How Denied B2 effects K1 Fiance Visa

Denied B-2 Visa: How it affects your K-1 Fiancee Visa Application

“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, afraid of flying, got no time, don’t like travel, don’t travel well, too expensive, It is better that she should come to me, ….”

Unfortunately there is no such thing as a “girlfriend” visa.

The closest alternatives are a B2 Visitor visa (sometimes called a tourist visa) or a K1 Fiance Visa.

But a fiancee visa requires that the couple has already met in-person, and not only that but that they are serious and want to marry. Often the guys most eager to pursue a visitor visa, aren’t quite ready to commit.

This leaves the B-2 Visitor visa.

 

Continue reading “How Denied B2 effects K1 Fiance Visa”

Visitor Visa Mistakes

Many Fiancee’s Attempt to Shortcut immigration by applying for B2 Visitor Visa

Couples who REALLY need Fiance or Spouse visas sometimes attempt to game US immigration by applying for a B2 Visitor visa. This could lead to disaster. Here the Visa Coach warns about the worst mistake a fiance can make, which could destroy future chances to get any type of visa to the USA.

 

What is the Biggest Mistake a Fiance Can make when applying for a B2 Visitor Visa

Todays topic is: What is the Biggest mistake your fiancee can make when applying for a Visitor Visa?

Continue reading “Visitor Visa Mistakes”

Visitor Visa for Fiance or Spouse

Obtaining a Visitor Visa for your Fiance: Avoid spoiling her chances?

 

Visitor Visa for K1 Fiance

“I met this great gal online. She lives on the other side of the world. we haven’t met in-person yet.  I want to meet her face to face.”

BUT……

“I am:  too busy,  afraid of flying, got no time, don’t like travel,
don’t travel well,  too expensive,  she should come to me, ….”

There is no such thing as a “girlfriend” visa.

The closest alternatives are a B2 Visitor visa (sometimes called a tourist visa) or a K1 Fiance Visa.

But a fiancee visa requires that the couple has already met in-person, and not only that but that they are serious and want to marry. Often the guys most eager to pursue a visitor visa,  aren’t quite ready to commit.

Continue reading “Visitor Visa for Fiance or Spouse”

90 Day Fiance Visa

90 Day K1 Fiancee Visa Rule

By now you may have come across a reality TV show called “90 Day Fiance”. This show is about couples who after surviving a long distance romance, have received their fiance visas, and are now together in the USA.

The rules for a Fiance Visa is that the couple must marry before the foreign fiance has been in the USA for over 90 days. If not, then the fiance must leave returning to his or her home country on day 90.

 

Continue reading “90 Day Fiance Visa”

2021 Income Requirements for Marriage Based Immigration

2021 Income Requirements for Marriage Based Immigration

Usually about 9 months in after applying for a fiance or spouse visa, or at the get-go when applying for green card and permanent residency, you will have to provide clear evidence of your income to convincingly demonstrate your future family will not need welfare or other public benefits. It is best to understand what the exact dollar requirements are early, before moving forward, so that you can make sure you have all that is needed, or if you are lacking so that you have time to find a financial co-sponsor.

In order to successfully petition for your spouse or
fiancee to come to the USA, or obtain a Green Card after marriage,
in the USA, you the US sponsor must demonstrate to US Immigration that you have
enough income coming in, to support your new spouse, and whole household.

The minimum financial requirement is that you must have income
equal to and preferably more than 100% of the poverty
income level where you live to be eligible to sponsor a
Fiancee Visa, and over 125% of the poverty level to be
eligible for Spousal Visa or Adjustment of Status.

And often, even when applying for a fiance visa the consular officer might
apply the higher 125% range, at his/her discretion. So its best whenever
possible to aim to exceed the higher standard.

Each year the Department of Health and Human Services
publishes their Poverty Guidelines.

As of March 2021, for residents in the
continental US the Financial Eligibility requirements
are as follows.

Required Annual Income (For Fiancee Visa)
$17,420, if 2 Persons in Family or Household
$21,960, if 3 Persons in Family or Household
$26,500, if 4 Persons in Family or Household

For each Additional person add $4,540

Required Annual Income (For Spousal Visa or Green Card)
$21,775, if 2 Persons in Family or Household
$27,450, if 3 Persons in Family or Household
$33,125, if 4 Persons in Family or Household

For each Additional person add $5,675

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

Proving your Income.

