A lot of couples in a long distance relationship are thinking, “It would be nice if we could get together. And it would be especially nice, if we didn’t have to wait for a long fiance or spouse visa to be granted, and instead ,lets apply for a visitor visa, and be together, RIGHT AWAY”
Around this time of year I get plenty of phone calls from guys and gals who would like to bring their foreign romantic partners home to the USA for a visit and to celebrate Valentine’s Day together.
Sorry, lets just cut to the chase.
Unfortunately US immigration does not issue girlfriend or boyfriend visas.
Australia does, But not the USA. It really is impossible to obtain permission to bring your love, your fiance, your spouse to the USA unless through applying for a fiance or spouse visa.
Visitor visas are issued to people who would like to visit the USA for tourism and fun. However US immigration has had BAD experience in the past that some visitors real agenda was not sightseeing, but any way possible to gain admission to the USA. Then to stay permanently in the USA, never leaving.
Because of this experience with prior abuse, US Consular officers are on the lookout to identify any visitor visa applicants that MIGHT have any POSSIBILITY to overstay.
They call this “immigrant intent”. If there is any suggestion, any possibility that the applicant might intend to remain, then that applicant is automatically in-eligible and visa denied.
Near the top of the list of those with “immigrant intent” who are thus in-eligible are girlfriends, boyfriends, fiancees, spouses who are likely to want to remain in the USA with their American partners.
The US State Department has a simple rule. And that is “IF a visa exists for a specific purpose, then that is the ONLY visa the applicant may apply for.” For a foreign applicant to spend time in USA with her or his American love, fiance, spouse, future partner, then the K1 Fiance Visa or if married the Spouse visa, are the ONLY visas the applicant is actually eligible for, and the only one he or she is likely to get
Even though the Visitor Visa is very likely to be denied, many couples apply anyway, in hopes of winning the lottery.
And some, (maybe 1 of 100) might win and might get their Visitor visa. It depends on circumstances and the Consular officer.
If you follow the rules, you have got nothing to lose by applying even if your chances for success are slight.
Being denied for a visitor visa, because your fiance “applied for the WRONG visa” should not hurt his or her chances for any future visas, as long as all answers given were honest. (Actually being denied once this way should not be an issue. Repetitive attempts and fails will cause problems)
Everything your Fiance says and submits is placed into the US State Department’s databases. It is placed permanently into her or his immigration record and will be visible during any Interview held with any US immigration official, anywhere, anytime.
Your Fiance must be very careful to ALWAYS tell the truth. If ever caught making fraudulent statements to a consular officer, that may result in being banned from getting ANY visa to the USA, FOREVER.
Where the temptation to lie is greatest, is when asked “What is the purpose of your trip?” or “Who do you know in the USA?” or “Who is paying for your trip?”
When dealing with immigration, always tell the truth. Don’t volunteer information, but always provide honest answers. If the answer truly is I am traveling to visit “my potentially romantic friend” or “my fiance”, then that is exactly what MUST be said.
In the majority of cases, no matter what is said or done, applying for a visitor visa to meet the American Fiance results in denial. It’s the wrong visa to apply for.
But keep the BIG PICTURE in mind. Eventually your Love will apply for a fiance or spouse visa. At that time the consular officer will know all that has occurred earlier. Don’t take any risk of ruining chances for a happy life together, by burning bridges with US immigration when applying for a visitor visa.
By Fred Wahl