Using K1 Visa When Already Married

Traveling on K-1 visa when already married

The K1 fiance visa allows a foreign born fiance to enter the USA for a 90 day visit in order to marry an American Citizen. The traveler must be unmarried not only during the application process but also when boarding the aircraft to the USA. Sometimes applicants attempt to “game” immigration by having weddings before and after the trip.

Got a phone call today from a man whose fiancee is in the Philippines. She had an idea and asked him to call and run it by me. She really wants to have her wedding in the Philippines, at her Church and in front of her family but doesn’t like the idea of waiting for a year to get a spouse visa to travel to the USA, especially when she knows that fiance visas are much faster some taking only 4 months.

She wants to have her “cake and eat it too”. She wanted to immediately apply for a fiancee visa, and while it is pending get married in her hometown, then attend her Fiance Visa interview at the US consulate in Manila, pretend she is still single, and finally travel using her fiancee visa to the USA. The couple would get married a second time, this time in the US, and only tell immigration about the second marriage, keeping the first wedding secret.

 

This is truly a BAD IDEA

The rules are very clear. ONLY an unmarried person may apply for and/or travel on a fiancee visa. Her plan basically entails that she will ‘lie’ in writing on her application forms, then ‘lie’ verbally to the consulate officer, and lie’ verbally to the immigration officer at the US border. At each stage, they will repeatedly ask her to confirm that she is still unmarried. Each time she answers their questions, she is swearing under oath to an officer of the US government.

There are Penalties for Fraud What she is planning is immigration fraud. Immigration takes a very dim view of this. When caught in her dishonesty, there is a wide variety of punishments US immigration could apply. She could be refused entry, deported, banned from entering the USA for 3 or 10 years, or even banned for life.

Don’t try to ‘Game’ Immigration Lying to US immigration, trying to ‘game’ the visa process is always a bad idea. She has two safe and honest choices.

Apply for a fiancee visa, and then after a wait of about 6 to 8 months, travel to the USA and marry for the FIRST time. (she could return later to the Philippines with her new husband, to marry a second time in front of her friends. Or get married for the FIRST time in her home town, then after a wait of about 10 to 14 months, join her husband in the USA.

Give her the Wedding of her Dreams A genuine couple should anticipate spending their entire remaining lives together. If giving her the wedding she wants, means a small sacrifice of a few extra months of separation, it is well worth it. Wedding arrangements are typically more important to the female. As a matchmaker I counsel every man, ‘let her have the wedding she wants’. It is important to start your marriage on the right foot. If this is her dream, let her have it. She will always remember and be grateful and know she chose the right man. If speed is THE priority: then apply for a fiancee visas. If her dream wedding in her church, surrounded by family and friends is THE priority, then apply for the spousal visa.

By Fred Wahl
the VisaCoach

What to do if Visa is Denied

What can you do if your Fiancee or Spousal Visa is denied?

Two to three times each week I get calls from distraught Americans, who are reeling in shock and disappointment after hearing from their heartbroken fiancee or spouse their visa petition was denied. I am sorry for their distress, but glad to say they were not VisaCoach clients. They attempted this process alone, or used a cheap online form filling service or used an unseasoned attorney or consultant. And now, after disaster, finally are calling VisaCoach. Too bad they did not find me sooner.

 

“The consular officer treated my partner rudely and unfairly”

“Can we sue the consulate? Can we appeal? “

Yes, all those actions CAN be taken. Unfortunately, none will bring your lover closer to reunion with you in the USA.

What can be done, that is USEFUL?

Don’t get Denied in the first place. The first time you apply should be the ONLY time.

In most cases winning or losing the visa occurs not at the interview, but in what is done before the application is actually submitted and how complete the application is.

The requirements for approval at each consulate are based upon the local culture and societal norms of the country where the consulate is based. Each has their own “sub rosa” (meaning secret and unpublished) guidelines for what a bona fide couple is expected to have done during their courtship and what proofs and evidences they should reasonably have. Some consulates require a formal engagement, multiple trips, a long courtship. Some consulates are hyper suspicious regarding red flags, such as significant age difference, multiple prior marriages, english fluency, how the couple met. A different consulates may not consider these as issues at all.

This is where the higher VisaCoach standard, for crafting “front loaded presentations” wins the day. The consular officer always reviews the case file before the interview starts. To the cursory review, he brings a blank pad of paper, where he plans to list areas that appear suspicious, so he can drill down on those issues during the interview.