Normally you provide your most recent Federal Tax Return,
3 to 6 pay stubs showing ‘Year to date’ earnings,
plus a letter from your employer confirming your
job, and what your expected annual pay is.

If your income might be low, but you have
‘money in the bank’ your cash assets, can be used as
a alternative for annual income.

‘Cash’ assets are assets which can be easily converted
(sold)to cash. For example: stocks, bonds, certificates of
deposit, cash in the bank

You may have a lot of other assets such as your car, boat, coin
collection, business or investment property but because these
can NOT be easily turned to cash immigration will not accept
them as alternatives to annual income.

The one exception to an asset that is hard to convert, but
CAN be counted is your home. If the market value of
your home is higher than your mortgage you may use
the equity just like a cash asset.

$5 cash assets is the equivalent of $1 annual income

For example, a retired Fiancee Visa sponsor living in California,
with NO income, and no dependents would need to have
5 times $17,420 or $87,100 in cash assets to quality for the Fiancee Visa.

Alternatively a combination of income and assets can work.

For example, if the sponsors income is $10,000 per year,
then his annual income is short by $7,420 so he should have 5 times
that amount or $37,100 cash or convertible assets
to qualify.

$17,420 – $10,000 = $7,420 x 5 = $ 37,100 cash assets needed.

This is calculated by subtracting $10,000 from the annual
requirement of $17,420. And then the difference of $7,420
times Five equals $37,100 of cash assets needed.

What if you don’t have enough income OR assets?

In that case you could ask a relative or friend to act as a co or joint-sponsor.

Just like buying a car, your joint-sponsor could ‘co-sign’ your loan.

When a joint-sponsor is used the size of the household increases.
The combined household (for the financial calculations) would include
the household size of the sponsor combined with the household
size of the co-sponsor.

For example, a college student petitioning for his fiancee,
asks his father to joint-sponsor.

Both the college student and the father would each complete an
affidavit of support. The student’s household is just 2 persons,
himself and his fiancee. The father’s household would be father, mother, and the two siblings
still living at home.

Thus the combined household would be 6 persons,

and the combined income of both sponsor and joint-sponsor
would have to be $35,580 or more.

A joint-sponsor can be used for any Spousal Visa or
Adjustment of Status petition, and can be used for MOST
Fiancee Visa petitions.
However, not all consulates allow the use of a joint-sponsor for a Fiancee Visa.

For example: Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Nigeria do not.

If you are applying for a Fiancee visa and need a joint-sponsor,
before filing the petition, best is to contact the consulate directly and
confirm whether the consulate’s policies permit the use of a
financial joint-sponsor or not. If they won’t allow a co-sponsor then
switch plans, marry then apply for a spouse visa, and your co-sponsor
can be used when needed.

This was Fred Wahl, The VisaCoach

K1 Fiance Visa Timeline during Covid-19 Pandemic

Covid-19 delays K1 Fiance Visa Processing Timeline

The whole world has been inconvenienced by the Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.

Fiance visa applications already in process at the time quarantines started are still
on hold. There are many months of backlogged cases. New applications continue to be filed and face
delays.

While USCIS is currently processing cases faster than usual, the State Department due to
worldwide Embassy closures is slowed to a crawl.

Cases now hurry up “through USCIS” and then wait at “Department of State”.

Today, my purpose is to explain what is happening behind the scenes at USCIS, NVC
and the US Embassies so that you and your partner will understand what to expect
and how to deal with it.Hopefully knowledge should help you sleep better.

I am Fred Wahl the VisaCoach and I work for you to prepare and craft
your applications to submit to US Immigration. Sometimes callers
ask me “Do I fill in the forms for them,or do they have to do it themselves?”.
Absolutely, it will be ME filling in all the needed forms and putting together your
Application.

After we submit your application, I do not abandon you. I remain with you on this journey.

I continue by your side personally helping and guiding you until that happy day your
foreign partner calls to say she or he is “on the way”.

And please watch to the end of this video because around that time I
will explain you may be able speed up your case’s approval.

