Why Was My K-1 Visa Denied?
The K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a foreign fiancée of a United States citizen to enter the United States, marry the United States citizen and later become a lawful permanent resident by applying for a green card. As such, this visa is most commonly known as the “fiancée visa.” Many people don't know the reasons for a K-1 Visa denial, so this post will help you understand all the reasons your K-1 Visa could be denied. The K-1 visa is not automatically granted, however: if an application is insufficient or the couple does not meet the K-1 visa eligibility requirements, the application may be denied.
What Are Common Reasons That A K-1 Visa Gets Denied?
The K-1 visa is a very popular visa that allows lovers to be united and live together in the United States, but these visas can be and often are denied by USCIS for a variety of reasons.
- Insufficient Evidence Of A Genuine Relationship
Insufficient proof of a genuine relationship is one of the most common reasons that a K-1 visa gets denied: because of increased instances of fraud among K-1 visa applications, the USCIS takes extra precaution to make sure that the relationship between the couple is real, genuine and is not fabricated just for the purposes of obtaining the visa. Potential red flags that may draw questioning of the genuineness of the relationship include things such as large age gaps between the fiancées, discrepancies on social media, contradictory statements made during the K-1 visa interview or on the application and an usually short dating period before the engagement and filing of the K-1 visa application. Just because one or more of these factors exist does not automatically mean that your K-1 visa will be denied, but it is worth noting these factors.
- No Proof That The Fiancées Have Met In Person As Required By K-1 Visa Guidelines.
The K-1 visa application requires that you must have met your fiancée at least once in person in the preceding two years before the K-1 petition, and a failure to do so is grounds for denial of a K-1 visa application. An applicant should be prepared to present evidence of the in-person encounter, which can be supported by hotel reservations, flight tickets and photos of the fiancées together. The 2-year requirement does not mean that you must have known your fiancée for a full two full years: it just requires showing proof that you have actually met in person at some point within a two year period.
- One Or Both Fiancées Are Ineligible to Marry
If either you as the applicant and/or your hopeful fiancée are ineligible to be married, your K-1 visa application may be denied. A common scenario is when one or both of the fiancees are still in another marriage. Any prior marriages should be completely ended before filing a K-1 visa application, and you should be prepared to show documents supporting the divorce or annulment with, or death of, your prior spouse.
- The K-1 Visa Sponsor Fails To Meet The Income Requirements
The United States citizen fiancée, as the K-1 Visa Sponsor, has to meet the income requirements for a K-1 visa. Most specifically, the adjusted gross income on their newest tax return must equal at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The sponsor must sign an affidavit of support to show his or her ability to provide for the foreign fiancée.
- The Couple Fails To Show That They Are Ready And Able To Get Married In 90 Days
In a K-1 visa application, each person must submit a signed document stating their intention to get married within 90 days after the foreign fiancée arrives in the United States. This 90-day requirement is a crucial element in a K-1 visa application, and where the couple fails to show their intent of getting married within 90 days, the K-1 visa may get denied. While this is an important requirement, there are waivers available if there is a strong reason why you are unable to get married within the 90 days.
Other Potential Reasons For K-1 Visa Denial
Other potential reasons for denial of a K-1 visa application include administrative errors, failure to meet deadlines that may apply to the documents process, failing to pay the required fees for your application (or paying the wrong amount), leaving out important documents and proof and misrepresenting facts and documents in your application. A successful K-1 visa application requires attention to detail.
What Happens If My K-1 Visa Application is Denied?
If your K-1 visa is denied, you should contact an immigration lawyer who can assist you in the process of seeking reconsideration of your application. An application may have been denied because of a simple error, such as an accidental error in your application or a failure to pay the correct filing fees, or it may be denied due to you or your fiancée’s eligibility. The USCIS should inform you of the reason for denial so that you can take action accordingly. To reconsider the application that was denied, one of the following motions can be filed:
- Motion to reopen the application: This motion applies when there is new evidence or documentation that could provide credibility to the application.
- Motion to reconsider: This motion can be filed if you want to challenge the legitimacy of the decision of the officer evaluating your case. An immigration lawyer will be able to challenge the ultimate decision.
For more information about getting a K-1 Visa, read out guide discussing how hard is it to get a K-1 Visa.
How To Avoid Having Your K-1 Visa Application Denied
Taking proper steps to ensure that your application is filed accurately and timely, such as the following, helps to avoid denial of your visa:
- Have all supporting documents ready to go, and keep copies for yourself.
- Avoid misrepresenting facts and documents in your application-honesty is always best, and reviewing officers are watching closely.
- Prepare for your interview and show up on time.
- File timely and pay the fees. Deadlines, details and filing fees can be found on the USCIS website.
We also have a guide that can help you prepare for common K-1 Visa interview questions.
In addition to the steps above, it is also helpful to work with a lawyer in the preparation and filing of your K-1 visa application. Immigration lawyers have the knowledge and ability to assist you in filing a successful application, and can help in the case of any application denial.
Conclusion For K-1 Visa Denial
In conclusion, navigating the K-1 visa process can be complex, but understanding the common reasons for denial is key to a successful application.
These reasons include insufficient evidence of a genuine relationship, failure to meet in person as required, eligibility to marry, income requirements, and readiness to marry within 90 days. Additionally, administrative errors and misrepresentation can also lead to denials.
If your application is denied, seeking legal advice and understanding your options for reconsideration is crucial. To increase your chances of approval, ensure your application is complete, accurate, and filed on time.
Remember, honesty and attention to detail are paramount in this process. Working with an immigration lawyer can provide further guidance and improve the likelihood of a successful K-1 visa application.