Will Recent NVC Processing Changes Impact the K-1 Visa Process?

The NVC (short for the National Visa Center) and its processing guidelines have been the topic of discussion in some US Immigration circles. The following piece will look at whether or not recent policy changes will have an impact upon those seeking K1 Fiance visa benefits. The National Visa Center (NVC) recently stated that as of the 1st of February 2010 they will no longer process I-129f petitions for marriage visa benefits if the underlying I-130 petition arrives before, or contemporaneously with, the supplemental I-129f petition. There may be those readers who are probably wondering what impact this will have upon visa seekers.

For those seeking a K-3 visa, the possible consequence of this recent announcement is very important since the NVC, in certain situations, is now compelling couples to seek immigrant spouse visa benefits in the form of the IR-1 visa and the CR-1 visa rather than the non-immigrant K-3 visa qmas visa application. Although, the K3 visa petitioner submits an I-129f petition form in order to apply for K3 visa benefits this petition is also utilized when applying for fiance visa benefits as well. What effect will the recently announced rule change have upon the K-1 visa obtainment process?

In order to obtain a US fiance visa, the US Citizen must file an I-129f petition for K-1 visa benefits. If the petition is approved, then it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. After the NVC processes the application, it will be forwarded to the US Embassy or Consulate-General with proper jurisdiction. Confusion may arise as there are those who may be placed under the mistaken impression that the I-129f petition will be administratively closed by NVC in a K-1 visa case. This is likely not the case, as administrative closures of I-129f petitions are only supposed to happen in the context of applications for K-3 benefits and not for K-1 benefits. This recent change in the rules will likely have no impact upon the K-1 visa process as the rule is designed to only impact the K-3 visa process.

In most cases where the visa application is to be processed by the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, there is usually a two week waiting time between I-129f petition approval by USCIS and the forwarding of the file from NVC to the US Embassy. By most people’s estimate, this is a reasonable period of time to wait. In the case of Immigrant visas, the NVC processing time is considerably longer as the NVC requires submission of more documentation in Immigrant visa matters when compared to non-immigrant visa cases.

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