What to expect at the fiance visa interview
After the USCIS approves a K1 fiance visa, the approved petition is sent to the appropriate U.S. Embassy abroad where the K1 beneficiary is interviewed by a consular officer. Most K1 petitions that are not successful are denied at this stage. The most common reason for the denial is on the grounds that the relationship is not "bona fide." In short, this means that the consular official believes that the relationship may exist only for the purpose of obtaining U.S. immigration benefits or is otherwise not a legitimate relationship.
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Most K1 applicants are very nervous about the consular interview. I receive emails regularly asking questions about what to expect at the interview and this is the single largest area of concern for my clients. Many prospective clients also ask if my service includes preparation for the consular interview. For the most part the fear and anxiety over this stage of the K1 process is unfounded and I think is fueled, in large part, by horror stories and misinformation from applicants who had poorly documented cases or truly did not have a bona fide fiance relationship.
I have never had a client who has had a problem at a consular interview. But I also have never accepted a case where there wasn't strong evidence of a legitimate fiance relationship. I have also never filed a case that did not contain substantial evidence of the bona fide relationship. If the relationship is legitimate and the case is well documented then all the applicant has to do is answer some questions honestly.
Here is a list of some questions that one of my clients was recently asked at her consular interview:
- What is your fiance's father's name?
- What does your fiance's father do?
- Who is [fiance's mother's name]?
- Is your fiance still a student? (In this case, the fiance had just graduated from college.)
- Where will you and your fiance live?
- When did you last see your fiance?
- When you last met with your fiance did he go there alone or did he come with his family as well? (He came alone.)
- Have you ever spoken with your fiance's family members?
- Is your father still alive? (Applicant's father was deceased in this case.)
- How exactly did you meet on Facebook? (The couple met on Facebook.)
- What instant messenger program do you use to communicate?
- Did you ever meet your fiance's family on the webcam?
- How does it make you feel that your mother won't be able to go to the States and witness your marriage?
This is a fairly complete sampling of questions that were asked in an actual K1 interview in 2009. As you can see from the nature of the questions, there is nothing particularly difficult or tricky about the questions. Any person in the typical serious relationship would be able to answer these questions about their fiance.
The point of this article is not to act as a study guide for fiance visa applicants. The point of this article is to illustrate that so long as the relationship is a serious fiance relationship the interview should be a piece of cake. If your fiance can't answer some basic questions about you and your family you might want to reconsider going forward with the fiance visa process.
If you would like assistance with your K1 fiance visa petition please feel free to contact us for a free case evaluation.