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Everything You Need to Know About I-129F Processing Time

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When embarking on the journey to get married to a foreign citizen, one of the important paperwork steps is applying for I-129F. Immigrants and citizens alike have a lot of questions about the purpose and function of this form – not only what it does, but also I-129F processing time, requirements, tips for success, and more.

Form I-129F is an important part of the immigration process. It kickstarts your fiancé(e)'s journey into becoming a permanent resident of the United States after marriage. Without this form being properly filled out and submitted, your fiancé(e) will not be able to receive a K1 visa or enter the country legally. Therefore, it is essential that all information provided on Form I-129F is accurate and up to date for your petition and application for a K1 visa to be approved quickly and without delay. 

Here is everything you need to know about Form I-129F and how to reduce its processing time.

Key Takeaways

  • Processing time for the I-129F petition can vary depending on several factors.
  • You can check the status of your I-129F petition online, contact USCIS by phone or e-mail, or receive updates from the National Visa Center (NVC).
  • There are ways to help reduce I-129F processing time.

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What is Form I-129F

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Form I-129F, also known as the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), is a crucial document in the process of bringing a foreign national fiancé to the United States. The petition is used to request a nonimmigrant visa for the fiancé of a U.S. citizen. It will allow them to enter the United States and eventually marry their U.S. citizen sponsor.


In order to be eligible, here is a list of the required initial evidence:

  • Evidence of your U.S. Citizenship – A copy of your birth certificate, naturalization or citizenship certificate, unexpired U.S. passport, or verification that you are a U.S. citizen with a valid passport
  • Evidence that you or your fiancé is legally terminated from previous marriages – Annulment order, Final Divorce decree, or death certificate of prior spouse.
  • One color passport-style photo each of yourself and your fiancé taken within 30 days of filing the petition
  • If applicable, you should also provide evidence of legal name change or support International Marriage Broker Regulation Act waiver

If you are filing a petition to classify your fiancé as a K-1 nonimmigrant, provide the following:

  • Evidence that you and your foreign fiancé intend to marry within 90 days after becoming a K-1 nonimmigrant
  • Evidence that you met your fiancé in-person within two years of you filing the petition. Otherwise, you must submit proof that meeting in-person violates your fiancé’s social practice or foreign culture or is an extreme hardship on the part of the petitioner.

If you are filing a petition to classify your spouse as a K-3 nonimmigrant, provide the following:

  • Marriage certificate
  • A copy of I-797C or Notice of Action indicating that you have filed Form I-130 or Petition for Alien Relative on behalf of your spouse

I-129F Processing Time

On average, the processing time for Form I-129F is around 8 to 16 months. However, it is important to note that this is an average, and some cases may be processed faster or slower.

To check the current processing times for Form I-129F, applicants can visit the USCIS website and use the “Check Case Processing Times” tool. This tool allows users to select their specific form and the field office or service center where the application is being processed. The website will then provide an estimated processing time based on the current workload of the office.

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Factors That Affect I-129F Processing Time

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The processing time for Form I-129F can be affected by a number of factors. These include:

Form filing date

The most important factor affecting I-129F processing time is the date your form is filed with the USCIS. This is because all forms are processed in order of filing date. The earlier you file, the sooner your form will be reviewed and processed by the USCIS.

Any errors or omissions on your form may cause delays in processing, so make sure you double-check all information before submitting your form.

USCIS workload

In some cases, it takes longer for USCIS to review and process petitions due to a high volume of paperwork or other administrative tasks they must complete first.

Forms are processed faster at regional offices than those located overseas due to staffing and resources available at each location.

The size of your application

The size and complexity of your application can affect the amount of time needed for processing.

Generally, applications with fewer documents and simpler forms will be processed faster than those with more complex or abundant documents. It is important to make sure that all information requested in your application is included, as this will help speed up the time it takes for USCIS to review and approve your petition.

Where you file your application

The location where you file your application can also affect processing times.

USCIS has designated Regional Service Centers (RSCs) across the country, each of which processes applications based on their region. The RSC nearest to you may have longer wait times than other RSCs, so it’s important to keep this in mind when submitting your application.

Additional documentation requests

In some cases, additional documentation may be requested by the USCIS in order to better assess an applicant’s eligibility for a visa or green card. This is especially true if there are discrepancies between documents listed on your application and those provided by other sources (e.g., background checks).

Additional requests for evidence can add weeks or months onto I-129F processing times depending on how quickly these documents can be obtained from third parties such as banks or employers.

More Immigration Tips and Resources

How To Check the Status of Your I-129F Petition

You can check the status of your I-129F petition through the following:

Online through the USCIS website

Visit the USCIS website and enter your “Receipt Number,” which is given when you file your petition. Your USCIS case receipt number has three letters followed by ten numbers. You’ll find it in any letter or receipt notice from USCIS.

Once you enter this information, you will be able to view an update on the status of your application, including any requests for additional documentation or evidence.

Contact the USCIS by phone or e-mail

USCIS service center representatives will be able to answer questions about your case and provide more detailed information than what can be found on the website mentioned above.

National Visa Center (NVC)

Once approved, your petition will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). You will then receive updates from NVC, including the next steps in the process.

Generally, you will be asked to provide additional documents and information to complete your application.

You can also check the NVC website or call them directly for updates on your application status or any questions you may have.

Tips for Reducing I-129F Processing Time

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Here are ways to help speed up the approval process of your I-129F petition.

Gather all necessary documents ahead of time

When you file your I-129F petition, be sure to have all the required documents ready and organized in one place. Doing so will reduce processing time because USCIS will not have to wait for you to submit additional documentation if they need it.

Complete all forms accurately and thoroughly

Before submitting your forms to USCIS, take the time to ensure that everything has been filled out accurately and thoroughly. Double-check all information for accuracy and completeness before sending it in. If any forms are incomplete or contain errors, this could cause delays in processing time.

Additionally, make sure that all signatures have been included where required. Failure to do so may result in a delay or even a denial of your application due to insufficient documentation.

Submit your form to the correct address

Form I-129F petition must be submitted to the correct USCIS Dallas Lockbox. Make sure to check the address for the postal carrier you plan on using.

Important NOTE: Applicants may choose to receive a text message and/or e-mail notifying them about their petition being accepted by completing Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, and clipping it to the front of their petition.

Reach Out to Immigration Lawyers

At this time, Form I-129F can’t be filed electronically. However, you can prepare the form and all the required information with an online service to ensure you do it correctly.

To guarantee quick approval, you must focus on completing and submitting a well-prepared petition. That’s where an immigration lawyer can help.

Hacking Immigration Law, LLC offers a service created by competent immigration attorneys. We can make your petition smooth and easy. We will provide you with detailed filing instructions, so you will know which supporting documents to submit together with your petition. We will also alert you if there is any problem with your visa approval.

Remember, USCIS isn’t your advocate or looking out for your best interest. If your form includes information that damages your immigration future, USCIS won’t correct you. But our immigration lawyers will. We can even help applicants prepare for the visa interview. Call us at 314-325-7978 or e-mail us at [email protected].

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