Why some K1 visa petitions are processed for longer than 6 months?

US K1 Visa Petition DocumentsThe US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) goal for processing a K1 visa petition is within 6 months of receipt. Petitions are processed in the order they are received. The USCIS received thousands of K1 visa petitions a month. In fiscal year 2011 USCIS received 46,936 petitions and approved 42,500 petitions, some of which were probably received much earlier than 2011. Once the USCIS has approved the petition, it is forwarded to the Embassy for additional processing and the visa interview which generally takes at least one more month.

K1 visa petitions are processed in regional service centers depending on where the US citizen petition lives. However, some service centers have a backlog of cases. For example, as of November 14, 2011, the most recent K1 visa petition the Nebraska service center had processed was received January 1, 2008.

Some petitions take longer than 6 months to finish due to several factors. Some of these factors include submission of the incorrect application fees, submission of incomplete documents by the US citizen petitioner, missing signatures, submission of incomplete documents by the visa beneficiary, delays in submitting documents, loss of or non-receipt of packets by the USCIS or the National Visa Center (NVC), data input errors on the part of the USCIS or NVC, transfer of cases by the USCIS, large increases in the number of other people applying for immigration benefits, and changes in the financial situation of the petitioner. Finally, there may be delays in the security checks on either the petitioner or the beneficiary due to complicated history or lack of accessible records.

As you can see, many of these factors are out of your control. However, the majority of delays are caused by errors in the preparation of the K1 visa petition and supporting documents. Carefully preparing your application and submitting all of the required documents will make the process go more smoothly. One of the most common problems with K1 visa petitions is problems with the affidavit of support from the US citizen petitioner.

The USCIS maintains a website with information on the current processing time for each type of document at the various service centers and field offices where K1 visa applications are processed. In addition, you can look up the status of your case using the receipt number you received when you filed your initial petition. The website is available at USCIS Process Time. In addition, you may contact the USCIS customer service center at 1-800-375-5283 and use your receipt number to request information about your case.

If your case is taking longer than the stated processing time for the service center where it is being processed and you have not received a Request For Evidence (RFE) you should contact your attorney or USCIS directly to determine the case status. If USCIS is unhelpful an experienced attorney may be able to help. In addition, you can contact your Congressperson to ask for assistance.

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Category: US Immigration

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