Syed Law Firm has had recent success with an expedite request for an I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). [1] A United States Citizen (USC) had petitioned for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa for his foreign native fiancée. While the USC was teaching abroad in Northern Iraq, he met and fell in love with a foreign native English instructor at a University. The couple are both Iraqi Kurds, an Ethnic minority group that has long been persecuted in the region and had recently been put on the genocide watch list by the group Genocide Watch.[2] She is a citizen and resident of Iraq. He is a U.S. Citizen of Iraqi origin and returned to Iraq temporarily for work.

An expedite request is sent along with a petition or shortly after a petition is filed. Its goal is to inform USCIS that the case needs to be processed quickly. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) Policy Manual,[3] the agency may expedite a petition or application if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Severe financial loss to company or person;
  2. An emergency situation;
  3. Humanitarian reasons;
  4. Nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the U.S.;
  5. USCIS Error; or
  6. Compelling interest of USCIS

This petition needed to be expedited due to outbreak of war. Under the “humanitarian reasons” criterion, it states, “outbreak of war in the home country” as reason to expedite the request. It is particularly pressing due to the ongoing persecution of the ethnic minority group and as well as threats and insecurities for U.S. Citizens.

We argued for both humanitarian reasons and that this was an emergency situation to expedite the request. This emergency situation was due to time pressures; with a cultural custom that a marriage must come shortly after an engagement.

Some evidence we provided to create a strong case include the following:

  • Statement from an expert witness with academic or other first-hand expertise in the region
  • Supporting travel advisory articles from US government sources
  • News articles to support humanitarian reasons criterion such as articles relating to persecution of the ethnic minority group and attacks in the nearby region where the couple resides
  • Google maps included with articles for reference on where events occurred
  • Statement from USC and foreign fiancée detailing their request

If you or someone you know is in a similar situation or believes that they qualify for an expedite request, please contact our office for assistance.