Applicants should not confuse this application with the I-130, which is a more general petition that applies to spouses, children, and parents in the family-based immigration category and can also be filed by green card holders.
Rather, the I-129F is used exclusively for U.S. citizens so that their foreign fiancé can secure a K-1 visa, also known as the “fiancé visa”, which is a 90-day visa that allows the foreign spouse to travel to the United States and get married and file for an adjustment of status within that time frame. Additionally, the I-129F only works for U.S. citizens, so if you are a legal permanent resident (LPR), or green card holder, you are ineligible to file this petition.
Processing Times and Fees
File Form I-129F at the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility.
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
P.O. Box 660151
Dallas, TX 75266
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
2501 South State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
The filing fee for the I-129F is $535. Additionally, it takes an average of 7 months for the USCIS to process this form. Once the case has been decided on and has been forwarded to the NVC for consular processing, it can 4-6 weeks for the agency to send an interview request at the consulate or U.S. embassy that is closest to the principal K-1 applicant.
Supporting Documents Checklist
The following documents should be submitted with the application package by printing out necessary materials and placing them in the same envelope/parcel that is being sent to the USCIS Lockbox:
- Proof of U.S. citizenship (petitioner)
- Photographs of the couple
- Proof of original statements from the U.S. citizen and foreign fiancé of their intent to marry should a K-1 visa be granted
- Proof of all legal termination (divorce papers), from both parties, if applicable
- Proof that the couple has met in person in the immediate 2 years prior to filing the I-129F
- Certified English translations of any documents, if applicable
- Completed G-28 if an attorney is being represented in the case
In addition, applicants are advised to file the G-1145 eNotification page so they can receive texts/email alerts as to the status of their application. Available here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/g-1145.pdf
Steps for Filing the I-129F
The form is fairly long at 13 pages. Because it is a petition, information is requested from both the U.S. based citizen (who is filling out the application) and their beneficiary (the foreign fiancé). It is a good idea for the couple to be in regular contact while filling out this form.
Part 1, Information About you, refers to the petitioner. This section is long and asks for information about the petitioner's U.S. address, their employment history, citizenship information, as well as Social Security Number. Additionally, the form asks for petitioners to provide information about their parents. If you need more space, especially with regard to filling out address history for the last 5 five years, use Part 8, Additional Information.
Part 2, Information about your beneficiary, is also completed by the petitioner. Getting the mailing address correct in this section is of critical importance. In this section petitioners also need the last five years of the beneficiaries address history. Make sure you work with your partner to provide all of the correct information. If there are gaps in ones address history, use your best estimates and put the first day of the month under “Date from” to “Date to”. If your partner is unsure of the exact date they were last in the United States, they can check their passport stamp for an exact date (per question 38), or visit the CBP official website for more information as to their I-94 Record: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/history-search.
Question 54 asks petitioners to provide a written statement of their “circumstances of in-person meeting…” in the immediate 2 years prior to filing this petition. While the language on the form may seem awkward, the USCIS is simply asking petitioners to describe their relationship with their fiancé when they were together. The point of this question is for an officer to legitimize the relationship between the U.S. citizen and the foreign fiancé.
Finally, for question 62a and 62b, petitioners should once again contact their foreign fiancé and have them locate the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate that they will be able to conveniently, or at least realistically, be able to travel to for a consular interview should the petition be approved.
Part 3 asks the petitioner a series of yes and no questions pertaining to their criminal history. Waivers will need to be filed if they are applicable to one's situation.
Part 4 is a simple biographic questionnaire asking petitioners to fill in their ethnicity, height, weight, eye color, etc.
Parts 5, 6, and 7 request the petitioner's signature, as well as the signature and information of any preparer who might have helped complete this form, as well as any interpreter who might have helped complete this form.