The VisaCoach method is to start by advising you on what you should do to satisfy your consulates expectations on what makes a bona fide couple, and showing you how to document what you should do, and finally to include those evidences by “front loading” them into your visa application. I help you write a letter to describe your courtship, relationship and plans for a future together. And if there are any red flags the consulate may be concerned with we explain why they should be ignored.

The final result is that the consular officer during his review of the application, immediately before the interview begins, finds many good reasons why he should be comfortable to say yes, and approve the visa. When we convince him during his quiet review and deliberations that he should say “yes”, and have mentally prepared him to say “yes”, we have prepared the way for a short and friendly interview that ends with “Welcome to the USA”

What REALISTICALLY should be done If Denied?

Answer: Start Over

On denial, USCIS advises “you may appeal the decision”. In practice, appeals are rarely successful, as you must prove that the consular officer made a mistake in procedure, not that his intuition was wrong. Appeals typically take about 6 to 12 months waiting to get the final answer, which is most likely “no”. Filing the appeal costs $630, compared to $340 to refile for Fiance or $420 to refile for Spouse.

Once denied, in general your effective option is to start over, repeating the ENTIRE process again.

This time do a better job with VisaCoach’s help.

On the plus side, you now have hired VisaCoach to keep you on course, avoid mistakes, and to powerfully present your evidences.

What went wrong?

When working to resubmit a denied case, the first thing VisaCoach does is find out what went wrong. I review the evidences and documents that were submitted, the denial letter from the consulate and a detailed account and transcript of the interview.

Upon review of the evidences and interview I usually have a good idea on what was “on the consular officers mind”, and especially important for future success: what his suspicions were. Then I suggest an action plan for you to follow, on what you should do to develop additional evidences, proofs and timeline so that we can win your case.

The issues we can solve by action, we solve. The issues we can’t solve, I help you explain why they are not relevant and should be ignored.

VisaCoach Front Loaded Presentation

Once past mistakes have been corrected, we assemble, a compelling petition much stronger, and more believable than what the consular officer previously based his decision on. This time by telling your improved story in a logical and convincing manner and backing it up with well chosen evidences and proofs, your chances of success are greatly improved.

By Fred Wahl

Two Year Rule

Face to Face Meeting Eligibility: the K1 Fiance Visa Two Year Rule

“We waited until the two-year anniversary of our courtship to apply for a fiance visa because that is the earliest time we became eligible”

Sadly I hear a statement like this pretty often. What it means is that a couple who wanted to be together, put their plans on hold, and delayed the start of their married lives together, because they misunderstood the immigration process.

 

The so called “two year rule” is one of many eligibility requirements for a fiancee visa and is often misunderstood. The “two year rule” regarding eligibility for a K1 Fiance Visa is as follows::

“the couple must have met in-person within the two years immediately preceding the filing date of the petition”

The two year rule is about when was the last time you met your fiancee face to face.

It is NOT about how long the relationship has lasted. Let’s break it down.

“The couple must have met in-person”

first, To be considered eligible, a couple MUST have actually met each other, in-person, face to face. This literally means being in the same space, breathing the same air. Video chats, facetime, google hangouts, telephone calls are not considered in-person, face to face.

The rule does not refer to how long the couple has known each other, or how long they have been dating, it only refers to meeting, in-person, face to face.

There is no eligibility requirement that requires any specific length of time that a couple must know each other before applying. The requirement is a face to face meeting. I worked with one couple who were fated to sit next to each other on a three hour flight to Singapore, and who were in love by the time the aircraft landed and they sadly parted, going separate ways boarding separate connecting flights to different countries.

They were eligible to apply right then.

The second part of the rule is “within the two years immediately preceding the filing date”

This means you and your fiance should have had your most RECENT face to face meeting no LONGER than 2 years ago. For example if the last meeting occurred within 2 years, the couple is eligible. If the last meeting occurred 2 years PLUS one DAY or more, then the couple is not eligible.

A couple could wait till day 729 after their last face to face meeting to apply, and by the “the two year rule” be fully eligible. That is not a smart move however.

But, “Eligible to Apply” does not mean “Likely to be Approved”

There is still the interview ahead, and at the interview the consular officer will need to be convinced that your entire relationship is “bona fide”

Your fiance will be interviewed (read interrogated) by a consular officer whose job is not to “pass out visas”, but whose job is to “catch fraud”. In order to pass his review the consular officer MUST be convinced your relationship is sincere, genuine, “bona fide”.

