Fiance Visa: A Real Timeline

Buenos Aires, Obelisco.
Copyright 2017, Margaret Nelson.

Getting married to someone from a different country is a long process. Here’s a look at the time it took for Eugene and I to get that stamp!

I’ll be updating this post periodically to give you an actual timeframe of the time it took for the whole process. Hopefully any engaged people out there can use it to plan things with their significant others accordingly.

This is just how it was for us; I have no idea whether we’d be a typical case or not. And neither of us are affiliated with any immigration offices–we’re just ordinary people, and I’m hoping this information helps bring comfort and more experience to other couples who find the process a little intimidating and need hope and community, like we did.

Our Timeline

-Completed and submitted paperwork for I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance
-Bank statement showed check for visa processing fee had been withdrawn from my account.
-Received text message notifying me that USCIS had received paperwork and would begin processing our case (Form G-1145 gave USCIS permission to use my phone number in order to text me that our packet had been received.

Wait time so far: 13 days

-Received form I-797 in the mail. This form is an Official Receipt Notice, and told us which processing center would be handling our case.
-Checked USCIS webpage practically every day and plugged in receipt number to check status of our case. No change.

Wait time so far: 42 days

MARCH 2019:
No change in Visa status. We’re still waiting for processing.
-Oh my GOOOOOOSH it’s so hard to wait for news!

Wait time so far: 73 days

APRIL 2019:
-Received a notice of approval! Now to wait for approval form to arrive in the mail. This will inform us of our next steps!
-Received our notice of approval in the mail! Now to wait for the NVC to process our paperwork and send everything over to Argentina, where Eugene will have his interview!

Wait time so far: 103 days

MAY 2019:
-We hadn’t heard anything for 30 days, so I followed instructions on our last notice about how to inquire about our progress.
-Received notice that our packet has been processed by the NVC! Now we wait for the U.S. Embassy and/or Consulate to process our information. My understanding at this point is that they’ll take several weeks to go through everything, but once they do, they’ll schedule an interview and make sure Eugene’s applications are in.
-It’s our first bit of homework time to do since putting our initial packet together; now it’s time for us to make more applications and gather documents to bring to the interview.
-Finally got an official packet of instructions from the consular office in Eugene’s country. Luckily, it’s the same information as the stuff we found from our own research, but it was great to get some validation that we are “officially” on the right track!

Wait time so far: 134 days

JUNE 2019:
-This month is all about getting Eugene’s paperwork in order. He has to fill out some forms, get biometrics done, and get his police report printed.
-Once these things are done, we can call the NVC and schedule his interview at the Consulate in Argentina! It’s getting close, folks!

Wait time so far: 164 days

JULY 2019:
-This month has been busier for Eugene than for me. We have gathered as much evidence to prove the duration and commitment level of our relationship as possible, including written things from my family that vouch for us, too. Eugene has been running around meeting with translators, notaries, biometrics appointments and such.
-His interview is scheduled for the end of the month! I hope we’ve remembered everything!
-July 25th, 2019: OUR VISA HAS BEEN APPROVED! Wahoo, let’s get married!!!!!!!
Wait time so far: 195 days

AUGUST 2019:
-Eugene landed safely in the United States. We can move forward with our wedding plans, but for right this moment, we can celebrate that we are FINALLY together, for keeps.

TOTAL WAIT TIME: 210 days!

Margaret Nelson is founder and contributor to Maggie O’the Valley, and author of THE TEN MINUTE QUIT, available on Amazon

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