I hope this will give you some idea about how fast things with USCIS are and what to expect.

Got engaged
July 9th 2011
Gathered all the I-129F documents
By the end of September 2011
Petition I-129F sent
Novemeber 25th 2011
Petition received by USCIS
December 2nd 2011
Receipt notice by USCIS
February 22nd 2012
I-129F petition approved
May 3rd 2012
Embassy K-1 visa appointment
June 26th 2012 – I had a chance to pick a date
Visa received
June 26th 2012
Traveled to the USA
August 3rd 2012
Got married
August 6th 2012
Marriage certificate received
August 16th 2012
I-485 Adjustment of status & I-765 Application for employment sent
September 5th 2012
Biometrics appointment*
October 23rd 2012
1st Green card appointment
December 6th 2012 – we had to cancel and request a new date
2nd Green card appointment
February 7th 2013

*I forgot one more thing - I received my EAD/Employment Authorization Document on December 2nd 2012.

And another note. You can download all of the k1 visa forms on USCIS website, and more importantly they are all FREE. So don't get fooled if someone is asking money from you to send you the forms. I hope this article helped you to get an idea about how long does k1 visa take to receive. Every case is slightly different though, so keep that in mind!


  1. Thanks for sharing this nice post. K visas are non-immigrant visas for fiancées/fiancés or spouses of U.S. citizens who intend to immigrate to the United States.

    Type of K Visas

  2. Sorry, what's the difference between "petition received" and "receipt notice."

    Thanks again for posting, this is really helpful.

  3. Because we sent our package via Registered mail, we checked on USPS website often to see when the USCIS got the package. That's what I mean under "Petition Received". Later on you will get a notice in mail from the USCIS that they actually received your package and that they have started the process. That is called a "Receipt Notice".

  4. Hi Kristina,

    Thanks for sharing the above information. This is indeed useful. I received my i- 979 petition from the Department of Homeland last month. Once, I received that I have now started the process for applying for Medical, Police Clearance etc here in India, Bombay.

    My question to you is my Fiance is an American we plan to have a hindu wedding (religious) ceremony in December in India, Bombay. However, I just was informed by some friends I can't have a Hindu marriage before getting civilly (legally) married in the US. Is this true? Do i need to first come to the US, get married and there on have the Hindu wedding in India?

    If yes, can I leave the US Port after the legal marriage or do I need to wait in the US for few months? If I need to come back to India for the wedding since we have booked the venue etc. can I ask the Department of Homeland as a special permission to come there.

    Please advise.

    Thanks for your help.

  5. After you travelled to the USA I know you then have 3 months to get married, so once you got married how long are you allowed to stay in the USA for to get your green card things sorted? is the 3 month extended?

    1. You can stay until everything is sorted. Once you are married, your case is being processed and you are legally allowed to stay.

  6. Prosim fa za aky cas sa da ist na ambasadu po schvaleni peticie? Aky bol tvoj prvy termin na ambasadu? Dakujem velmi pekne!!

  7. Hi Kristina I worked with my social security card befor working permit approuve without know am i going to be punished for that?

    1. Well, I think you probably worked illegally. Because companies wouldn't hire you without your social security number. I am not sure if they are going to find out or not, but I believe the company who hired you would be in more trouble than yourself. That's just my opinion though.

  8. At what point did you apply for your social security number?

  9. Have you found your true love abroad?Does an ocean stand between you and your soul mate? TLC’s hit docu-series 90 Day Fiancé is currently seeking couples to be featured on our next season. We are looking for American men or women currently in the process of bringing over their international fiancés on a K1 Visa. We’re also on the hunt for couples who’ve yet to meet in person. We’d love to capture your first face-to-face meeting on camera.
    All ages, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations encouraged to apply.
    If you think you've got a tale of international love, we want to hear from you! Email k1showcasting@gmail.com and tell us your story.

  10. my Fiancé lives in Jamaica and it has been almost a year since his embassy received all our paperwork and every time I write to find out when he will receive his visa they keep saying two weeks and it still has not come. is there an agency I can complain to about this

    1. I am sorry to hear that. I am not sure what you can really do about that. Maybe he should call the embassy to ask about his case.

  11. Thank you so much for posting, Kristina! My partner is American and I am Canadian. We are not married yet and are considering the K1 visa. However, I'm concerned about the time apart while the I-129F is being processed.

    Did you and your partner stay together in Europe until the I-129F was accepted/you travelled to the States?

    1. I stayed behind in Europe. But only for three months. However, when he was leaving we weren't sure how long we wouldn't see each other. So it was pretty stressful at first.

  12. Is it okay to travel a week later after receiving your visa?

    1. Yes, definitely. Once you have your visa, you are good to go! :)

  13. i received my form I797....now do I wait for nvc to contact me for further instructions....also im not clear whether I need to send in my financial documents or because im self employed only my w2's

  14. Hi Kristina, i am planning to apply for K1, but I am wondering if petitioner have to stay in USA during the whole processing time? I have planned a trip to visit him as well in 6 months and comes back with him if he receives his visa in the same time period,
    Did they ask for anything else later from the petitioner once petition is approved.?

    1. The US citizen, petitioner can travel how much he wants. But once you apply for your visa you cannot travel to the USA until it's approved. They want to prevent random marriages that could occur like that.