But Long Separations are not consistent with Bona Fide Relationships

It may be quite difficult to convince him of your sincerity, when it has been such a LONG LONG time since you bothered to travel to be with the one you claim you can’t live without, who you want to spend the rest of your life with. To paraphrase Robert Burns, the Scottish poet, “a man is never too tired to travel to meet his lover”

Consular officers agree with this concept. The longer it has been since the last time you were with your fiance in-person, the more skeptical they are regarding whether or not they feel your relationship to be bona fide.

One of the most powerful demonstrations of sincerity, a couple can produce, is to commit time, money and effort in order to spend time together in-person. If at all possible I suggest to all couples that you should demonstrate your sincerity by meeting each other face to face as often as you can. Go ahead book your flight.

Of course there might be reasonable financial, medical or family reasons for long absences and infrequent travel.

When I prepare a couple’s front loaded petition, in addition to evidences of a couple’s bona fides, I also help draft a letter addressed to the interviewing consular officer.I introduce the couple to him by describing their history and plans for the future. I do this in order to help bring the consular officer closer to deciding to say yes.

Whenever a couple has issues or red flags, I also include within the letter persuasive explanations of why these issues should be ignored, and not cause the petition to be denied.

If the red flag is a lengthy gap since the last face to face meeting, and I write the letter to address their situation in hopes that we can reduce any negative effects. .

 

By Fred Wahl
the VisaCoach

K1 fiance visa how soon travel to usa

After K1 visa approval how soon must fiance travel To USA?

After a lengthy and complicated process your fiance has finally been given the opportunity to interview at the US consulate. The interview has gone well, all smiles at the end. And about two weeks later the package arrives via courier to your partner’s home with her or his passport inside and the visa allowing travel to the USA printed on one of the pages.

 

The visa is stamped into your Fiancee’s passport. Look for the Expiration Date. Continue reading “K1 fiance visa how soon travel to usa”

K1 visa last year low income

K1 Visa Common Mistakes: Waiting until your last year’s taxable income exceeds the minimum financial eligibility requirement

Lets talk about another Common Mistake often made by those who do not understand the K1 visa process. And that is believing it is necessary to wait until the sponsor shows a full tax year’s worth of income that equals or is above the minimum income requirement.

 

When applying for a fiance visa the American sponsor/ fiance must demonstrate that you are financially stable enough to support your new spouse and family. Continue reading “K1 visa last year low income”

Can Fiancee visit USA while K1 in Process?

Can fiance visit USA while K1 visa application in process?

Can my fiance visit while K1 in process? In most cases yes. The way the fiancee visa process works is that the American sponsor is the one who is making the petition. While the foreign fiance is certainly mentioned in the petition she herself is not filing it. This means she is not really on US immigration’s radar until the final stages of the fiancee visa petition when she attends her interview at the overseas US consulate processing the case. At the consulate any other US visas she has are canceled, replaced by the K-1 fiancee visa.

If you are fortunate enough that your fiance is approved for a visitor visa or the visa waiver program then most certainly she can still visit you after the K-1 visa application has been submitted while your case is in process. And if the process goes quickly you may only be separated for the time it takes for her to return to her country, attend the consular interview, and wrap up her affairs before re-joining you in the USA.

The foreign born fiance will need to be in our own country or the country where she was living to have a final interview at the US Embassy or Consulate. She can remain in the USA as long as she follows the terms of the visa she is traveling on. Continue reading “Can Fiancee visit USA while K1 in Process?”

K1 visa engagement ring

K1 Fiance Visa Tips: Diamond Engagement Ring Required?

Lets talk about “Must you get an engagement ring?”

The basic concept about applying for for a fiance visa (or even a spouse visa for that matter) is that at the end of the day, you and your foreign fiance must convince a skeptical and busy counselor officer that your relationship is bona fide.

This means you have to prove, you have to demonstrate, by your actions, that your relationship with your partner is sincere, is genuine.

 

Sadly the consular officer treats everyone, including you as “guilty until proven innocent”.

It’s up to you and your fiancee (and with my help) to demonstrate that you ARE innocent that your relationship is not a sham only for immigration purposes. Continue reading “K1 visa engagement ring”

Waiver to 2 year, in-person meeting rule

Waiver for 2 year rule, In-person Meeting Requirement

One of the eligibility requirements for a fiance visa is the “two year rule” which states.

