US K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Approved Within 8 Months and Here Is How We Prepared

Our Timeline (US Pacific Time)

  • End of July 2018: We started researching on K-1 visa, listed up and divided tasks for the first step I-129F
  • 27 August: Mike sent the I-129F petition package to USCIS via a courier service
  • 29 August: Case was received by USCIS
  • 5 September: Mike got the confirmation of acceptance from USCIS via email with a case receipt number (NOA1)
  • 4 months and 20 days of waiting. (According to the historical processing time of I-129F, the average process time for I-129F was 6 months as of January 2019.)
  • 18 January 2019: Mike got notice that the petition was approved by USCIS and sent to the NVC (NOA 2)
  • 5 March: Mike was notified by NVC that the approved petition was sent to the US embassy in Korea
  • 12 March: My case arrived at the US embassy in Korea and was ready for the interview
  • 14 March: We hadn’t got the instruction package from the embassy yet, which I would need to take the required medical exam. So I called the visa hotline in Korea and Mike got the package via email in a few hours.
  • 18 March: I finished DS-160 and started to schedule the visa interview. But it wasn’t easy to find an open slot.
  • 18 April: I had the visa interview at the US embassy in Korea, got approved on the spot.
  • 22 April: I got my passport back with the visa in it.
  1. Read the official instructions and filing tips very carefully (See details in I-129F Preparation below). Make sure you include all the documents and evidence required. The biggest cause for delay is probably if USCIS needs to request for more supporting evidence from you.
  2. Most of the time in the process is spent on waiting for the approval of I-129F, so utilize the wait time to prepare for the next stage. As soon as we got NOA1, we started our research on the actual visa application stage and made a plan for all the tasks. I called the designated hospital in Korea to find out the reservation process for the medical exam and how long it takes to get the result. I also checked with the police station to find out the exact process and time for police certificate issuance. We had a very good idea of what exactly either of us would need to do and how long each task would take. In our case, it is 2~3 weeks if everything needed at this stage is done in parallel. This might differ from country to country, so it’s always good to know what to expect sooner than later.
  3. Once we got the notification that the case was sent to the US embassy in Korea, I started filling up DS-160 (the visa application form) and applied for police certificates in the countries I’d lived for longer than 6 months (China and Korea). At the same time, I tracked my case status every day. When I realized the case had arrived in Korea for 2 days but we hadn’t got the instruction package, I called to give the embassy a nudge. As soon as we got the instruction package, I booked the medical exam.
  4. It took 2 weeks before I luckily spot an open interview slot that worked for our planned timeline. For the first week, there was no date open at all. Due to the randomized system, I had to check the website now and then, booked the first date I saw open, which was May 9th, then kept monitoring it every day until I spotted an earlier slot open (April 19) and changed the appointment time right away. Every time I applied for a US B1/B2 visa, interview appointment was never a problem, so it caught me by surprise. In the end, it worked out perfectly. I think to prepare better, it may make sense to check the visa booking site around the time your case is on the way to the embassy in your country, so you know what to expect in terms of the availability of interview slots and plan accordingly. Note that you need to pay the visa fee before you can check the available dates.

I-129F Preparation

Resources:

Our criteria in choosing evidence

What we included

  1. Cover letter
  2. 2. Personal ​check (​$535)
  3. 3. G-1145 Notification of Application Acceptance​ (1 page)
  4. 4. Form I-129F​ (18 pages)
  • petitioner’s employment history and address history, beneficiary’s address history (or any other attachment for extra information you need. We both had long address history so we had to add an attachment to the form.)
  • airline tickets, passport stamps, photos together*, hotel receipts, etc.
  • phone calls, emails, cards, gifts

Evidence of Meeting

Evidence of Relationship

Visa Application Stage

  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the U.S.2 photos (2 inches x 2 inches)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Police Certificates from countries of residence for longer than 6 months
  • Medical examination result
  • Evidence of financial support from the US petitioner (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, and relevant evidence)
  • DS-160 confirmation
  • Receipt of visa fee payment
  • Visa interview appointment confirmation

Collaboration Tools

Google Drive and Google Docs

Google Photos

Trello

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