A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Good News for K-1 Fiancé Visa Applicants

K visa cases should be given high priority, according to an August 31, 2020 announcement by the U.S. State Department.  

Many overseas visa applicants encountered delay after the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent closure of U.S. consulates in many countries.  As the pandemic has been slowly under control, the State Department is also gradually reopening U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide.  As of August 28, the overseas consulates are authorized to give high priority to the K fiancee visa cases, which include K-1 fiancé visa and K-2 dependent visas.  

Specifically, consuls are authorized to revalidate approvals of Form I-129F petition in four month increments. The I-129F petition is normally approved for four months only.  With revalidation, U.S. citizen spouses do not need to file a new I-129F petition after the expiration of the initial approval.

However, the announcement does not indicate whether K-1 visa applicants are exempt from President Trump's visa and travel ban.  President Trump's proclamation specifically exempts spouses and children of U.S. citizens (not fiancé) from the travel and visa ban.  Hence, even with revalidated I-129F petitions, K-1 applicants still have to wait until the travel ban is over unless they qualify for other exemptions. 

Also, not all overseas consulate offices are open for business and not all visa services are offered by the reopened offices.  Hence, applicants should contact their local American Consulate or Embassy to find out what visa services are being offered.

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