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K1 and J1 timeline

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Hi, new to VJ!

I'm trying to plan out the timeline for submitting the I-129F package because my fiance has a 2 year home residency requirement due to her previous J1 visa. She was a Fulbright student from Russia; we met in grad school in 2012 here in California. She returned to Russia in 6/2014 and by next year she will have spent approximately 4 weeks outside of Russia (partly because we will meet in Italy in September of this year), which will push the end of her 2 year requirement to mid-July or thereabouts. I've made sure she obtains clear passport stamps, keeps all boarding passes, her current EU visa, and has kept the DS-2019.

My guess is that she will need to have her K1 Visa interview only after the home residency requirement has been fulfilled. So, to be safe, I was thinking we should try to make it work out to have the interview happen late-July, early-August of 2016.

My original concern was because the processing times for the I-129F are not predictable a year from now and the CSC processing time seems to be about 1-2 months currently, I might send the I-129F package too early or too late (as I've seen other estimates that the processing time could take 5 months). After doing some research on this site, it looks like she will have 4 months after the NOA2 to do all of the requirements, have the interview, and obtain the visa. I was thinking our timeline might look at bit like this:

9/2015 - meet in Italy for vacation + complete some I-129F package stuff

4/2016 - send the I-129F package

5/2016-6/2016 - receive NOA2 if it's CSC

7/2016-8/2016 - complete visa requirements/interview and obtain K1

So, my problem is that if it takes more than 2 months for the NOA2, she will have to wait much longer to have the interview, but if I do it much sooner and it still only takes 1-2 months for the NOA2, then the 4 months will pass before she can do the interview in 7/2016-8/2016. See my issue here?

I've done some research here and people have said the 4 month thing is kind of ignored as you can get extensions on the petition from the embassy and push the interview date back. Is this true? Will, I be able to submit the I-124F and just extend the petition to allow the interview to happen closer to July/August? There are also very good reviews for the Moscow embassy here. I'm thinking maybe I should send it off in February or March instead of April. Would this be a better plan, or am I worrying too much and I should just stick with April?

Seems nitpicky, but 2 years is already a long time and I don't want to delay reuniting with her longer than it has to be. I don't think any of us want to mess this process up.

K1 Visa / AOS / EAD


04/16/16 - I129F Sent

04/21/16 - I129F Received

04/25/16 - I129F NOA1

06/28/16 - I129F NOA2

07/21/16 - NVC Case #

08/02/16 - Medical Exam

09/07/16 - Interview (Result: 221g Admin Processing)

09/28/16 - CEAC Status: Issued

09/29/16 - Visa in-hand

10/11/16 - POE

10/17/16 - Wedding

10/28/16 - AOS/EAD Sent

11/11/16 - NOA

12/08/16 - Bio Appt.

02/03/17 - EAD Approved

02/07/17 - EAD Card Sent

02/09/17 - EAD Card Received


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After the visa is issued, she has 6 months to use it to enter the U.S., so there is some flexibility there as well. So, if the overall process takes 4-6 months, plus the 6 months of visa validity, then you could probably start the process after your vacation in September.

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