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Engaged to an American? How to prove that your relationship is legitimate

You’ve fallen in love with an American and have gotten engaged. Now you want to move to the U.S. so you can be together. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires you to jump through several hoops in order to make that happen.

If you’re applying for a K-1 fiancé visa, one of the most important things you’ll need to prove to the U.S. government is that your relationship is legitimate. Here are a few things that the USCIS can view as suspicious:

Significant age gap

While any two people can fall in love, May-December relationships may be viewed with extra scrutiny. If you’re 20 or 30 years younger than your fiancé, immigration officers may look for evidence that you are just using the marriage opportunity as a means of obtaining a green card. In cases of major age differences, it can be helpful to provide other evidence to help demonstrate that your relationship is founded on love.

No common language

You and your fiancé may not have the same mother tongue, but being able to both speak a common language will help your application. If you only speak Portuguese and your fiancé only speaks English, for example, then this can make the USCIS question how you’ve been able to establish a meaningful relationship.

In all cases, it can be helpful to provide evidence of your communication with your fiancé – including texts, emails or letters. You’ll also want to be able to demonstrate the frequency of your communication.

History of K-1 application

If you’ve applied for a K-1 visa in the past with a different fiancé, this could be seen as a red flag. The USCIS could view this as evidence that your main reason for getting married is to get a green card – not because you’re in love. The longer the time gap between your last application and your current one, the less suspicious this seems.

The K-1 visa process requires an extraordinary number of details to be in place. One minor misstep can lead to a rejection. Working with an experienced immigration lawyer from the onset can greatly improve your chances of success.