Which Service Center Should I Choose for My K-1/K-2 Visa Application?


Which Service Center should I choose? This is the question most of us ask ourselves at the beginning of our visa application journey. It's only natural to wonder, especially when USCIS publishes different wait times for each service center. However, when it comes to I-129F (K-1/K-2) visa applications, the choice of Service Center lies beyond the control of applicants.

The Illusion of Choice

It's a common misconception among K-1/K-2 applicants that they have the freedom to choose their Service Center. Furthermore, since the mailing address is in Texas, applicants often assume that their case will be processed at the Texas Service Center. However, the reality is quite different:

Regardless of where the forms are sent, all I-129F petitions are funneled to one central location - the California Service Center.

Why California?

The California Service Center has been designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as the sole processing center for I-129F (K-1/K-2) visa applications. It serves as the hub for evaluating these cases. Only a small fraction, approximately 0.3%, of cases are eventually transferred to Vermont Service Center, which specializes in cases where the petitioner has a criminal history relating to the Adam Walsh Act.

Decoding the Receipt Number

How can you confirm that your application is indeed being processed at the California Service Center? The answer lies in your receipt number! If your receipt's first three letters are "WAC", your case is being handled by the California Service Center. In fact, each service center adds their own three letter prefix to their receipt numbers:

  • EAC - Eastern Adjudication Center (Vermont Service Center)
  • IOE - USCIS Electronic Immigration (ELIS)
  • LIN - Lincoln Service Center (Nebraska Service Center)
  • MSC and NBC - Missouri Service Center (National Benefits Center)
  • SRC - Southern Regional Center (Texas Service Center)
  • WAC - Western Adjudication Center (California Service Center)
  • YSC - Potomac Service Center

USCIS provides an official table showing which USCIS centers are currently processing each form type.


When it comes to I-129F (K-1/K-2) visas, the best way to optimize your processing time is to complete your application with precision (so as to avoid a Rejection or Request for Evidence) and to file as soon as possible.

Once you do file, we at Track My Visa Now are dedicated to providing you with accurate processing time forecasts.

— Nika, Track My Visa Now