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How to Get Approved for the K-1 Visa Application

— January 29, 2021

If you’ve arranged your marriage through an IMB or International Marriage Broker, then you must disclose necessary information to the USCIS.

Bringing your foreign partner into the United States to get married is the final thing you must be looking forward to starting a new beginning. But the journey is not going to be easy. This is when you realize that at least 20% of the K-1 visa applications were rejected in 2019, citing one reason or another. 

And the most important thing to consider is most of those rejections could have been avoided. If you’re petitioning for the K-1 fiancé (e) visa, then there are few things you must keep in mind to get approved. This article explains them in brief.

Never Submit an Incomplete K-1 Visa Application

During the same year of 2019, when the USCIS rejected 20% of the K-1 visa applications, the total number of people applying for the visa was 45,399. Out of them, 35,881 got approval. Such a high number of applications also make the K-1 visa one of the most sought after visas. The high approval of almost 80% maybe because there are no caps on this visa.

But the USCIS doesn’t, under any circumstances, entertain incomplete forms. This is a common reason why visa applications get rejected. And the reason why the government agency is so blatant with rejecting incomplete forms is because of the INA Section 221(g), under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

This section states that if any essential information is missing from an application or petition file, it will be refused without any administrative processing. Given the vast number of applications USCIS receives, it may or may not ask for additional information. But one thing for sure is your application will get delayed.

Sign Wherever Asked Without Fail

While this section could have been included in the first section itself, it must get a special mention. It is because it’s essential to sign at every place where it’s asked to do so. This point is specifically mentioned in the instructions manual of every form USCIS offers. Unsigned forms are rejected straightforwardly.

Make Sure You (and Your Fiancé) are Eligible

You need to check whether or not you are eligible for the K-1 visa application in the first place. It’s not uncommon for applicants to apply for a specific type of visa application they aren’t eligible for. While it might be an unintentional act, the final result will be rejection.

And to start the K-1 visa application process, you need to file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé (e). Primarily, two groups of people file it:

  1. Those looking to get married in the United States, in which case the alien will be a K-1 nonimmigrant.
  2. Those who are already married and the foreign spouse is looking to relocate for which he/she will be a K-3 nonimmigrant.

So you need to complete the sections of the Form I-129 that apply to you and not the other way around.

Also, check for the following eligibility criteria:

  • The petitioner is a US citizen.
  • The US citizen should be financially capable of supporting the alien fiancé.
  • They are legally free to marry.
  • They have physically met in-person within the last two years.
  • They intend to marry within 90 days after the entry.

Only after you’ve confirmed the things mentioned above should you apply for a K-1 visa.

Always Disclose IMB Information 

If you’ve arranged your marriage through an IMB or International Marriage Broker, then you must disclose necessary information to the USCIS. These brokers’ primary job is to introduce two people from different countries for the specific purpose of getting married.

These kinds of marriages are regulated in the United States under the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act or IMBRA of 2005. It protects both immigrants and US citizens from potential abuse in the future after the marriage has taken place.

Form I-129F will ask for all the crimes that the petitioner or the US citizen has committed in the past. If there have been cases of a felony or domestic violence, then he/she must disclose it to both the USCIS and foreign fiancé.

Furthermore, the IMB should conduct a background check and share the findings with the foreign national in his/her primary language. Read the IMBRA of 2005 for more information.

Supplement Your Petition With Enough Supporting Documents

Providing information on Form I-129F is one part. The other part is offering necessary documents that support the statement. The petitioner has to provide documents for the following:

  • The couples have met in-person in the past two years
  • They have an intention to marry within 90 days of entry.
  • They are legally allowed to marry in the state they intend to tie the knot.
  • Have a good relationship leading up to the marriage.
  • Financially capable of supporting the alien fiancé (single-handedly or co-sponsored).

If the Council finds the documents to be insufficient, then he/she may reject the application. Therefore, you must do the best job possible to support the cause.

Attend the Interview at Exact Scheduled Time

To prove that the engagement is a bona fide, they will ask the alien fiancé (e) to come for an interview at the local embassy. They will ask specific questions and look for discrepancies in the information in the Form I-129F. If there’s a mismatch, then they will likely take it as marriage fraud. Therefore, it’s best, to be honest, and clear about everything throughout the K-1 visa application process.

Do Not Pass the 90-Day Deadline to Get Married

Image of a wedding couple
Wedding Couple; image courtesy of
StockSnap via Pixabay,

The intention to marry 90 days after the date of entry of the fiancé into the US has already been mentioned multiple times. Only after this condition is met can the alien fiancé readjust his/her status to permanent resident. If not, then there’s a chance of revoking the K-1 nonimmigrant visa, and he/she will be deported. For these reasons, it’s essential to get married as soon as possible and notify the officials accordingly.

There are other reasons, too, that can potentially trigger the K1 visa application rejection. This includes a misrepresentation of facts, missing deadlines, or applying for divorce too soon after marriage. It’s important to understand that the USCIS will likely track your marital status a few more years after marriage. 

Also, they’ll be running background checks wherever necessary to detect any discrepancy that went unnoticed previously. Therefore it’s essential to maintain a healthy relationship even after the K-1 visa is approved.

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