The Consulate General is unable to issue a visa to you because you have been found ineligible under the following section (s) of the U.S. immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 221(g) of the Act prohibits the issuance of a visa to anyone who has failed to present documents required in connection with the visa application or who has failed to submit sufficient credible evidence to support the claimed petitioner relationship.
This was on the letter Belinda’s fiance sent her after his failed K1 Fiance visa interview in Havana, Cuba.
One of the scariest moments your fiance might have is when she is handed a letter with the above message during or immediately after the visa interview at the consulate.
Section 221(g) is the most common refusal for immigrant visas.
The CRITICAL portion of a 221(g) refusal letter, are the next paragraph that comes after the above introduction. Either it lists what is MISSING from your application, offering you a second chance to provide them, or tells you the case is “on its way back to USCIS”. I call these soft and hard denials.
There is another type of soft denial, when the consulate advises the case is being held for additional processing. This is called Administrative Processing, and I will talk about AP in a future newsletter.
You don’t want to get a 221(g) letter at all, but if you DO get one, you want a Soft denial. A soft denial means your petition is still in play, you still are in the running to be approved for the visa. You just need to carefully respond, IN FULL.
Missing documents could be something simple like a birth certificate, tax return or police clearance. Or might be something much more involved. You could get the all inclusive “provide evidences that prove your relationship is bone fide”. Of course, a convincing demonstration that your relationship is bone fide is the major objective of the front loaded presentations VisaCoach would have created for you if you were wise enough to hire VisaCoach at the start of your case. So far, no client who submitted a VisaCoach Front Loaded Presentation. has ever received a 221(g) letter asking for more relationship proofs.
Its Not Too Late.
If your DIY attempt was not of VisaCoach’s high standards, and you now need to “catch up” at the interview, it is not too late. Under 221(g), the consular officer has kindly offered you a second chance to show better proofs. “Kindly” is used, because he could just as easily given you a “hard” denial with no opportunity to respond. You usually have ample time to properly reply, BUT you have only ONE more chance. You must make this last effort count. It is far better to take extra time to do a thorough job and win your visa, then to rush to submit an incomplete answer leading to denial.
Back to Belinda. She called me to talk about her denied K1 Fiance Visa. She had known her Cuban fiance for a year, traveled to meet him, then waited two more years before submitting a fiance visa petition. USCIS received her petition just under the 2 year filing deadline. She had hired a “paralegal” to help her to fill in the blanks. What she and the paralegal didn’t understand, was that claiming you want to marry and spend a life with someone, but also allowing a long, extended separation, does not look particularly convincing vis a vis the bone fides of your relationship. Yes, it is within the eligibility rules to submit a petition, without having seen your fiance face to face for the past 23 and 3/4 months, however the appearance of being a genuine couple is sorely damaged.
Her fiance was given 221(g), soft denial, and asked to provide more proofs of the bone fides of the relationship. Here was their second and last chance to convince the consular officer to say “yes”. The Fiance rushed home taking a 12 hour bus ride, rifled through his desk for some extra photos of his American Fiance’s visit, now three years past, and rushed back to the consulate the next day, sitting another grueling 12 hours on the bus.
The consular officer was not impressed.
The couple did not fully understand the real meaning of the request for more bone fides, and instead of providing ample, and complimentary proofs, submitted a slap dash response.
The case was denied and is on its way back to USCIS. Eventually USCIS will send a notice to Belinda re-confirming the denial. I told her that if
when she hires me to help her with her second attempt, that this time with VisaCoach on the case,
providing she follows my advice and does what I ask her to do, I fully expect her fiance to get his visa.
The ideal case is that couples contact me, and we start working together, early in their plans and engagement. When I provide couples with FULL support, start to finish, I can guarantee success for their application, as my involvement always includes a high quality, VisaCoach Front Loaded Presentation, that tells your story, to the consular officer, and convinces him of the bone fides of your case.
When I get a call from someone who is at the consulate, reeling from his 221(g) notice, I can enter the case at that late date, and prepare a response to be sent to the consulate. Typically this is modeled after the VisaCoach Front Loaded Presention.
I would never recommend anyone to to go into the consulate interview without a proper VisaCoach Front Loaded Petition having “softened the beaches” and “prepared the way”, but couples who have come to me with their 221(g) soft denials, as their “last, best hope” for whom I prepared consulate “proof of bone fides” packages, all won their visas.
Avoid your own distress
Avoid your own distress, avoid the tears and distress of the 221(g) notice, by working together with me from the earliest days, to plan a course of action, identify the requirements of the consulate, then address them successfully with a VisaCoach Front Loaded Presentation.
