Here are the Top 10 Reasons a K-1 Fiance Visas are denied.
It used to be that fiance visa cases were approved over 90% of the time. Those were the good old days. Unfortunately, as of the beginning of 2019, due to the current stance on immigration, nationwide, fiance visa cases are only being approved 50% of the time. Happily, our office has almost a 100% approval rate for fiance visas.
You should keep the following things in mind if you want to improve your chances of your case being approved. Below are the top 10 reasons fiance visa cases are denied.
Reason 1. Your fiancé has violated the terms of his or her U.S. visa in the past. Overstaying a U.S. visa by more than 180 days for example can cause your fiancé to not be able to obtain a fiancé visa (or be able to come to the U.S. at all) for 3 years or 10 years if the overstay was over one year.
Reason 2. The U.S. Citizen is not able to financially support his or her fiancé . The U.S. Citizen must show the U.S. government that he or she makes 100% of the federal poverty level, for his or her new family size, for a fiancé visa case. This is because the U.S. Citizen and any co-sponsor (if allowed) will likely be paying the U.S. government back in case your fiancé gets government benefits. You can visit the U.S government’s website to determine if your income is high enough to qualify to obtain the fiance visa. If your income is not at 100% of the federal poverty level (based on your family size) you will run into problems in the area and your fiance visa can be denied. You can use cash, bank accounts, or assets to also help you meet this requirement.
Also, you may be able to obtain a co-sponsor (depends on the consulate or embassy) to help you but this is not true in every case. Also, if you think you may not be able to qualify feel free to contact our office. Many times we can help you in this area.
Reason 3 Either the U.S. Citizen or his or her fiancé has past criminal issues. Any past criminal matter should be evaluated by an Attorney, prior to filing, to make sure it will not cause the fiance visa case to be denied. If the U.S. Citizen does not qualify to obtain a fiance visa then the marriage green card (while the fiance is abroad) should be explored. The last thing you would want to do is file a case that has very little chance of being approved and waste the time involved in having USCIS deny your case. It is far better to take the time to resolve any issues prior to filing anything with USCIS.
Reason 4 One of you is not free to marry. A fiance visa case will be denied if it is filed before you are legally divorced. Prior to filing you should make absolutely sure that all previous marriages, for both parties, are completely terminated. This means that all prior marriages have terminated either by death, divorce, or annulment. There are plenty of people who believe that they are legally divorced, when, in fact, their divorce has not been finalized. If you are unsure if your divorce is final you should consult with a family law attorney in the state where your divorce was filed.
Reason 5 It has been more than 2 years since you last saw your fiancé in person. Seeing someone on Skype does not count as an in person meeting. Keep receipts, plane tickets and other evidence of any in-person meetings you have with your fiancé. You may be able to have this requirement waived based on medical or religious reasons.
Reason 6 . The paperwork you provide USCIS is incomplete. You should be given a Request for Evidence to correct this type of problem. If you do, you need to timely provide the requested information, or your case will be denied. It is possible that USCIS will simply deny your case if you are missing a given document. If this occurs you will have to re-file your case and repay the filing fees. If you are asked for a specific document provide that document. Sometimes people provide incorrect documents to USCIS (or to their attorneys !)
Reason 7. Not Telling the Truth on Your paperwork. Lying or misleading USCIS on paperwork can lead to denial and other very serious long-term consequences. Simply do not do it. The potential cost is too great. If you believe you have a reason to lie in your case speak to an immigration attorney. Many times, things that you believe will cause you problems in your case, are not big problems and can be corrected.
Reason 8. Your Fiance has a medical condition which could threaten public safety or is mentally ill or has a drug or alcohol problem. These things should be evaluated, by an attorney, prior to filing your fiance visa case.
Reason 9. The Consular Officer has reason to believe that the relationship is not real. This includes, but is not limited to, a large age difference between the parties, limited visits between the parties, different religions, not speaking a same language, not complying with cultural norms of the fiance’s country, or there being a short amount of time from the time of meeting to the time of applying for the fiancé visa.
Reason 10. Your fiancé has a bad interview. This is a big reason. Your fiancé should know a lot about you in order to have a good interview. It may be embarrassing to you but tell her all about yourself, your current economic situation (job, living situation etc.), your past relationships and any criminal history. If something is brought up about you at the interview your fiance should know about it. Not knowing important facts about you is a serious red flag to USCIS. You should go over the fiance visa interview questions with your fiance prior to his or her interview. Your fiance should also bring plenty of evidence, including, but not limited to, all documents filed in the case, to the interview.
If all goes well in the process the fiance visa should be either approved the same day or within about a week. You fiance will then come to the United States and you will have 90 days to get married to you. You will then file the adjustment of status paperwork so that your fiance may obtain his or her permanent residency (green card).
Sometimes, I am asked if there is a way to bring a fiance into the United States sooner. For example, in H-1b cases there is something known as premium processing. Basically, the employer in this type of case can pay an an extra filing fee so that the case can be adjudicated sooner. Unfortunately, at present, premium processing is not available in fiance visa cases. For now the best way to bring your fiance into the United States is to file a quality petition, with strong supporting evidence, and avoid the 10 reasons fiance visas are denied described above.
If you would like more information about the fiance visa process please read our blog article: Top 10 Things You Should Know about the Fiance Visa Process.
Lawrence Gruner is a fiance visa attorney with over 20 years of experience handling these types of cases. His office handles cases throughout the United States and the World. He can be reached at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He would be happy to consult with you on your potential fiance visa case. There is no charge for Attorney Gruner to consult with you on your fiance visa case.
The information above is general in nature and does not take the place of a consultation with an immigration attorney. Laws can and do change. Please do not rely on the advice well meaning friends and family when it comes to your immigration case. Instead at least consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing any documents with USCIS. All the best to you.