Now, lets talk about “how the Covid-19 pandemic has effected the processing of K1 Fiance Visa cases”

At the time before the Pandemic quarantines began, fiancee visa’s typically took a total
of about 8 to 10 months from submission of application till issuance of visa.

This normally included 6 to 8 months processing at USCIS, followed by 2 to 3 months
under the Department of State at their National Visa Center, NVC and at the US Embassy and Consulate.

USCIS closed their public offices in March. They no longer allowed visitors, or conducted
interviews. At the same time, country by country, borders were closed,
flights were cancelled, stay at home orders occurred, non-essential businesses closed.

USCIS employees did not really suffer. Their jobs and pay continued. Front office employees were
relocated to work temporarily in their back offices.

Review and processing of cases continued as usual except there were more hands
available to work on cases.

At the same time, a lot of couples who normally would be filing their new applications,
decided to delay taking action. Maybe their flight was cancelled keeping them from making
that final trip needed to gather evidence or to meet for the first time, maybe waiting
to find out how the pandemic would effect their job and income.

What happened then was that USCIS had extra staff to process cases, and at the same time
less new cases were filed. They received only 4 out of 10 of the usual number of new cases.
So 100% employees, and 40% of expected cases, resulted in new cases being processed and
passing through USCIS stage faster. Instead of it taking 6 to 8 cases, many current cases
only take 2 to 3 months.

Good news is most recent Fiance Visa cases get through the USCIS stage twice as fast as normal.

Bad news is next step is NVC and consulate interview. And that is currently where
there log jam occurs.

On March 20, due to the Pandemic, most US consulate’s abruptly closed their gates without warning

All visitors and even those applicants with confirmed, previously scheduled interviews were locked out.

On the day the consulates closed, each had about two or three months worth of cases already booked
with interview dates scheduled and confirmed. And more in their pipeline awaiting a chance to
book an interview. All of these cases were instantly put on hold.

Once USCIS has completed their review of an application, the case is passed on to the State Department’s
National Visa Center, NVC.

Routinely NVC only briefly touches a K1 Fiance visa application, generally only working on it long enough
to identify where it should be sent, assign a Department of State, case number, sending an email
to the US sponsor letting him/her know the new case number then finally shipping it via courier
to the overseas consulate where your fiance will be interviewed. Usually this only takes a few weeks.

For the remainder of March and part way through April, NVC continued to process cases as usual. Touching,
assigning, emailing and shipping cases.

As the consulate by that time already had many months of cases on hold, and did not know
when or how they would be able to reopen, then simply let thse new arrivals, pile up. Planning
to handle them, whenever.

Eventually, NVC decided it made more sense to stop sending cases overseas and instead to hold these
cases at NVC. This has been the case since April, Pending cases are piling up.

Unfortunately, NVC did not bother to notify you what was going on.
The email from NVC, expected to arrive in a few weeks, was not sent. No notices have been sent.

No news at all

This has caused much concern from applicants, disappointed and frightened that no news
means their case has been lost. No good news that a case is on it’s way to the consulate,

Well, your case has not been forgotten,

NVC is just sitting on your case, remaining quiet, patiently waiting for the day that the
destination consulate advises it has reopened, cleared it’s backlog and is ready to accept more cases.

As the consulate probably already has a few months of scheduled cases, plus more cases in their pipeline
on the day of closure, each consulate has a considerable backlog of applications that need to be cleared
once they reopen.

It will probably take the consulates many months, again, after they reopen, to clear that backlog.

Once they do, they will then contact NVC advising they are ready to receive the cases that have
been held at NVC.

Eventually, many months after reopening, it will be business as usual. In the meantime expect continued
delays.

Watch your consulates website for info of if and when it reopens. That will give you a starting point
to estimate how long your case still has to go.

One area that concerns most, is that when USCIS completes their review of your case and approves it,
USCIS officially gives you exactly 4 months to get your visa. Officially if you have not gotten it
or taken serious steps to book the interview your case is denied. Since your case is likely to be
delayed, and as the reason is due to the pandemic, and because USCIS, NVC and the consulate is
well aware of this situation, do not fear that your case will be denied due to non-action. All USCIS
expiry dates for cases in this situation will automatically be extended.