VisaCoach immigration success method.
1. Know your weaknesses and the consulates requirements.
2. Adjust your behavior accordingly.
3. Submit awesome VisaCoach Front Loaded Presentation.
Is your Fiance or Spouse Visa Case Hopeless?
There are plenty of difficult cases out there. They have numerous RED flags, such as significant age differences, criminal histories, short relationships, adultery, too brief face-to-face meetings, previous denials, coming from a country known for visa fraud, and so on. For a detailed list of red flags visit http://imm.guru/redflg
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
It comes down to the consular officer’s intuition. Whether he believes or disbelieves the couple is “bone fide”. If he suspects a sham, that the petition has been submitted for fraudulent purposes, only to gain admission to the USA (the golden ticket) not for a genuine opportunity for couple to make a life together, he will DENY.
There is no appeal
Because his decision is based on intuition, he doesn’t need solid proof of fraud. His suspicion ALONE, is enough, and there is no appeal.
In my experience a hand crafted petition clearly demonstrating a couples sincerity, that includes 3 to 6 solid examples of the couples “bone fides” prepares the way for a successful interview, and visa approval. This has worked in ALL but one of the cases I have prepared.
The consular officer STILL suspects fraud?
WHAT IF, the consular officer STILL suspects fraud? What if after examining an awesome front loaded petition, he STILLl suspects that the 22 year old Moroccan male courting the 63 year old American woman, has a fraudulent agenda, regardless of how many emails they have exchanged?
That petition WILL be denied.
That petition will be denied. At least for the first time submitted. But what happens if the petition is submitted again, and again?
When a visa is denied a couple has a very rough time. Tears + Disappointment. If the CO was right in his assessment, if there really was fraud, very soon the couple splits up. The “gigolo” or “gold-digger” disappear seeking other likely targets.
A Genuine Couple remains together
But a genuine couple, sad and troubled STILL have each other. And if they still want a future together they have only one, practical option: Try again. And again, And again. If they really want to share lives together in the USA that may be the only way to achieve their goal.
The first petition changes from being viewed as the entire effort, to become just a single battle of a longer campaign. Each petition, each battle brings the couple closer to success. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many battles were lost, it only matters that the war is finally won.
Each interview the couple appears more sincere
Each time the couple returns to the consulate officer’s desk they bring more evidence of their correspondences, more evidences of time spent together, and an enhanced appearance of a sincere couple.
Fraudulent couples rarely apply twice and never apply a third time. Persistence and perseverance become the STRONGEST evidence of the couple’s “bone fides” and should become the tipping point to convince the officer to approve and issue the visa.
Face to Face time, is KEY
In the toughest of cases, persistence alone may not be enough. The real proof of a couple that says they want to be together, is for them to actually show it by spending as much time as they can manage face to face. The American fiancee who lives overseas with his/her foreign fiance for months or years, is much, much more convincing than one that visits merely a week a year.
A loving couple in less than ideal circumstances.
If the foreign fiance is willing to spend the next 50 years living in the USA, it seems a small trade off to spend a year in his/her country first. Not only does this make a powerful demonstration to the consular officer, but ALSO to the couple them selfs. If they can be a compatible loving couple living in less than ideal circumstances, it shows they are meant for each other. Couples that experience and overcome obstacles together become stronger.
Perseverance+ Face to Face = No case is Hopeless
For cases that appear hopeless, taking the long view is necessary. Anticipate it may require not a solitary petition but a series of petitions. And consider physically moving overseas temporarily in order to live together as a couple while the campaign to live “happily ever after” in the USA is being fought.
the Visa Coach
1-800-806-3210 x 702
“I do the work, you get the gal (or guy).”
http://ift.tt/1nLCTm4 Fiance Visa Petitions for marriage based Immigration to USA, involved two departments of the USA. Often times statistics are confusing as sometimes it describes one stage, versus the entire process. As of 2014 the current experience is as follows. For more info please call 1-800-806-3210 x 702
The final hurdle is a successful interview at the consulate. If the consulate officer is convinced the couple is genuine and merits the visa, it will be granted. If he has doubts, or suspicions, the visa may be delayed indefinitely for “administrative processing” or outright denied.
Preparation in advance of the interview, should include practicing these sample questions so that the applicant is relaxed, calm and knowledgeable.
History Letter: Important element of “Front Loaded” Petition
Last weekend I was conducting a review of a new client’s “do it yourself” petition.
For information on my Petition review service visit http://www.visacoach.com/review
He had done all the work himself to apply for his Ukranian fiancee’s K1 visa petition and was smart enough to know that he needed the
advice of an expert like “the Visa Coach”, to keep him from shooting himeself in the foot, AGAIN.
