Happy Couple celebrates their Fiancee visa approval Immigration petition is approved
Reasons Fiancee and Spousal Visas are Denied

Each Fiancee/Spousal visa applicant is interviewed by a consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Generally at the end of the interview the applicant will be advised whether the petition is approved or denied.

There are many reasons why a visa application may be denied:  perhaps due to the lack of required information or documents, or denied for more serious reasons such as the applicant’s current and/or past activities, such as fraud, drugs or crimes, that may make the applicant ineligible for a visa.

Common Reasons for Denial are as follows:

Bone Fide relationship: not demonstrated
Criminal History
Documentation Incomplete
Face to Face Meeting: Longer than 2 years
Financial eligiblity: not met
Medical 
Misrepresentation
Past Visa Restrictions
Visa Violations


Bone Fide relationship: not demonstrated

In order to be approved for the visa a couple must be able to prove to a skeptical immigration official that the couple has a "bone fide" or genuine relationship. The consular officer looks at the materials and statements that the couple have submitted, and the answers the fiancee/spouse makes to his questions, to make a judgement. His judgement will be based upon his intuition and experience, and a comparison of what this couples history looks like compared to others in a similar situation.

What may cause the Consular officer to "disbelieve" the genuineness of the couple could be:

A.  Becoming engaged or married unusually fast

B. Limited "face to face time"

C. Limited communications.

D. Only one trip. Some consulate officers expect multiple trips.

E. Infrequent trips. An unusually long period of time transpiring between trips, or since last trip.

E. Few or no photos.

F. Storys don't match. Details provided by sponsor don't EXACTLY match those provided by fiancee/spouse

G. "Middleman" involved. Intrusive involvement of an outsider in the relationship,  who introduced couple AND escorted the US sponsor on his trip to meet fiancee/spouse.

H.  Did not match local Cultural norms.  Courtships, engagements, relationships that don't meet the expectation of what the consular officer deems as consistent with the local culture may be denied.


Criminal History

As a way to keep America safe, Immigration will exclude foreign born fiancee/spouses with criminal records, depending on the nature of their crimes.

Recently due to the IMBRA laws, immigration is also now mandated to protect the foreign fiancee/spouse by excluding some Americans with criminal records, especially those who have records involving substance abuse, spousal abuse, and violence.


Documentation Incomplete

Providing less than a complete set of primary and supporting documents may lead to denial.

A. Lack of proof of termination of ALL prior marriages

Face to Face Meeting: Longer than 2 years

Applicants for a Fiancee visa must demonstrate their last meeting occured NO LONGER than 24 months prior to the date their petiiton is recieved by USCIS. 

Financial eligiblity: not met

Applicants for Fiancee visas must demonstrate their household income to be 100 % of the national poverty  level. For Spousal visas or Adjustment of Status they must demonstrate household income of 125% of the national poverty level.


Medical

Fiancee/Spouses undergo clinical medical exams. Applicants with diseases that present a "public health risk" may be excluded.  Those with signs of substance abuse or mental illness may also be excluded.


Misrepresentation

Statements made to immigration are made "under oath". Those caught providing false information may be excluded.


Past Visa Restrictions

A fiancee/spouse who was an exchange visitor, and has not yet met the two year foreign residency requirement may be denied.


Visa Violations

Past misuse of US visas may result in denial. Fiancee/spouses who overstayed in USA 6 months to a year, are BANNED from any new US visa for 3 years. Those who overstayed for over 1 year, are BANNED for 10 years.

By Fred Wahl