Some countries have reopened, some are reopening faster than others, and some of our consulates
have reopened already. Unfortunately for fiance visa applicants, the consulates are not viewing
clearing the backlog of fiance visa cases as a high priority. The consulates that have reopened
are giving priority to spouses and children of US citizens, and is trying to clear those cases first.

There is one exception, and that may apply to you. When applying for a fiance visa, if your fiance has
children under the age of 21, they may be included with the parents fiance visa application and can
come with parent to the USA. However the child is only eligible if under 21 and lands in the USA
before his or her 21’st birth day.

If your application includes a dependent child who is approaching 21 years of age,

and runs the risk to “age out”, most consulates will agree to expedite your case and treat
it as a high priority..

Good luck, stay safe, and well, try to be as patient as you can while your case is in process.

How to get Social Security Number during Covid 19

You don’t realize how important it is to have a social security number until
you don’t have one. The SSN is required to open up bank accounts, get medical insurance, get a drivers license,
work, and even to be able to be charged lower income tax on a filing as married tax return.

It’s important, it’s necessary, but has been nearly impossible to get during the Pandemic.
Social Security requires an in-person meeting, to apply for the number. And as
Social Security closed offices to the public back in March, this puts your new
immigrant fiance or spouse in between a rock and a hard place.

Fortunately, I recently went through this process with a client of mine, and in this
video will teach you what I found out, so you can get an SSN for your fiance or spouse.

Now, lets talk about “How to get that elusive Social Security number while Social Security offices
are on Covid 19 lock down.”

Normally to obtain a Social Security number (SSN), after immigrating to the USA on a spouse,
relative, or fiancée visa, one goes in person to the nearest Social Security Administration
(SSA) office presents identification and receives the SSN a month later.

Unfortunately during the COVID-19 pandemic most Social Security offices are closed and not
allowing in-person visits. This has caused a lot of frustration and delays for new immigrants
who need a social security number in order to open up bank accounts, get insurance, and apply for work.

Fortunately, you can still get the SSN. Here’s how.

The procedure is not publicly described at their websites, so to find out exactly what to do and how,
you MUST make a few phone calls to SSA to find out how and what to do in your area.

That’s exactly what I did recently and now I will share my experience with you.

K1 Fiance Visa

A recently arrived K-1 fiancée visa traveler, is eligible to obtain a Social Security number
by applying between day 15 and day 60 after arrival. Even though publicly and officially SSA
is closed to the public and not conducting in-person interviews, in practice they are conducting
some interviews and currently WILL do so for your Fiance Visa partner.

The way to do this is as follows:

Step 1: Google search for the telephone number of your local Social Security office, Call them. Identify yourself
that you need a first time, Social Security number for a recently arrived K-1 fiancée visa holder.

The key words to emphasise are “FIRST TIME”. The first operator you call probably can’t help, but should redirect you to
another number, at another office. You may need to make a series of phone calls. Rinse and repeat until you
finally reach the single, there is always one, actual office in your area that is handling First Time cases.

Step 2: Over the phone, provide detailed information about your fiancé including his/her local contact information and telephone numbers.

Step 3: Eventually, few days, or weeks, you will be called back and your Fiance provided a date to come in for
an in-person interview. The caller ID will says “US Government”‘. But it is not a spam call. It is Social Security.
I almost blocked the call cause I get many spam calls claiming to be something they are not. But this is legit.

An appointment date will be set, usually for a few days later. Your fiancé should bring passport, a filled in SSN application
(https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf) and I-94. The I-94 is available online. https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/,

It’s also a good idea to bring original and a photocopy or a certified copy and photocopy of your Fiance’s birth Certificate.
Eventually the Social Security number will be issued.

If you are already married, and if your new spouse has changed last name to yours, also bring the marriage certificate and a photocopy.

Social Security may or may not issue the SSN in the married name. Either way is OK, but is worthwhile to ask as it would save
you another trip later.. If they prefer to issue in the maiden name, and they regularly do insist on this because they
often only will issue the SSN to the name shown on the passport and I-94.

It is not a problem. Later once you get green card or work authorization return to Social Security, hopefully by then the pandemic is past,
and update to the new married name.

