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Applying for a fiancé visa? Beware of these challenges.

In 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received more than 38,000 applications for K-1 fiancé visas. Of these applications, over 10,000 were refused. While the K-1 visa rejection rate has begun to taper off in recent years, there are still many factors that can lead to a denial.

Government officials are wary that foreign individuals will use illegitimate marriage as a means of entering the country. For this reason, it’s particularly important to dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s when you submit your application – in order to create the strongest possible case for yourself. In this post, we provide a few key factors that immigration authorities will examine closely:

  • Do you have regular contact? If you’re carrying on a long-distance relationship, it’s expected that you’ll communicate daily – or at least almost daily. You need to be able to provide evidence of this – such as submitting emails, texts, chat transcripts or phone records.
  • Can your sponsor support you financially? Your American fiancé must earn at least 125% of the HHS poverty guidelines. For a two-person household based in any of the contiguous 48 states in 2022, their adjusted gross income must be at least $22,887.
  • Is there a significant age difference? Any two people can fall in love, regardless of age. However, the majority of marriages occur between partners of similar ages. If there is a considerable age gap, the USCIS will likely scrutinize your application. Consider finding additional evidence that your relationship is authentic.
  • Did you apply for a K-1 visa before? If so, this can raise a red flag for immigration officials, as it may appear that your primary motivation for coming to the U.S. is citizenship – not love. If you’ve applied before, it’s advisable to wait at least two years before applying again.
  • Do you and your fiancé speak the same language? If you have no language in common, immigration authorities will be dubious that you have sufficient commonalities to establish a true, love relationship.

The K-1 visa application process can be long, complicated and stressful. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney throughout this process can be tremendously helpful in avoiding many common pitfalls.