I should begin by reminding you that 1) Google Answers are general
information, and are not intended to substitute for informed
professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal,
investment, accounting, or other professional advice, and that 2) I am
not a lawyer.
Obtaining a K1 visa to allow you to move to the US to marry your
sweetheart is easily done by yourself. There is no need for
lawyers--and, the processing time is exactly the same. In fact, you
can get all the forms you need online!
You'll need the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e). You can get the
You will also need to complete a G-325A for both the petitioner (the
US Citizen) and the Fiance(e). You can obtain the G-325A here:
I'd **HIGHLY** recommend that you fill out all the forms inside of
Adobe Acrobat. The G-325A is a fairly long-winded biographical form
that must be filed with FOUR copies. If you fill it on the computer in
Acrobat, all four copies will be made automatically when you print it
The person who is the US Citizen should file the I-129F. Follow the
directions CAREFULLY and TO THE LETTER! It is a VERY easy form
As for processing times, most I-129F's are processed between 4 and 9
months. If everything is running smoothly at the BCIS (Bureau of
Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly the INS) and you have
submitted all the correct paperwork, it can be very fast. If you miss
something, they will send a letter asking for the missed
documents--that will take the application longer to approve.
Once the I-129F is approved by the BCIS, the Fiance(e) will need to
attend at the Embassy or Consulate designated for the purpose of the
K1 visa in your home country.
There will be a few more requests for information that come from the
BCIS: namely, Police Certificate, Medical Report, and original birth
There is an excellent website that you may wish to use--you can share
your I-129F story with others, and see how long others have waited for
their I-129F to be approved. The site is called BritishExpats.com, and
they have a "US Marriage Based Immigration" forum:
But, to specifically answer your question: it takes no longer or
shorter period of time to get your I-129F approved if you use a
lawyer, or if you do not use a lawyer. Generally, 4-9 months.
Best wishes on the immigration process. It can be daunting at times,
but, it will be worth it in the long run.
If any part of this answer is not clear, please ask for clarification
prior to rating the answer.