Great news! If you have been waiting for a Brazil K1 Visa for your fiance, the US Embassy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has resumed processing applications. Visa interviews for fiances of US Citizens are now being scheduled and visas are being issued. Patience is still required, however, as it could take several months to clear out the backlog of people waiting for an interview date.
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. This near-universal closure most definitely impacted K1 visa applicants in Brazil.
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 resumed processing K1 visa applications, 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, Brazil K1 visa fiances 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.
Now that COVID is no longer a threat to the majority of people, the NVC is sending K1 visa cases to Rio again. This is great news for the hundreds (thousands?) 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 K1 visa applicants, including those from Brazil.