Great news! If you have been waiting for a Brazil K1 Visa (fiance visa), the US Embassy in Rio de Janeiro has resumed processing. Visa interviews for fiances of US Citizens are now being scheduled. Patience is still required, however, as it could take several months to clear out the backlog.
Brazil K1 Visa During COVID
In March 2020, US Embassies and Consulates worldwide ceased normal visa processing due to COVID. Most applicants could not interview for tourist visas, employment/business visas or family visas, including K1 fiance visas.
The State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) is responsible for receiving each newly-approved I-129f fiance petition from USCIS and transmitting it to the US consular post where the applicant resides. The applicant then works with the post to schedule their interview. During the COVID closure, NVC held all K1 cases and did not forward them to posts that were closed.
In late summer 2020, a few Embassies and Consulates started processing K1 visa applications again, only to close down again when COVID cases increased in that country. Brazil had a particularly hard time with COVID, causing the US Government to bar most Brazilians from traveling here. Although Brazilian spouses of US Citizens were automatically exempt from the travel ban, K1 visa fiances from Brazil were not. During much of the closure, only K1 visa applicants with life or death emergencies qualified for an interview at the otherwise closed consular post.
Brazil K1 Visa Interviews
The NVC is sending K1 visa cases to Rio again. This is great news for the hundreds of couples who have been waiting to schedule their visa interviews. It is now time to dust off those birth and police certificates and start filling out the DS-160. While the travel restrictions for Brazil are still in place, the State Department has now carved out an exception for Brazilian fiances of US Citizens.