4 Reasons Why Your K-1 Visa Application Was Denied
The K-1 is a non-immigrant visa, which allows any US citizen to sponsor a foreign fiancé that they wish to invite to the United States. As part of the requirements for this visa, the petitioning couple must prove that they intend to get married within 90 days of the engaged partner’s arrival in the country.
In the past, the K-1 visa has been one of the most surefire paths for entry into the United States with average annual approval rates of over 90%. However, under the Trump administration, K-1 denials have increased quite significantly. Today, an estimated 37% of applicants are ruled inadmissible at the initial interview stage while overall acceptance rates have fallen to around 80%. With these trends in place, K-1 applicants must prepare their forms and supporting documents to stand up to even the most intense scrutiny. Here are some key issues that could lead to a denied K-1 visa application.
Inadequate documentation can easily lead to a denied visa application. The documents you provide must be presented according to stated legal requirements and they must show that:
- The petitioner is a legal US citizen.
- Both parties are eligible for marriage (i.e all previous marriages have been legally terminated, and both parties are of legal age).
- Both parties have met within 2 years of the date of petition.
- The petitioner is capable of supporting their foreign fiancé in the United States.
Failure to Prove Legitimacy of the Relationship
One of the main hurdles to clear before visa approval is proving that the relationship is genuine and that both parties intend to get married within the 90-day limit. So applicants must ensure that they present solid evidence in support of their relationship. In this case, potential red flags may include:
- Engagement after a short time knowing each other.
- Large age differences.
- Clear religious or cultural differences.
- Language barriers.
- Lack of photo evidence, receipts, and other paperwork showing time spent together.
- Previous fiancé visa petitions filed within the past 10 years.
A Poor Interview
Generally, applicants are only allowed a few minutes to state their case to an immigration official before a final decision is made on their application. With such a limited amount of information to go on, any strange or inappropriate behavior can easily sink an otherwise airtight application. In particular, applicants should make sure to:
- Dress appropriately, in business casual or formal attire.
- Refrain from making any loud or overly opinionated statements.
- Remain sensitive to American culture and attitudes.
Fraud or Misrepresentation
Any inaccuracies or falsehoods will not only lead to the denial of your application, but they could sink your chances of ever gaining entry into the United States in the future. If the processing agent determines that:
- You have falsified photo evidence.
- Faked supporting affidavits from friends and family members.
- Information provided by friends and family members differs from details in the application forms.
- Criminal and medical records are incomplete, faked, or inadequate.
- Income statements have been falsified.
Then the foreign fiancé will be rendered inadmissible for the K-1 visa.