The K-1 Fiancee Visa permits a foreign national to enter the United States for purposes of marrying a United States citizen. Some of those fiancee visa petitions however, are denied. As a result, it is not unusual to see either of the parties simply give up due to exhaustion and delays with the process. The most common reasons for denial follow:
Misrepresentation: If either the petitioner or fiancee made a material misrepresentation or knew or should have known that incorrect information was being provided in the visa process, from the initial filing of the petition to the consular interview, the petition can be denied. An innocent failure to provide sufficient information can be appealed or cured by submitting another petition.
Insufficient Documentation or Information: When the petitoiner or fiancee are notified that they have not provided sufficient documentation or information, supplementing the petition can cause time constraints that might not be able to be met. This issue frequently arises in the context of termination of a prior marriage. Failure to provide satisfactory proof of divorce, annulment or death of a former spouse can delay or be cause for denial of a Fiancee Petition.
Conviction of a Crime: A fiancee petition can be denied if the fiancee has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, drug possession or trafficking or prostitution. Moral turpitude can loosely be defined as depraved and vile conduct that flies in the face of honest and moral conduct. The fiancee should also not have any immigration violations. On the petitioner’s side, the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) must be considered. Non-compliance with IMBRA can also result in denial of the petition.
Insufficient Relationship: Petitioner and fiancee must prove that they have personally met within the last 2 years and have developed a serious relationship with a genuine intent to marry. Proof can be provided in the form of airline boarding passes, hotel receipts, phone records, passport stamps and recent photos of the petitioner and fiancee together. Petitioners are encouraged to liberally supplement their petitions with such evidence.
Medical Issues: The fiancee is required to submit to an extensive medical examination, primarily for communicable diseases such as tuberculosis. The petition can be denied should the fiancee carry a communicable or sexually transmitted disease. A severe mental disorder can also be cause for denial as can a severe non-communicable physical disorder.
Petitioner’s Income: Petitioner is required to show a minimum income of at least 25% above the poverty level set by congress each year. The intent of this requirement is the concern that the fiancee not become a public charge in the future. If petitioner cannot initially cross this threshold, supplemental or new tax returns may be required.
And Finally the Interview: The fiancee’s preparation for the consular interview is critical. They should be clean and neatly dressed, prepared to answer questions regarding their relationship with the petitioner and have full and complete documentation to supplement their answers to questions in order to dispel any doubts about a sham marriage. Well prepared and well documented petitions will bring shorter interviews and fewer questions, but preparation for the questions is again critical. Inability to answer simple questions may bring the credibility of the fiancee into issue, causing denial.
Assuming the parties are prepared, honest, sincere, know each other well and genuinely wish to marry, experience has it that the interview questions will be quite simple. As I tell my clients, all you have to do is tell the truth. Its the easiest thing to remember.
It is prudent to obtain the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney when initiating the K-1 Visa process.
This article is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as creating an attorney/client relationship.