“the couple must have met in-person within the two years immediately preceding the filing date of the petition within the two years immediately preceding the filing date”

To be considered eligible, a couple MUST have actually met each other, in-person, face to face. This literally means being in the same space, breathing the same air. Video chats, facetime, google hangouts, telephone calls are not considered in-person, face to face.

The rule does not refer to how long the couple has known each other, it only refers to meeting, in-person, face to face. The most RECENT face to face meeting should have occurred no LONGER than 2 years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

There are two exceptions to the Face to Face eligibility requirement. If the couple hasn’t met, but the exception applies to them, the couple may request US immigration to WAIVE the requirement and allow the couple’s case to proceed to the consulate interview without the recent face to face meeting. Continue reading “Waiver to 2 year, in-person meeting rule”

When to Begin K1 Application

How early to submit K1 Fiancee Visa application

First look around to get and an idea of “what is normal?” for her country, you, and your combined situations. The closer your timeline is to “Normal” the better. The consular officers are trained to seek fraud. One way they look for fraud is to compare your story with that of the other couples they interview. The closer your courtship and timeline looks similar to what is considered normal (for her country, for your respective cultures), then the less skepticism.

The further away from the norm, especially on the side of cutting corners and rushing things, the more skepticism your petition attracts.

 

Compare the timeline of your courtship, from your first date to the day you proposed marriage, compare this with the timelines of other average couples, from the same culture,and country. Continue reading “When to Begin K1 Application”

Why is my Case Taking so Long?

Why is USCIS taking so long on my visa or permanent residency application?

Lets talk about delays in immigration case processing and answer the question “Why is USCIS taking so long to process my case?.”

The process to apply for fiance or spouse visa or adjustment of status requires submitting applications to USCIS. It can be very frustrating to wait for results. It feels as if the wheels of U.S. immigration grind very very slowly.

 

Here are the top six reasons why your case might be delayed. Continue reading “Why is my Case Taking so Long?”

K1 Fiancee Visa Interview

Fiance Visa Interview

For the Fiance Visa Interview, each applicant must schedule an appointment at the consulate, and convince the consular officer that theirs is a “bona fide” genuine relationship, and that the purpose of the Fiancee Visa application is solely for sincere marriage.

 

This information is for couples who are applying for a fiance visa for immigration to the United States and who wish to prepare for the interview at the US Consulate in the fiance’s country. Continue reading “K1 Fiancee Visa Interview”

K1 Fiancee Visa Interview Tips

Fiance Visa interview tips

Fiance Visa interview tips for when the applicant is interviewed for her K1 visa. Each applicant must schedule an appointment at the consulate, and convince the consular officer that theirs is a “bona fide” genuine relationship, and that the purpose of the Fiancee Visa application is solely for sincere marriage.

 

The Fiance Visa Interview is the final hurdle of the Fiance Visa petition process. The consular officer will ask you questions about you and your American Fiance.

To be approved for your visa, the officer must be convinced that you and your Fiance have a genuine romantic relationship, and that you are honest, sincere and of good moral character.

At the end of the interview your visa is approved or denied.

Here are some tips to help you make a good impression. Continue reading “K1 Fiancee Visa Interview Tips”

K1 Fiancee Visa Interview Preparation

Fiance Visa Interview Preparation

Fiance Visa interview preparation starts BEFORE the the applicant schedule an appointment at the consulate, and convince the consular officer that theirs is a “bona fide” genuine relationship, and that the purpose of the Fiancee Visa application is solely for sincere marriage.

 

The Fiance Visa Interview is the final hurdle of the Fiancee Visa petition process. The consular officer asks questions to confirm the engagement for marriage is “bona fide” and that you are of good moral character.

At the end of the interview the decision is made to approve or deny the visa.

It is a stressful time for you as so much hinges on making a good impression.

The secret to success? Preparation Continue reading “K1 Fiancee Visa Interview Preparation”

k1 fiance visa tips 7 donts

K1 Fiance Visa Don’ts: What NOT to do

Here are 7 Tips that when working with VisaCoach K1 Fiance Visa clients I always advise them NOT to do. By avoiding these common opportunities to “shoot yourself In the foot” consular officers skepticism can be minimized and an applicant will Have the best chance for success.

