As we navigate through 2023, a common question we encounter repeatedly is, “Can I expedite my marriage or fiancée visa?” With current events causing delays and uncertainty, this question is more pertinent than ever. This blog post aims to shed light on the options available right now, the speedier choice between a fiancée visa or marriage, and various other topics linked to applying overseas.
The Current Scenario
Things have dramatically shifted in the past year or so, particularly when applying for a fiancée or marriage visa at an embassy or consulate overseas. In some regions, these embassies are operating normally and gradually scheduling appointments. However, in other regions, progress is slow due to limited capacity. This has resulted in a scarcity of appointments for marriage and fiancée visa cases. Consequently, applicants are often seeking ways to expedite their cases.
Fiancée Visa Vs. Marriage Visa: Which is Faster?
In 2023, the processing times for both fiancée and marriage visas are almost identical, which is leading many applicants to opt for marriage visas directly, if possible. Before the pandemic, fiancée visas were typically processed much faster – sometimes six to seven months faster than marriage visas. However, as it stands in 2023, both are taking almost the same amount of time.
How to Expedite Your Case?
Yes, you can still expedite your marriage or fiancée visa case in 2023. To do this, you can use the email.gov portal to submit a request to expedite your case to the National Visa Center. This should include a declaration, supporting documents, and anything else you deem important to support your request. In 2023, the primary reason for case approval is extreme hardship faced by the U.S. citizen, not the foreign national. This hardship could be a medical issue, a financial matter, or a job-related concern.
Processing Times and Implications
Presently, most fiancée visa cases are taking close to two years to process. There are exceptions, with some cases taking slightly less time, but we haven’t seen anything less than a year and a half specifically for K1 visas.
An important point to note is that if you get married while the fiancée visa is being processed, the case will be terminated at that point. You will need to refile the application and start the process of the marriage-based visa from scratch, as the fiancée visa is cancelled upon marriage.
Fiancée Visa or Marriage-Based Visa: Which Should You Choose?
The answer to this question depends largely on your circumstances. If you have the option, a marriage-based petition might be the better choice in the long run, as it can be cheaper and potentially faster to complete. Moreover, once you come to the United States, you won’t have to refile to get your green card.
Getting Your Case Expedited
In addition to demonstrating extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse, you can also expedite your case based on medical situations, pregnancy issues, or the risk of your child aging out. Congressional assistance can also be sought to expedite your case outside of the National Visa Center process. While this might not always be effective, it doesn’t hurt to try.
In 2023, the decision to opt for a fiancée visa or a marriage-based case is a personal choice. The processing times are almost identical, so it isn’t a matter of time-saving, but rather about personal circumstances and the progression of your relationship. If you’re feeling stuck or need help with your case, remember that there are resources available to assist you.
If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please don’t hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group.