How long will the fiance visa I-129F take?

How long will the fiance visa I129F take?When you are anxiously waiting for your fiance visa I-129F petition to be approved, every day seems like forever.

The first step in getting a fiance visa so that you can bring your fiance to the United States is to file an I-129F petition with USCIS. You’ll likely file this petition shortly after you get engaged. You’ll be starting the process of planning your wedding and your future life in America with your fiance. But when will the I-129F be approved so that you can move forward with the fiance visa process?

The average waiting time for approval of the I-129F is five months. In some cases, the approval could arrive in as little as 3 months. In others, it could take longer. You can check the current I-129F petition processing times to see if there are any backlogs at the USCIS service center processing your petition.

What should you do if you don’t receive your I-129F approval notice in five months?

The first thing that you should do is confirm that USCIS received and accepted the I-129F petition you submitted. If your petition was received and accepted, USCIS would have sent you a receipt notice and cashed your filing fee check. If you did not receive a receipt notice and your check wasn’t cashed, then your petition either wasn’t received or was rejected. If it was rejected, USCIS would have returned your package to you.

If you received a receipt notice, you can use the receipt number to check the status of your petition online. The online status check may answer any questions you have about the status of your petition.

You can also call the USCIS national customer service center at 1-800-375-5283. The customer service number genearally asks that you wait until your case is one month past the posted processing time before you contact them. When you think about it, this makes sense because it helps to make sure that your case really is delayed.

If the online status check and the national customer service number aren’t able to assist you, you should discuss your case with your immigration lawyer. Your immigration lawyer will be able to help identify whether something has gone wrong with your petition and will be able to develop a strategy to help get your case back on track if necessary. If you’d like to discuss your fiance visa case with an immigration lawyer, you can request a consultation appointment with me here.


About Kimberley Schaefer

Kimberley Schaefer is an immigration lawyer with offices in Boise, ID and Rexburg, Idaho. She helps future Americans become citizens by assisting them with immigrant visas, fiance visas, adjustment of status and green card applications, applying for immigration waivers, fighting deportation and applying for asylum. To contact her, you can call (208) 918-0852 or send Kimberley an email now.


  1. I sent in an I-129F fiance Visa form, but my fiance moved and her job does not allow her to have her phone on. Should I be worried she would miss her appointment? Is there a place on USCIS to change her mailing address?

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      You can find the information for changing an address with USCIS at:

      If you aren’t sure how to fill out the online form, you may want to call 1-800-375-5283 instead to speak with a customer service representative.

      • Dear kimberly,
        My fiance and i applied for a fiance visa through our attorney on 7/27/2012. We received and RFE stating that the G28 form was not signed and my fiance’s biograpic information was not provided. This made me request my lawyers in US to provide me a copy of all the documents that they sent in. Upon checking i noticed in all of the forms there were a lot of errors. Spelling errors, date of birth wrong for me the alien fiance and a lot of other silly mistakes. I just want to find out if we can resubmit the amended forms even though they didnt request for it in the rfe? I really hope to get a response, thank you for your time.

        • Kimberley Schaefer says

          Were you able to review the forms before you signed them and your attorney submitted them?

          You should check with your lawyer on the best way to update your file with the correct information and you should definitely make sure that your file has the correct biographic information. As I am not familiar with your case or the RFE, I’m not in the best position to advise you on how to correct the forms. However, you should make sure that the RFE response is submitted within the time allowed by the RFE. Failing to respond to the RFE with all of the information requested could lead to a denial of your petition.

  2. hi dear kimberly!
    i applyed for finace visa on october 2011 and my application got approved. my finace had his interview on May 2012 everything was good all his documentation was complete they give him a yellow card. on yellow card it says it will take several months for visa processing. he still didnt get his visa it is been 9 months by now. i dont know what to do? do u think should i still wait or i should i get a immigration layer ? please give me an advice. thank you

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      It is not uncommon for “administrative processing” to take a long time. Cases that get stuck in administrative processing can be very frustrating both for the family that is forced to be apart for an extended time and for the lawyers who are assisting them. A lawyer may be able to help get the case moving, but there are no guarantees. You would need to understand that there are times when even a lawyer can’t speed up a case stuck in administrative processing.

  3. Hi kimberly…! I submitted my application last august 2012 and after 2 months they sent my receite number and stating there to wait for the next instruction to be mailed to us. Now, its been 7 months since the last time they sent us a letter regarding our petition and last decemer 2012 i called the immigration and they told me to wait for another 2 months ( around february 2013) but now its almost april and we havnt got anything from them still..weve been checking our case status online and nothing has changed yet..were still on initial review step for 7 months now. Its that normal? Or should we go to immigration lawyers for our case? Hoping to hear from you..thank you..god bless.