 

Tip Number 1.
Don’t attempt to “game” the visa process by applying for another visa. Continue reading “k1 fiance visa tips 7 donts”

K1 fiance visa missing interview documents

Avoid submitting critical document AFTER the Interview

Not bringing all required documents on the day of the K1 Fiance Visa Interview is an avoidable mistake that could cost weeks or months of delays and sometimes even denial.

 

When applying for a fiance visa the applicant must comply with extensive requirements for evidences, proofs, photos and civil documents. The process begins by submitting an application to USCIS including documents and evidences that demonstrate one’s simple eligibility. Basically this is the minimum needed to “get your foot into the consular door” for the visa interview. Continue reading “K1 fiance visa missing interview documents”

Social Media Vetting for Fiance and Spouse Visa Applicants

Fiance and Spouse visa applicants asked to provide detailed social media and telephone details

Just when we all were getting used to the delays caused by President Trump’s executive orders. He had instructed USCIS to more vigorously vet all cases with an objective to to restrict legal immigration. Just when we finally came to grips with the changes at USCIS that doubled or tripled the length of application forms, and caused most processing times to double.

Now the policy of extreme vetting, and immigration restrictionism has come to the US State Department’s consulate level.

 

Now either before a consulate interview or worst at the end of a consulate interview (just when you are waiting to hear “visa approved, welcome to USA” now many applicants are handed additional questionnaires asking about their social media, internet and telephone accounts.

These questionnaires often come with a note, saying that perhaps your case may require administrative processing. Continue reading “Social Media Vetting for Fiance and Spouse Visa Applicants”

Joint Sponsor for K1 Visa

Joint Sponsor for K1 Fiance Visa

When you as an American Citizen apply to US immigration for your fiance to enter the USA to marry you, during the application process you must to demonstrate that you have adequate income or assets to prove that you are financially able to support your future spouse in order to prevent her from becoming a ward of the state. IF, you, the primary sponsor, don’t have enough income to meet the requirement, then in most cases you are allowed to to ask a friend or family member to help, and become your joint-sponsor. Just like buying a car for a teenager, the joint-sponsor could ‘co-sign’ your loan. In this case he is financially joint-sponsoring the immigration of your fiance or spouse.

 

The joint-sponsor should have an acceptable reason to want to “help out”, such as friendship or family ties. Joint-sponsors who might have other agendas like loan sharks, relatives of your fiance or spouse, or future employers of your foreign spouse are not good choices. Continue reading “Joint Sponsor for K1 Visa”

K1 Fiance visa steps to US Citizenship

K1 Fiance to US Citizen in 6 Steps

I speak to a lot of callers who think that once their fiance arrives in the USA and they get married that the fiance automatically becomes a US citizen. Sorry, this is not true. So here I will try to clarify the steps, starting from long distance romance through Naturalization when your fiance can finally become a US Citizen.

 

Step 1: Find Her or Him

The process starts with you falling in love with someone who was born and lives outside the USA. While it is pretty easy to meet someone using the internet and it is pretty easy again for a US citizen to travel wherever he likes in the world it turns out it’s not so easy to bring your new love to live with you permanently in the USA. So this requires the next step. Continue reading “K1 Fiance visa steps to US Citizenship”

Joint Sponsor for Financial Eligibility

Joint Financial Sponsors for Fiance or Spouse Visas

When you as an American Citizen or resident applies to US immigration for your fiance, or spouse, or family member to enter the USA and/or live here permanently, you must demonstrate you have adequate income or assets to prove that you are financially able to support your fiance or spouse in order to prevent her from becoming a ward of the state.

The sponsor’s annual income based on the number of dependents your combined household will have, should be at least 100%( for a Fiancee Visa) or 125% (for a Spouse visa or Green Card) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) poverty guideline.

The Financial eligibility thresholds are lower if you are active military, and higher for residents of Alaska or Hawaii.

Go to VisaCoach.com to find an up to date chart showing the actual income dollar amounts needed.

What IF, you, the primary sponsor, don’t have enough income to meet the requirement?

 

Joint Financial Sponsors for Fiance or Spouse Visas

In most cases you are allowed to to ask a friend or family member to help, and become your joint-sponsor.

Just like buying a car for a teenager, the joint-sponsor could ‘co-sign’ your loan. Continue reading “Joint Sponsor for Financial Eligibility”