What Is the Fiancé(e) Visa Timeline?

Male hands placing an engagement ring on a woman's hand - portraying fiance visa timeline

A fiancé(e) visa allows a non-U.S. citizen to enter the country to marry a U.S. citizen. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires the couple to marry within 90 days of the non-US citizens’ entry into the country. But what is the timeline for a fiancé(e) visa? We explain what to expect.

What Is the Fiancé(e) Visa Timeline?

The fiancé(e) visa timeline begins by completing and submitting Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). Remember to include the names of your fiancé(e)’s minor children on your I-129F petition. Although processing times vary depending on caseload, after submitting the form, you can expect the following events:

First month

Within two to three weeks of receiving your petition, the USCIS will send you an email confirmation. After reviewing your application, the USCIS will contact you to send additional information or documents if needed.

Two to eight months

During the second through fifth months, the USCIS will not contact you unless they need additional information. The USCIS will process Form I-129F within six to eight months to approve or deny your request. Incomplete forms or lack of documentation will delay processing time. If the USCIS approves your petition, they will forward it to the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC).

Nine to twelve months

Approximately nine to twelve months after submitting your petition, the fiancé(e) visa timeline progresses with these phases:

  • NVC processing – Within two weeks of receiving your petition, the NVC will assign a case number to it. After you pay all fees and submit the required documents, the NVC will review your case within two to four months. Then, the NVC will send you a letter after sending your fiancé(e)’s case to the U.S. embassy or consulate where your fiancé(e) lives.
  • U.S. embassy or consulate processing – In about two weeks, the U.S. embassy or consulate will send your fiancé(e) information to apply for a K-1 visa and prepare for a visa interview and exam.
  • Fiancé(e)’s K visa interview – Approximately two to eight weeks after scheduling the appointment, your fiancé(e) will have a K visa exam and interview. The embassy or consular officer will determine whether your fiancé(e) qualifies for the visa.

A year to a year-and-a-half

In about a year, the timeline is reaching its peak, and with proper approvals, your fiancé(e) will soon travel to the U.S. You can expect the following:

  • Travel to the U.S. – When the visa is approved, your fiancé(e) can arrange travel to the U.S. Your fiancé(e) must arrive in the U.S. within six months of visa approval. At the airport or another port of entry, a Customs and Border Protection officer will review your fiancé(e)’s passport visa and documentation and decide whether to allow them to enter the U.S.
  • Obtain work authorization – Your fiancé(e) may immediately file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, for permission to work in the U.S. However, the USCIS is unlikely to approve the application within the 90 days that you must marry. Filing this form with the adjustment of status form saves money on fees.
  • Get married – You and your fiancé(e) must marry within 90 days of their entry into the U.S.
  • Apply for permanent residence – After marriage, your spouse can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.


You can expect the timeline for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa to last a year or more. You can succeed by preparing your Form I-129F carefully and accurately. Double-check your form entries and the documentation the USCIS requests. Mistakes cause delays, but you can reduce the risks with legal assistance.

Finace visa timeline from first month to 1.5 years, from Raleigh, NC attorney Lisa Wogwu

Consult with a Raleigh, NC Fiancé(e) Visa Attorney

Attorney Lisa Wogwu of San Antonio, Texas, welcomes you to schedule a consultation. You will have time to discuss your concerns and learn how she can minimize the stress and challenges of uniting with your fiancé(e) in the U.S. Request a consultation today.