    • i filed mine in july and was responded to in feb.wait and you’ll hear from them.

      • hi Sarah!

        what date in July did you file you petition? I submitted my application July 19 2012, but im still waiting for the response.

        Thanks 🙂

  4. Hi,
    My fiancee is a US Citizen.we met through online matrimonial site. I am from India and he is a US citizen, Born in India. Our parents have decided to get us married as per our culture. we chat with each other on skype and talk over the phone. Can he apply for a fiancee Visa without physically meeting me as we have seen each other online.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      If you want to pursue a fiancee visa, you should meet in person at least once before beginning the process. Seeing each other online does not satisfy the personal meeting requirement.

  5. sergey postolaki says

    I would like to know how long K1 visa takes, I received NOA1 on march 11 and it was send to California Service Center?

    • Sergey,

      I has been almost six months since my NOA1, just today the date on my fiance petition changed for the second time. Rumor has it we should hear from USCIS shortly. I have sent the petiotion to the Vermont Center, don’t want tobring you down but so far I’ve eard it take a couple of months longer in California!!! Hope am I wrong and you get your NOA2 sooner.

  6. 4/12/13: I have been waiting for almost eight months now for the CSC to process my i129f K1. They received it 8/17/13. It would seem that nothing can be done. The USCIS is not responsive to questions. The data they do publish is highly suspect. This is a huge facility and they do not care about the “stakeholders.” Their job is to process paperwork and they do work hard at it. Our problem is political. Obama promised almost all the illegal children in the country that they could become legal in order to help him win in November. His decision has required that all the new applications from these illegal kids be given priority, and the USCIS has responded by reassigning K-1 workers to the DACA paperwork. SInce my application was received, over 400,000 DACA application have been received by the USCIS, and over 250,000 have been processed. During this time very few i129f applications have been touched. Eventually they will begin working the i129f applications again, but nobody can say when, even though they have been given 5 Million Dollars by “Stakeholders” to process them.

  7. hi kimberly good morning . i am a pakistani and my wife is US citizen .we recently got married in Pakistan she was here for a month .she applied for a spouse visa and USCIS accepted our petition after a week ,and isssued a receipt number .so could you please let me know after how long they are going to let us know that they forwarded our case to US embassy in Pakistan ? and how long its gonna take the time to getting me for interview ?
    any sugestion will be highly appriciated .thank you very much

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      The goal of USCIS is to make decisions on I-130 petitions (such as a petition by a US citizen for a spouse) in about 5 months. Recently, however, many decisions have been taking longer. It is not uncommon right now to have to wait 7 or 8 months to receive a decision. Some people have received decisions more quickly, but most cases are taking 7 to 8 months right now. If you are asked to submit additional information, it could take even longer to receive a decision. Hopefully things will speed up and you will get a decision more quickly.

      If USCIS approves your petition, they will forward your case to the National Visa Center. You will then receive information on submitting additional documents to the National Visa Center. After the National Visa Center receives all of the documents it requests and they confirm that you meet the affidavit of support requirements (the financial support requirements), you will receive additional information on the date of your interview and the next steps you need to take such as the medical examination.

      Keep in mind that an approved I-130 petition does not guarantee that your spouse will receive an immigrant interview. She will still need to demonstrate that your marriage is bona fide and that she meets all of the other requirements for an immigrant visa.

  8. and please whats the maximum time to approve a spouse visa after file the petition ?

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      There is no maximum time to approve a petition. It will depend on how many cases are in line in front of yours and whether you are asked to submit additional evidence so that a decision can be made. Also keep in mind that there is no guarantee that a petition will be approved.


    Hello to all who are waiting! I put in my fiancé visa in December 2012 so I’m just about at the 5 month period. My application went to the Vermont center so I’m hoping I’ll hear something very soon. 5 months is the current time period for that center I hear (longer in CA)? Just curious if anyone has applied close to my time period and if they’ve heard anything yet? I guess I’m just getting a little impatient now that its getting so close! Good luck to everyone!

  10. magrete siniong says

    My I-129F petition has been approved, the petition valid from 05/03/2013 until 09/02/2013.I haven’t received any mail from the embassy even though they said that the have sent the packet to me a month ago through a regular mail.I have only 2 months before it expired, since it is a regular mail I cannot check the status of the mail.I am afraid the mail is never show up until the petition is expired.My question is can the I-129F be extended and how to do it. Thank you

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      Your immigration lawyer will be able to assist you with working with the embassy on the validity period of your I129F petition if needed.

      You should also check to see if the packet can be downloaded from the embassy website. Many embassies and consulates make the packages available to download directly from their website. Downloading the package and scheduling your interview as quickly as possible likely will be your best option.

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