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

JANUARY 2019:
-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-Bank statement showed check for visa processing fee had been withdrawn from my account.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

FEBRUARY 2019:
-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.

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.

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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