Yes he had already had his petition denied and bounced by USCIS and was redoing the submission. A wiser choice would have been to order my full support, but that is another story.
Describe the Circumstances of your meeting.
In reviewing what he had done, I came across his answer to “Describe the Circumstances under which you met?”. His answer was simple, cold, succinct. “We met at this website. I visited her for a week from DATE to DATE. I proposed. We plan to marry when the K1 visa is approved.”
A Valuable Opportunity was missed
What he did is adequate. I give him a “C”. He answered the question. But he could have done much more to help his case. A valueable opportunity was missed. In order to “win” the interview
we want to craft all materials that the consular officer sees to promote approval.
The Goal is to WIN the interview
The History Letter is a GOLDEN opportunity to impress the consular officer, to get him on to your side. I recommend elaborating on the response about “Circumstances”, by writing a detailed “History of OUR Relationship Letter”. The letter describes your relationship; past, present and future.
I help my clients write a 2 to 3 page letter. Its simple purpose is to describe the circumstances of the face face meeting. It’s real
objective is to tell “the Couple’s Story”. The couple is portrayed as two believable human beings, whose love affair can be understood and sympathetically related to. I want the consular officer to feel
he knows the couple, likes them, and wants to help make their “fairy tale” romance come true.
For most people it’s writing is not pleasant. I make the process as easy as possible, by asking a series of short, simple questions, to prompt them for details. Before they realize it the couple has given me plenty of material to work with. I then edit and whittle the text
down to a readable, effective and persuasive letter.
The History Letter then becomes an effective part of the “front loaded” petition we submit to USCIS.
For information on “Front Loaded” petitions visit http://www.visacoach.com/frontloaded
Eliminate Red Flags.
Not only is the History letter useful to introduce the couple in a most favorable way, but it ALSO can be used to explain or reduce the effect of red flags. Red flags are causes for suspicion or concern that a consular officer may have and may if not properly addressed lead to denial.
For information on red flags visit http://www.visacoach.com/redflags
For example, what if the couple “has not seen each other in-person for a long time, has a significant age difference, or courted before a divorce was final?”
Leave it for your Fiance to Defend
You could wait until those topics come up during the interview, and hope your fiancee’s debating skills are top notch, when she is put under the spotlight of the consular officer.
Instead, I help you explain your situation clearly and persuasively in writing. We let the consular officer read your considered words before the interview begins. By doing a good job answering the officer’s tough questions before he thinks to ask them, we prepare the way for an easier non-confrontational interview and visa approval.
the Visa Coach
1-800-806-3210 x 702
“I do the work, you get the gal (or guy).”
RED FLAGS that lead to Fiance Visa Denial
The final decision to approve or deny a Fiance Visa application is made by the consular officer who interviews your fiance in her home country. The CO’s job is not easy. Most standard visa applicants bring with them solid proof of their eligibility for the visa. For example, an applicant for a student visa, shows his acceptance to college, an applicant for a work visa has a job offer, an applicant for an investor visa has shows his bank accounts.
Anyone can say they are in love.
What is truly in a persons heart though is impossible to prove. The consular officer knows of, and perhaps has even been personally embarrassed by, some of the many well documented cases of fraud, that have slipped through the best screening efforts.
He is on the lookout for couples where the foreign fiance is scamming the American, or the American is willingly colluding with the foreigner, all for a chance to move to the USA
Each applicant tells a similar story, she is in love, she misses her partner, and she is extremely nervous being in front of a stranger who’s opinion is so critical. For most cases (except for Visa Coach’s clients whose “front loaded” petitions are designed to tell a persuasive story with solid evidences, but for most OTHER applications) the CO only has a few limited standardized documents to review prior to the interview. As such, he has to cover a lot of ground during an intense 15 to 30 minute interview. To aid his decision making process he has been trained to watch for tell-tale signs, “red flags” that could indicate fraud.
The most common “Red Flags”
- The couple became engaged after only knowing each other for a short time.
- The couple only exchanged limited communications, or can only provide limited EVIDENCE of ongoing and regular communication.
- The couple has only had brief ”face to face” time together.
- The couple submitted their petition after only knowing each other for a short time.
- There is a significant age difference between the couple
- They can not communicate fluently in a common language
More “Red Flags”
- The foreign fiancee is from a ‘Hi-risk’ country
(where rate of visa fraud is higher than average)
- The couple’s affair started while one or the other was still married
- The foreign fiancee has been petitioned for by a different American sponsor
- The foreign fiancee has two or more previous marriages
- The foreign fiancee has a history of failed visa application attempts
- The American sponsor has petitioned for other foreign women.
