A K-class visa is a non-immigrant visa category. It is widely used for a loved one of a US citizen to join them in the United States. The K-1 class explicitly is for a fiancé(e) to join his or her partner in the United States. Have you experienced a fiancé(e) visa denial? If so, it could have been denied for many different reasons. It is important to know how to address issues specific to your case.
The overall number of applicants to the K-class category has decreased since 2016 by roughly 10% annually. This means applications received in 2017 been lower than those received in previous periods. Furthermore, the K-1 category has seen an overwhelming number of rejections and denials in recent years as well.
Having Your Fiancé(e) Visa Denied is Common
More than 35% of all K-1 category visa applicants had their applications rejected in 2017. This amounts to over 20,000 rejected visas. However, the high K-1 visa denial rate is not surprising. This is because it is a visa category that is at high risk of fraud. Some experts cite a wide range of reasons for rejections. Furthermore, it is important to note that, on appeal, most denials are reversed, with only 40% of appeals being unsuccessful.
Rejection vs Denial
While these two terms may seem synonymous, they actually have very different meanings in immigration law. Your fiancé(e) visa is processed in two main stages. During the first stage, your petition will be looked over to ensure that all of your information is there and that the necessary documents filed and the fees are correct. If your petition fails this stage, it will probably be “rejected”.
If it passes, it will move onto the second stage. Here, the evaluating officer will determine if you are eligible for a fiancé(e) visa through information gathered by your petition and through your interview. If your petition fails this stage, it will likely be “denied”.
Reasons for Having a Fiancé(e) Visa Denied or Rejected
There are many reasons as to why visas are denied or rejected, some more common than others. This is because there are diverse rules and unique circumstances for individual cases. However, based on our experience, common K-1 visa denial reasons are as follows:
- Human error, such as administrative errors made in filling the application. Also, not adhering to legal requirements for the application. This often results in rejection.
- Missing time restrictions and limits that apply to documents gathering.
- Not meeting basic requirements, such as meeting your fiancé(e) in person at least once in the preceding two years.
- You must provide adequate proof of these meetings. This proof must be in accordance with K-1 visa application guidelines. Also, not proving intent to marry can result in a visa rejection.
- Having a criminal record or certain medical conditions.
- Misrepresenting facts, documents, or other application-related data.
- Your fiancé(e) visa my be denied at the interview because of an unconvinced consular officer. Not convincing the consular officer of the legitimacy of your relationship is a major contributor to visa rejections. It may even be better to get married and then apply for a spouse visa.
Officially published statistics only point towards an overall list of reasons given for denial of non-immigrant visas. This list is very general in nature. However, it must be noted that documentation-related administrative mistakes or missed deadlines can easily result in a denial. Always ensure that your documentation is in order. Also, consult an immigration adviser to look out for dependencies overall.
Remedial Steps for Rejected Fiancé(e) Visas
If your petition was rejected because of a simple error with your petition or filing fees, the best thing to do may be to just refile the petition with the help of an immigration attorney. However, if your petition was denied due to your ineligibility, it may require more steps.
Other steps that you can take to improve your chances of a successful K-1 visa application include:
- Making sure you have all documents requested by the right authorities indicated.
- Ensuring you file your application by taking note of processing times and requirements. The consular representative is the ultimate issuing authority who will approve or reject your K-1 visa. Therefore, you must provide any additional documentation and evidence requested by the consular officer in addition to mandatory documents.
In case of a rejection, meticulous care must be taken. This will help put things back on track for you upon appeal. If you have missed a document or do not fully satisfy a condition, then you must gather evidence as required. Sometimes it is a case of specific requirements that are unique to your case. At other times, it is a case of missing general guidelines. Whatever these may be, you will need to work to provide a compelling case as to why your relationship is genuine.
In many cases, you may be able to file one of two legal motions to have your case reviewed a second time:
Motion to Reopen – This is used when new documentation or evidence has come to light that may change the outcome of the fiancé(e) visa case should it be reopened.
Motion to Reconsider – This is used when you and your immigration attorney believe that the evaluating officer was incorrect in his or her decision and you can demonstrate this through a legal argument.
Because they require such legal finesse, neither of these routes should be taken without having an immigration attorney at the helm. This is the best way to overturn a fiancé(e) visa denial successfully.
Depending on your situation, you might also be able to file an appeal to a third party, namely, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), which is a part of the USCIS. Your fiancé(e) visa denial notice should indicate whether or not you can appeal this decision. The AAO does not easily overturn the decisions of USCIS officers, so the argument for the appeal should be strong and assembled by a qualified immigration attorney.
Fiancé(e) Visa Statistics
US Department of State stats show that in 2017, 60% of refusals were reversed. This was only when objections were overcome or waivers were obtained. This puts the final refusal rate from the overall number of applications for a non-immigrant category K-1 visa at around 15%. However, most reversals are on an unspecified number of objections. There is no clear list of violations that are given for the K-1 visa category.
If you meet K-1 visa criteria and have all your documents in order, then there is nothing to worry about. However, 40% of refusals are ultimately rejected altogether even after appeal. This means you should make sure that you have everything in order. A qualified and experienced immigration lawyer will help improve your chances of a decision reversal in cases of an initial refusal.
Suffering Through a Fiancé(e) Visa Denial? We’re Here to Help
Every year, thousands of applicants go through the K-1 visa application process. This is a widely used visa category for a wide variety of people who wish to see their loved ones in the United States with them. It is always our intent to help you win an appeal against decisions that have not been made in your favor.
Even though your fiancé(e) can be denied a visa for a variety of reasons, this is certainly not the end of the road. If you have received your second notice indicating a refusal, then this is the time to double-check all your options. If you plan carefully and have a professional assist you, then you can dramatically improve your chances of a reversal of the decision.
Our team of legal professionals with deep industry experience offers the assistance you need. We’ll help you navigate the legal landscape, even for issues after arrival in the US. Such services include adjustments of status. We help you overcome issues blocking not just your K-1 visa application but beyond as well. Fill out our contact form if you need assistance with filing, petitioning, or following-up with a K-1 visa application. An assigned legal expert will help you work on positively resolving your case.