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I filed my fiancé’s visa in September. 

My fiancé and I are thinking of booking our wedding for late July. Do y’all think we’re safe and will get the visa in time?

 

If not, has anyone had the experience of filing for a visa and having the wedding ceremony before getting the visa? 

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I honestly wouldn’t book anything until you have the visa. Some NOA2s are taking 7/8 months to get plus there can be many different hold ups along the way. It’s better to be safe than sorry by waiting 

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I concur with the other poster.  If you read through the various months for K1s (lots of threads for filers by month/year) you'll see that there is a general timeline but there are so many different things that come up that can throw it off at ANY stage.  Everything can be fully approved and simply waiting for the consulate to return a passport - seems like a simple 14-30 day thing - so people start buying plane tickets and reserving venues, etc....then for some unknown reason they spend 4 months in "AP" or the passport doesn't get sent back for 90 days or 6 months - and no one knows why.  The most consistent piece of advice I have seen on VJ no matter what thread, what visa, what country, etc - NEVER SPEND MONEY on plane tickets or wedding plans UNTIL you PHYSICALLY have the VISA/PASSPORT in hand.  As much as it sucks and it makes planning anything really hard - it's just the reality of the immigration process.  

 

Edited by OptimusSpice

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As for the second part of your question - if you get married/hold a wedding ceremony prior to the issuance of the K1 visa - you will VOID your K1 and have to restart the entire process on a CR1.  People have had their K1's denied for "being too married" based off of the traditional engagement ceremonies held in some countries - even though the couple did not technically marry per the nation's laws.  Anything that even LOOKS like a wedding can trigger a denial for a K1 at the consular interview.  The K1 is specifically for getting married AFTER entry and within 90 days of that entry.  If you want to get married prior to getting a visa - look into the CR1.

 

Due to the nature of the K1 - many have done a "courthouse" marriage within the 90 days then had the big family celebration with dresses and cake later.

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Do not make any plans you are unwilling to change or drop until at least the visa is in hand and you verified it has no issues. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and loss money/time/whatever. While you can generally get an idea of an average timeline, there is no way at all to know if your individual case will go outside the norm....due to your own circumstances or being completely out of your hands.

 

Do NOT marry or even have an unofficial ceremony before entering the US on the K-1 visa. You can be denied the visa or denied entry if they find out about it (which has happened).

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Some have a relatively quick visa process, others wait for a year, two years...  you can't know for sure.  Best to plan a long wait and then be surprised if it goes faster.  I would suggest having tentative plans, locations, venues, etc. but don't spend any money or commit to a specific date until the visa is in hand AND the fiance/fiancee has actually entered the US.  There are stories here on VJ of visa holders being refused entry at the POE--rare, but it happens for crazy reasons.  It makes it hard with the 90 day deadline after POE, so plan but be flexible in those plans.  Good luck with the waiting process!  Visit as often as you can!

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