This question is starting to arrive in 2022: Is the Fiance Visa still an option?
Many Fiances have become discouraged in the K1 Visa Process for three main reasons:
- I-129F Petitions are taking an extremely long time to process (compared to Pre-COVID processing times)
- Embassies and Consulates are NOT PRIORITIZING / NOT SCHEDULING K1 Visa Interviews like they are doing for Spousal CR-1/IR-1 Visas
- Step 3 of the K1 Visa Journey is the I-485 Adjustment of Status, which is being met with 1-5 year wait times (2022 time estimates)
Each of the above three points is a common topic when discussing the Fiance Visa Process, but to the topic of “becoming obsolete,” there is reason to believe the K-1 Visa, in general, may “disappear from relevancy” much like the K3 Visa. There are 2 reasons for the start of the K1 Downfall.
Reason 1: Numbers!!!
The K1 Visa has seen a 50% DECREASE in K1 VISA ISSUANCES over the past 5 years. The Breakdown is as follows:
- In 2017: 40,208
- In 2018: 28,662
- In 2019: 41,087
- In 2020: 19,315
- In 2021: 21,919
40K K1 Visas issued in 2017 compared to 20k issued during COVID is a big drop.
Reason 2: Non-Proxy Virtual Marriage Option
The SOLE PURPOSE of the K1 Fiance Visa is to marry within the US. Marriage abroad may be too difficult for a US Citizen, and the Fiance coming to the US on a Tourist Visa may be impossible or an immigration violation. If marrying in the US is the K1 Visas only purpose, most US Citizens looking to marry someone abroad nowadays tend to stumble upon the Utah Virtual Marriage Option, which started in 2020, but really received traction in 2021 and 2022.
If already married, the Fiance Visa would no longer be an option. Plus, a spousal immigrant visa is generally twice as quick, half as expensive, and 100% electronic. Who would want to pay twice as much money for a process that is 2 times slower and mostly paper-based (accompanied by paper-based delays)?
Thus, the new virtual alternative is undercutting the “need” for the K1 Visa.
More information on the Utah Virtual Marriage Option can be seen here: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration/virtual-utah-marriage-alternative-to-a-proxy-marriage-for-immigration-purposes/
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