Fiance Visa and Immigrant Visa Denials on the Rise

Fiance Visa and Immigrant Visa Denials on the Rise

Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Assocation, or AILA, recently reported some outstanding statistics about denial rates for visas to the U.S. In fiscal year 2009. The Department of State (the government agency responsible for adjudicating visa applications) denied and returned over 54,000 visa applications to the USCIS for revocation. Although no case specific date was presented, AILA experts believe that a majority of these denials were marriage-based immigrant visa petitions or fiance visa petitions.

Avoid K1 Visa and Spousal Visa Denials

With increasing instances of visa fraud fiance visa and spousal visa applications are being scrutinized now more than ever. Increase your chances for success by hiring a qualified immigration attorney. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.

Although there is no definitive data to suggest the reasons that marriage-based immigrant visa petitions and K1 fiancee visa petitions seem to experience a higher rate of denial, there is anecdotal evidence that suggests the reasons may be two-fold. First, the most common reason for denial of a K1 fiance visa or marriage based immigrant visa petition is that the consular official does not believe that the marriage or fiance/fiancee relationship is legitimate. Although the vast majority of marriage based immigrant visa petitions and fiance visa petitions are likely legitimate, there is a proportional high instance of fraud in these types of visa petitions so the cases are more carefully scrutinized. Secondly, the percentage of visa applicants in marriage-based and fiance cases who are unrepresented by counsel is higher than in employment-related visa cases.

The unfortunate result of this higher level of scrutiny coupled with an increased instance of unrepresented visa applicants is that many cases that should be approved are unjustly being denied. This is especially true at consular posts such as Ho Chi Minh, Kiev, Guangzhou, and Manila which claim to experience proportionally high levels of marriage and fiance visa fraud. (Some of these posts have departments who are dedicated to investigating potential fraud cases.)

Most immigration practitioners believe that most of the valid cases which are unsuccessful are denied because the cases are not properly documented or are insufficiently documented. In all likelihood these are cases that would have succeeded if the applicant was represented by a qualified immigration attorney.

Unfortunately for the applicant and the U.S. Citizen petitioner, there is very little that can be done to successfully rectify a visa application that has been denied at the consular level. Typically, the end result is that the applicant and his or her U.S. Citizen spouse or fiance are back at square one after a year or more into the process.

Although AILA members and other members of the immigration bar are actively lobbying for changes in the visa application process that would benefit all involved, the best solution for those considering filing an spousal or fiance visa application is to hire an experienced immigration attorney.


NewsLetter Sign-up

Subscribe to our immigration law newsletter today and receive important updates about U.S. immigration law and information about great new resources we offer.