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K-1 Approvals Surge, But So Does Backlog, Finds New Boundless Report

Oct 30, 2023

Boundless released a new report on national trends in K-1 fiancé visa applications. Here’s what we found:

  • Surge in Approvals: The first three quarters of FY2023 saw an increase in I-129F approvals, surpassing the total approvals for the entire FY2022.
  • Increase in backlog: The number of I-129F applications that were still pending rose from 30,408 in 2021 to 55,425 in 2022, an 82% increase.
  • Recovery from 2020: K-1 fiancé visa issuances showed a significant rebound in 2022, recovering from the lows experienced in 2020.
  • COVID-19 Impact: The pandemic had a profound impact on the K-1 visa application process, leading to substantial delays, backlogs, and policy changes.
  • Comparison with Other Visa Categories: In 2022, K-1 visa admissions made up only 0.3% of all nonimmigrant visas.
  • Shifts in Nationality: Post-pandemic, there was a noticeable decline in K visa recipients from countries like Vietnam, Great Britain/Northern Ireland, China, and Brazil. Meanwhile, the numbers for the Philippines and Mexico are approaching pre-pandemic levels.
  • Popular Destination States: In 2022, the most favored states for K-1 visa holders were California, Texas, Florida, and New York. Approximately 36% of K-1 visa sponsors listed these states as their current residence.
  • Impact of “90-Day Fiancé”: The debut of the show “90-Day Fiancé” had a discernible effect on K-1 visa approval rates. In 2022, approval rates reached their lowest point since USCIS started reporting the data.

For more, check out the full report.

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