EP34: Can You Expedite I-129F Petition For Your K1 Visa?
Everyone wants faster processing and to expedite I-129F petition! This is not a surprise. But, if you’re asking yourself “can you expedite I-129F and get your K1 visa faster?” the answer is Yes – but it depends on what evidence you have to backup your request.
An expedite request is considered on a case-by-case basis so it really will depend on your unique circumstances.
For many of you that want a definite answer for your own case, look at the reason you are requesting expedite and see if you have enough evidence to prove your case.
Need an expedite request sample letter to send to USCIS? Download our 9-page expedite letter with supporting evidence examples.
Fortuntaely, the good news is that submitting your expedite I-129F petition will not harm your case. So, if you have the time to send in the request and have a sold reason for doing so, I encourage you to do it!
Juanita is a US citizen who is petitioning for her fiance Pablo. They’ve dated for 18 months and are ready to get married in the US and start a family. Juantia submitted her I-129F petition 2 weeks ago but she is eager to get it approved quickly because she is 5 months pregnant and really wants her fiance there for the birth. She wonders if she can submit an expedite request to speed things up.
You would be shocked at the number of questions I get asked specifically about the expedite criteria (or reason)…
The Wrong Reasons For Expedite Requests:
- Is pregnancy a good reason for expedite I-129F petition?
- Can I expedite my fiance’s K1 visa if he wants to attend school in the fall?
- I want to expedite my K1 visa because my dog is sick and would get better care in America.
- Can I expedite the I-129F so my children can start first grade on time?
- I need to expedite the K1 visa so I can get a job sooner to send money back home to family.
- We need an expedite of our K1 visa because my wife is pregnant and we want her to give birth in the US.
As you can see, most of the reasons to expedite your k1 visa would not be approved since they are not warranted an approval.
Think of it from the USCIS adjudicators prospective. Would you approve any of these reason? If so, why or why not?
How Long Does The K1 Visa Take Currently?
Here’s the downside…
The K1 visa process is now taking over a year to complete! This is mind blowing for me because when I completed my own K1 visa application over 6 years ago it took my about 9 months.
Unfortunately, it’s taking longer and longer each year and more people are requesting an expedite of their I-129F petition and K1 visa.
So, should you submit an expedite request for your own I-129F petition?
The answer to this is YES!
Okay, I usually don’t give definitive answers like this but there is no downside for submitting an expedite request of your K1 visa. I say this because if your request isn’t approved your case is processed as if you never requested it.
If you believe you have a good chance of getting your expedite I-129F petition approved, go for it! If you need a sample expedite letter, you can download one here.
Will USCIS Expedite My I-129F Petition?
Whether USCIS will approved the expedite your K1 visa will depend on the evidence you include with your request.
The better your evidence the higher your chances of approval.
Before you start gather anything documents though, you should know what the expedite criteria USCIS is looking for. I’ve listed them below and provided brief details on each of them.
- Severe financial loss to a company or person, provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner’s or applicant’s failure to:
- File the benefit request or the expedite request in a reasonable time frame, or
- Respond to any requests for additional evidence in a reasonably timely manner;
- Urgent humanitarian reasons;
- Compelling U.S. government interests (such as urgent cases for the Department of Defense or DHS, or other public safety or national security interests); or
- Clear USCIS error.
Interestingly, USCIS has reduced the number of criteria’s available as of 5/10/2019.
Related Post: How to expedite your immigrant visa case.
What Is The K1 Visa Expedite Process?
Before we get into the actual process to expedite your K1 visa, let’s take a look at how USCIS handles these requests.
- Requests are on case-by-case basis
- Must include documentation to support request
- USCIS has sole discretion to decide whether to grant or deny your request
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on the the K1 expedite process:
Step 1: Choose an expedite reasons (listed above)
- When chosing the expedite reason, it should be based on the facts surrounding your situation not which reason is easiest to get approval for.
- Don’t choose the expedite reason based on what others have been successful with. Your case is unique so there is no gurantee of approval based on this.
Step 2: Choose medthod of requesting expedite (phone or mail)
- If you decide to call USCIS customer service, make sure to have your receipt number.
- If you mail a letter of expedite, make sure to write your receipt number on the letter.
Step 3: Submit your supporting documents to USCIS
- Without evidence to prove you qualify for an expedite, your request will be denied.
- The stronger the evidence, the better chance of approval.
- Letters you submit should have original signatures and not copies.
Step 4: Wait for a letter of approval or denial of your request
- You should receive a response pretty quickly (within a week)
- If approved, your I-129F petition will skip ahead of the line and be processed right away.
- If denied, your I-129F petition will be processed as usual (meaning it’s going to take a while!)
What Is Military Expedite Of K1 Visa?
If you are an active duty military member, you may want to expedite your K1 visa if you are being deployed, changing stations or due to humanitarian reasons.
USCIS understands that military members are forced to make decisions quickly and may face circumstances that are out of their control. This is why have set up a hotline specifically for military members (1-877-CIS-4MIL) which can be used to request expedite of your petition.
How to expedite your I-129F petition if you are active duty military:
- A letter requesting expedite of your petition
- A copy of your military orders or a letter from your commanding officer regarding your deployment or situation, and
- Any other supporting evidence to back up your request for expedite.
Military personnel must submit an expedite request based on the four criteria that USCIS allows. Simply being in the military will not help your case!
Mark is an active duty military member who is stationed in Texas. He met his fiance from Brazil 11 months ago and decided to propose to her so she can come live with him. Recently, he found that that he was going to be deployed to the Middle East in a few months so he requested and expedite of his I-129F petition to USCIS and had his commanding officer submit a letter on his behalf.
This situation is very common for military members. They usually have a better chance of getting USCIS to approved their K1 expedite request.
Final Thoughts: Can You Expedite I-129F Petition?
In summary, you can absolutely expedite your K1 visa but you must do it the right way to have any chance of approval.
What I mean by this is that you first choose the right expedite criteria and then include evidence to supporting the expedite request. This may sound easy but in actuality, it’s harder to get approved for an K1 visa expedite than you think.
The quality of the evidence you submit is very important.
Next, you should choose the method of requesting your K1 expedite. The options are calling USCIS customer service or mailing a letter of expedite to the field office that has your case.
I prefer to mail a letter but ultimately it’s up to you which method you choose.
Lastly, you submit your evidence and your expedite request to USCIS. All cases are processed on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee that the underlying I-129F petition will be approved if the expedite is approved.
Do you need help and guidance with your K1 visa application? Check out the Migrant Academy! It’s an exclusive online course platform for the K1 visa. Learn what the lawyers know and submit an extremely strong case or expedite I-129F petition.
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Ayan is the founder of the Migrant Academy community, the My Path To Citizenship Blog and Podcast.
After successfully navigating the hurdles of US immigration. She now dedicates her time to helping other couples achieve their goals of starting their new life together in the US.