The process of applying for a K-1 fiancé visa can be complicated, and many seemingly qualified couples have their applications denied all the time. A rejection can be confusing and upsetting, but you and your fiancé still have options. Here are the next steps you should take after your K-1 visa application is rejected.
Determine Reasons for Rejection
To qualify for a K-1 fiancé visa, you, the petitioner, must prove that you are a U.S. citizen, you and your fiancé are legally free to marry, you met within the last two years, and you intend to get married within 90 days of your fiancé’s entry into the U.S.
Failing to meet these basic requirements set out by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will result in a visa application rejection.
The USCIS rejects fiancé visa applications to mitigate marriage fraud. At the consulate or embassy level, the official interviewing you can reject your application if he or she is not convinced that your intentions for applying for the visa are legitimate.
Also, the USCIS conducts extensive background checks on petitioners and applicants to preserve the country’s safety. A criminal record or a tainted visa history on you or your fiancé’s part can raise red flags that could prompt a rejection of your K-1 visa application.
Certain crimes carry a heavier weight than others. Just because your record is not completely clean does not mean your application will automatically be denied. An immigration attorney can help you to navigate the process if you have a criminal record resulting from a misdemeanor. You should also speak to an attorney if you are unclear about the reasons why your application was denied.
File an Appeal
If you believe you met all the requirements set out by the USCIS, one option is to appeal the decision to deny your visa application. The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) is in charge of listening to and reviewing appeals from negative immigration decisions.
The AAO applies existing laws to the facts of a case to provide non-precedent decisions. This means the final decision is based not on past cases but on existing laws and the unique situations surrounding your case to ensure accuracy and fairness.
To file an appeal, you must submit the Notice of Appeal (Form I-290B), attach a copy of the rejection letter from USCIS, and pay the applicable filing fee. You must file your appeal within 30 days of receiving the rejection letter. To avoid making mistakes with your appeal, speak with an immigration lawyer to review your application.
Send your appeal documents to the USCIS office that rejected your application. The USCIS will review your original application, a process that may take 45 days. In case the USCIS upholds its denial, the AAO will review and provide you with the final decision within six months.
Send in a New Application
Your other option is to reapply for a fiancé visa. Submitting a new Petition for Alien Fiancé (Form I129F) is cheaper than an appeal and allows you to correct any previous mistakes. If you did not make copies of your initial application, you would have to do the paperwork all over again.
Understand that your fiancé will attend his or her interview at the same U.S. consulate. Also, your application could be rejected again unless it is evidentially different from the original one.
When applying for a K-I fiancé visa, a lot could go wrong due to lack of knowledge. It is also very distressing when you keep getting a negative response from the immigration department. Working with an experienced lawyer can help make the process less tiresome and boost your chances of success.
Make an appointment with Law Office of W. Shane Jennings to discuss your application process and legal options if you have been denied.