Bringing your foreign fiancé(e) to the United States is an exciting and life-changing event. The first step in making this dream a reality is completing Form I-129F, officially known as the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
Form I-129F is a formal request to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to classify your foreign national fiancé(e) as a K-1 nonimmigrant or a spouse as a K-3 immigrant. By filing the I-129F Form, you are petitioning the USCIS to recognize the legitimacy of your relationship with your fiancé(e) or spouse and grant them a K visa.
The K-1 visa allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days, during which your marriage must occur. After the marriage, your fiancé(e) must apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident.
The K-3 visa allows a foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States while the USCIS processes their immigrant visa petition (Form I-130).
As the petitioner, you must be a U.S. citizen and intend to marry your foreign fiancé(e) within 90 days of their arrival in the United States. You must meet the legal requirements for marriage and be genuine in your intention to establish a life together as a married couple.
Similarly, as the beneficiary, your foreign fiancé(e) must meet specific requirements. First, your fiancé(e) must be admissible to the United States. They must also be legally eligible to marry and intend to marry you.
If you are already legally married and have a pending Form I-130, you are eligible to complete Form I-129F.
You must complete Form I-129F fully and accurately. Type or print your answers in black ink. Illegible or incomplete forms may result in delays or rejection. After completing the form, submit it to the USCIS along with the filing fee. You must also complete any required biometric services.
The petitioner must provide basic information like full legal name, address, date of birth, and contact information. In this section, you will also provide information about your parents, previous marriages, your citizenship status, the ages of your children, and places you have lived.
Next, you must provide basic information about your fiancé(e), including their name (and other names they have used), A-number, date of birth, address, and contact information. The USCIS will also request a DHS arrival/ and departure record (Form I-94).- Information about previous spouses, past employment history, and children will also be requested.
This part of the form will ask about your fiancé’scriminal history, including domestic violence, and whether or not you need a waiver of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA).
Contact an experienced attorney to advise you if criminal history is involved.
In this section, you’ll indicate your ethnicity or race, height, weight, eye color, and hair color.
The last three sections of the form are for your signature and signatures from an attorney and preparer if applicable.
The filing fee for Form I-129F is $535. However, there is no filing fee for a K-3 spouse.
This exemption aims to facilitate the reunification of U.S. citizens and their foreign national spouses by reducing financial barriers during the initial stages of the immigration process. While there is no filing fee for the K-3 visa, subsequent phases of the immigration process(such as the adjustment of status) may incur fees.
The processing time for Form I-129F can vary depending on several factors, including the current workload of the USCIS and other external factors. The current average wait time is about 13 months. However, processing time can depend on where you file your form. For example, the Nebraska Service Center estimates a 4.5-month wait, while the processing time estimated for Texas and California is about 16.5 months.
These estimates change constantly. You can use the USCIS Processing Times Calculator to see what you can expect in your location.
It is not currently possible to file Form I-129F electronically. You must mail the form to the USCIS Dallas lockbox.
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
P.O. Box 660151
Dallas, TX 75266-0151
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
Attn: I-129F (Box 660151)
2501 South State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067-8003
After USCIS receives your Form I-129F, you will receive a receipt notice, including a number used to track the status of your case.
Once USCIS completes the necessary processing, you will receive a notice of approval or denial.
If your petition is denied, carefully read your denial notice. The denial notice will include an explanation of the USCIS’s decision. In some cases, you may have the option to appeal the denial. The denial notice will indicate whether an appeal is available and will provide instructions on filing an appeal, including the deadline for submission.
If there were factual or legal errors in the decision, you may have the opportunity to file a motion to reopen or to reconsider the denial. A motion to reopen asks USCIS to review your case based on new evidence that was not previously available.
If the denial was due to correctable errors or insufficient evidence, you may choose to refile Form I-129F with the necessary corrections or additional documentation.
Consult an experienced immigration attorney if your form is denied. The Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. team can assess your case, help you understand your options, and guide you through the appropriate steps to address the denial effectively.
It’s not easy to immigrate to the United States. There are dozens of forms and requirements that you have to complete with 100% accuracy. It can be emotionally and mentally exhausting to navigate the process alone–but you don’t have to.
Our team of expert immigration attorneys will give you peace of mind and help you efficiently complete every step along your journey. Contact Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.