- The American sponsor has two or more previous marriages.
- The American sponsor is female, and male fiance is much younger
- The couple were introduced by a relative of the foreign fiancee.
- The trip to meet was arranged, escorted and/or paid for by the fiancee’s relative
- The couple met using an online website specializing in introducing foreign women to American men
- The couple became engaged PRIOR to their first “face to face” meeting.
- The couple has not met “face to face” for an excessively long time
Red flags do not guarantee Denial
If you have have many ‘red flags’ don’t despair. Red flags do not mean your application MUST be denied, only that you should realistically assess what the strengths and weaknesses of your case are, EARLY in the process, and take corrective actions if possible to improve your petitions chances for success.
My Difficult Cases got their Visas
I have helped many “difficult cases” get their visas. And I can probably help you get yours too. I am available to discuss with you your eligibility, and to assess the affects of any “red flags” you may
the Visa Coach
1-800-806-3210 x 702
“I do the work, you get the gal (or guy).”
American men call me to tell me their story, sometimes it goes like this:
“I want her to come here first”
“I met this great gal online. She lives on the other side of the world. we haven’t met in-person yet, and I want to meet her face to face, but I am “too busy at work” or “afraid of flying” or “my health is poor” or simply “I want her to come here first”.
There is no Girlfriend Visa
Unfortunately for these guys, there is no such thing as a “girlfriend” visa. The closest alternatives are a Visitor visa (sometimes called a tourist visa) or a Fiance Visa.
But a fiancee visa requires that the couple has already met in-person, and not only that, but that they are dead serious to marry. The guys who called with their problem, aren’t quite ready to commit yet.
This leaves the B-2 Visitor visa.
The good news:
Applying for the B-2 visa only costs $160, and in a short month or two you have your answer.
The bad news:
To be approved, the consular officer must be convinced there is NO POSSIBLE CHANCE your girlfriend would overstay, or in any way try to remain in the USA permanently.
Maybe it is not yet on YOUR mind, but guaranteed, she IS thinking of a possible marriage and a life together with you in the USA. Her “intent to eventually live in the USA” makes her ineligible for the visa.
“Sorry, you applied for the wrong visa”
Most consulate officers response at the end of the interview would be “Sorry, you applied for the wrong visa. The fiance visa is the one you should apply for instead. Work out the eligibility requirements with your boyfriend first, then apply for the K-1 fiance visa, and I will see you here again at the end of that process”
Even though the Visitor Visa is very likely to be denied, many couples apply anyway, in hopes of winning the lottery.
And some, DO win and Do get their visas. It depends on the consular officer.
Follow the rules, you have got nothing to lose.
Being denied for a visitor visa, because she “applied for the WRONG visa” should not hurt her chances for any future visas.
Everything she says will be REMEMBERED
HOWEVER, everything she says is placed into her immigration record. She must be very careful to ALWAYS tell the truth. If she is ever caught making fraudulent statements to a consular officer, that may result in her being banned from getting ANY visa to the USA, FOREVER.
Where the temptation to lie is greatest, is when she is asked
“What is the purpose of your trip?”, “Who do you know in the USA?” or “Who is paying for your trip?”
If the truthful response is. “My Boyfriend, My Boyfriend, My Boyfriend.” She better say so.
Always tell the truth
When dealing with immigration, always tell the truth. Don’t volunteer information, but always provide honest answers. If the answer truly is “my boyfriend” or “my fiance”, then that is exactly what MUST be said.
In the majority of cases, she will most likely be denied the visitor visa.
Later, when she applies for a fiance or spouse visa, the chance of getting that visa should be high (especially when the couple hires me to coach them) HOWEVER, if she was caught lying to US immigration, even if it was for something as un-important as visitor visa, her chances of getting the LIFE-CHANGING fiance or spouse visa will be hurt.
Don’t expect a positive outcome if today while being interviewed for a visitor visa she denies knowing you, then a few months later, in front of the same consular officer she changes the story to tell him you have been a serious couple engaged for over a year.
I make the process sound simple. But its not.
If you want it done right. Guaranteed. I can help.
your Personal Visa Coach
Is your Case Denied or “On hold”
Consular officers are human too. Like us, they prefer to avoid ugly scenes and confrontation. Unfortunately this means that at the end of an interview where the visa has not been approved often the “wishy washy” statements made by the CO don’t let the applicant truly know whether he had been denied or is on hold.
