Filing Form I-129F? Here’s What You Need to Know

There are certain things that K1 visa applicants should know when filing Form I-129F, the Petition for Alien Fiancé. This form is the first that K1 visa applicants will need to complete. The following is a guide to this form that can help fiancés(e)s of U.S. citizens who seek to gain entry into the U.S. and get married.

When Visa Applicants Need to Complete Form I-129F

Immigrants engaged to U.S. citizens can apply for a K1 visa to enter the country if they intend to get married within 90 days after arriving in the U.S. For K1 visas, the first form the petitioning spouses and fiancés need to fill out is Form I-129F.

Who Is Eligible to File Form I-129F?

U.S. citizens petitioning for fiancés to enter the U.S. for marriage can complete Form I-129F if they have met their fiancé in person within the last two years of applying. Only U.S. citizens can complete and file Form I-129F, which means that if an applicant is a green card holder, they won’t be eligible to file this form.

Supporting Documents Required for Form I-129F

When filing Form I-129F, applicants will need to provide various supporting documents that prove both their identity and the relationship with their fiancé. Some of the documentation required includes:

  • Proof that the petitioner is a U.S. citizen through a copy of their birth certificate, a copy of a valid passport, or naturalization or citizenship certificate
  • A single color passport-style photo of the petitioner and fiancé was captured within 30 days of completing Form I-129F.
  • Proof of the petitioner’s legal name change if a name change took place at any point.
  • If the petitioner and fiancé have been married in the past, the petitioner will also need to prove that the marriage was officially terminated through an annulment order or divorce decree.

When petitioning for a fiancé applying for a K1 fiancé visa, petitioners also need to include proof that the couple intends to marry no more than 90 days upon arrival in the U.S. Additionally, the petitioner will need to provide proof that the couple met in person within two years of filing the initial form. If the couple hasn’t met in person at this point, the petitioner will need to provide proof explaining why they haven’t had the chance to meet, which could be due to cultural norms or other restrictions.

The Timeline for Form I-129F

The processing time for Form I-129F is around 10-13 months at the Dallas Lockbox, according to USCIS. The agency offers a tool for individuals to check the processing time after completing this form. 

Upon approval, the fiancé sponsored by the petitioner will be required to apply for their K1 visa, schedule an interview, and gain entry into the U.S. before applying for a green card. After receiving the K1 visa, the couple will need to enter the country and get married in the next 90 days. After the marriage takes place and the fiancé is now a spouse, the spouse will need to file Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). This will enable them to initiate the spousal green card application process, which typically takes a few months to years to process.

If a couple seeks to expedite the process, they may be able to request expediting through the USCIS Contact Center using a 13-digit case number on their receipt.

Taking all of these steps can help fiancés successfully apply for K1 visas to gain entry into the U.S.