Post by Immigration Attorney John B. Buda
Buda Law Group
This is John Buda, principal attorney of the Buda Law Group. I will be providing you with a monthly report on all legal matters that pertain to Fiance and Marriage Visas. Be sure to subscribe for new updates.
Below is some of the information I received recently about the USCIS Vermont Service Center. VT handles many family based immigration cases, especially fiance and marriage based visas, along with other USCIS Service Centers, TX, NE, and CA. Your questions and comments are welcomed below.
Processing Times for I-129 F and I-130 Immediate Relative Petitions
The Vermont Service Center recently announced that the processing times for form I-129F K1 Fiancé petitions have decreased from seven months to five months. This is consistent with the other USCIS Service Centers that work on Fiance Visas (CA and TX). The processing time for Immediate Relative petitions (I-130 marriage and other family) is current.
I-129F Petitions for the K Fiancé Classifications
As a part of USCIS’s efforts to establish consistency and standardization, the Vermont Service Center has announced the following changes to the adjudication of the I-129F, K petitions:
- Validity dates on approvals will now be 4 months minus 1 day instead of the previous 90-day validity period. What this means your fiance will have 4 months to schedule the interview in the U.S. foreign consulate instead of the previous 90 days.
- There has also been a change in the manner that the petitioner must demonstrate that the couple has met within the last two years. Previously they accepted a statement from the petitioner that the couple had met within the preceding 2 years. Now they require evidence to demonstrate that the meeting has occurred, such as passport stamps, dated photos, airline tickets, etc. A statement alone will not be acceptable proof of meeting. Buda Law Group has always strongly recommended that our clients provide more than just a statement.
New Filing instructions for I-130 Petitioners Abroad
Now, petitioners residing in countries without USCIS offices must file their Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) lockbox facility in Chicago. The main country this impacts is Iran.
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Also see: Specialized Services for China K1 Fiance Visas CR1-IR1 Marriage Visas