Allow me to unravel the secret language of the consulate
“Administrative Processing” or “Sent back to USCIS”
If the CO says the “application is in Administrative Processing” or AP, this means your application is still in play. Either a document or evidence is missing, and the CO explains what it is and asks the applicant to submit it as soon as possible, or the CO plans to have something checked out. This could be a meeting with his supervisor, a phone call to confirm applicant statements, independent verification of police clearances, additional background checks, and so on.
The time it takes for AP to be concluded (even if only a simple document was missing, and promptly produced) is open ended. It might be resolved in days, or many months. The best the applicant can do is quickly and completely provide any requested evidences, then wait for results.
Returned to USCIS = Denied
If the CO says “the application has been returned to the States”, or “returned to USCIS”. The application is denied. Dead Jim, dead. If the consular officer adds any comments, they usually are.
“You can always file an appeal”
“You can always file an appeal”. That is correct. You can. As consular decisions are rarely (read never) overturned, filing the appeal is a waste of both time and money. However the CO will say that, not so much as helpful advice, but mostly as a way to get the applicant out of his office without further fuss or delay.
What should you do?
First find out what is going on. The American sponsor should email the consulate and ask them what the status of the case is. Simply and directly ask: “is our case in administrative processing or was it denied?”
If the answer is “administrative processing” ask what you can do (if anything) to get the case back on track. Do it. Then wait. Its difficult to be patient, but that is the most realistic course of action.
Ignore the Platitudes and get back to work
If the answer is denied, ignore the platitudes “you can appeal”, “USCIS will review your case” and get started on your next visa petition. Nothing positive ever came of USCIS appeals or reviews.
Unless you plan to abandon your foreign love, you should reapply. This time make sure you do an overall better job, and especially pay extra attention to and correct the issues that caused the denial.
When couples come to me, after being denied, to help them for their second “at bat”, I first reconstruct what went wrong, then help them plan a winning strategy for a revised, second attempt based upon my help, guidance, and the effective use of the signature “front loaded” petitions that I craft.
Done Right, the FIRST time
If you get denied, you are welcome to call on me to help. The smarter choice, of course, in order to avoid extra costs, an extra year of separation, as well as frustration and heartache, is simply to is enlist my help from the onset, to make sure your petition is done right, the first time.
By Fred Wahl
During the last two months USCIS has been incredibly fast, consistently approving cases in only 2 – 3 months.
Congratulations Alan (USA) and Maria (Philippines)
USCIS I129F approval in 42 days ! July 17 to Aug 28.
Congratulations Aiden (USA) and Vatthana (Laos)
USCIS I129F approval in 4 months days ! May 1 to Aug 30
Congratulations Steven (USA) and Rengen (Philippines)
USCIS I129F approval in 32 days August 2 to Sep 3
Congratulations Cristopher (USA) and Amparo (Philippines)
USCIS I129F approval in 98 days May 29 to Sep 4
Congratulations Steve (USA) and Rosanna (Philippines)
USCIS I129F approval in 46 days July 25 to Sep 9
Congratulations Tuan (USA) and Lenneth (Philippines)
USCIS I129F approval in 60 days July 12 to Sep 10
Congratulations Terry (USA) and Apasanan (Thailand)
USCIS I129F approval in 67 days July 8 to Sep 13
Congratulations Harry (USA) and Mython (Vietnam)
USCIS I129F approval in 47 days July 31 to Sep 16
This compares to 9 months it took for most cases around this time last year, and the long term USCIS average of 5 months.
Most of the credit must be given to the new Texas Processing Center which is taking over delayed and pending cases from California and Vermont, as well as receiving new Fiancee and Spouse visa cases.
The National Visa Center (NVC) operated by the Department of State receives all the approved cases from USCIS, touches each case, and assigns and forwards them to the destination consulates or embassies that will conduct interviews and issue the visas.
Just like when a thunderstorm dumps inches of rain up-river, eventually a wave front, or flash flood, of tons of water eventually arrive downstream.
Apparently the wave front of approved cases from USCIS has overtopped the dikes at NVC. They are not able to process the cases as fast as they arrive and they are piling up. I am getting calls from clients now, whose cases should have quickly passed through NVC weeks ago, which NVC has NOT EVEN ENTERED into their database yet. One can imagine NVC’s mailroom is overflowing with new (unopened) cases, and more arriving every day.
Slow, fast, whatever: the best way to endure the K1 Fiancee or CR1 Spouse Visa process is to do an awesome job in preparing a comphrehensive “front loaded” petition, then, then, exercizing patience.
The sooner we start working on your petition, the SOONER your lover gets their visa.
To get started TODAY. Call me 1-800-806-3210 x 702