Regular Immigration (Spouse or Relative)

In the case of regular immigration, such as your spouse arriving on a CR1 or IR1 visa or a family member,
or diversity lottery winner, the process is similar.

Step 1: Google search for a local Social Security office’s telephone number Call and identify yourself that you
need a first time, Social Security number for a new immigrant. Emphasize “FIRST TIME”. The first person you call
probably can’t help, but should redirect you to another number, at another office. Rinse and repeat till you are
talking to the office in your area assigned to handle such cases.

Step 2: They will give you their mailing address and instruct your immigrant to mail them, passport and the filled in
social security number application form.

Step 3: Send to the Social Security Office,the immigrant’s passport, it show have his/her arrival visa,
and the social security number application form. https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf
Use certified mail with tracking. You don’t want to take any chance that your passport gets lost.

Step 4: Eventually the Social Security office will call, and schedule a time to go to the
designated office, meet with the clerk and be approved for the SSN. There the clerk checks your passport id page
matches the applicant. Passport is returned at that time. And social security number is issued by mail a few weeks later.

This was Fred Wahl, The VisaCoach

Effects of Biden Presidency on Fiancee, Spouse + Green card Immigration

President Trump promised a “Wall” to reduce immigration. While only partial progress on a concrete and steel wall was accomplished, great strides were made in limiting legal immigration via a paper wall of stringent policies that greatly increased the complexity and difficulty of passing through the immigration process.

President-Elect Biden has yet to take office, however I do expect that within the first hundred days of his taking office, deliberate executive action will be taken in an attempt to unravel the “Trump effect” on immigration.

This is GOOD news for Applicants.

Today I am going to forecast how I expect the Biden Administration’s occupancy of the White House to affect your application.

President Trump vowed to reduce immigration. And he was successful.  Over 450 executive and administrative adjustments, both major and subtle, were made to toughen immigration rules and procedures. He instituted extreme vetting, where all applicants are more highly scrutinized than ever before, Banned entire countries from being allowed visas to the USA, added tighter Public Benefits eligibility requirements which created a virtual “wealth test”, and instituted a pervasive organization wide culture change in the way that USCIS views and treats immigrants.

United States Citizenship and Immigration service (USCIS), once viewed immigrants as its clients, to be served. It’s officers traditionally believed they were following a pro-immigrant, humanitarian mission. The mission was to help refugees escape persecution, American Companies bring in needed talent, and reunify families with their loved ones.

Many officers initially joined USCIS in order to pursue that noble mission. In the recent four years many of these same officers, disillusioned, have resigned, as under Trump, the priorities changed from helping eligible immigrants come to the USA,  to finding ways to keep them out.

In 2018, under the Director selected by Trump, USCIS’s official mission statement was drastically altered. Removed were references to a “nation of immigrants” and to immigrants as “customers” whom the agency serves.  Now the mission statement basically reads “enforce immigration laws”. Immigrants are no longer customers, now they are suspects. USCIS’s Budget for fraud prevention and detection doubled between 2016 and 2020

Here’s my forecast of what’s going to happen after President-Elect Biden takes office..

#1 New USCIS Director

To reverse the current “anti-immigrant” culture at USCIS will require a top down management change. That will start when President-elect Biden  chooses a new director of USCIS, and assigns him or her the mandate to return USCIS to it’s prior mission of treating immigrants as clients, not adversaries, and working towards assisting them navigate lawful, and proper immigration. With new top down guidance, USCIS should relax it’s restrictionist “extreme vetting” and move to return to its earlier, more Humanitarian mission.

#2 End of Immigrant Harassment

While detailed and proper screening of applicants is reasonable, unfortunately in recent years the application review process has deteriorated from normal and expected due diligence into in essence, in many cases, deliberate  harassment. Requests for evidence ( RFE’s) were frequently issued for non-material reasons.

Cases were denied for similarly trivial issues such as leaving fields that were not applicable, blank. Or incorrectly writing not applicable as NA vs N/A.

Revised Forms with no real modifications,  would be announced and instead of giving adequate time usually one or two months for applicants to change over to the new versions, only One, single,  day notice was given. And the applications that were already in the mail which had used the earlier nearly identical version, and which was the correct one to use on the day of mailing,  were rejected.

Cases that previously would not require an interview, would be held and delayed many months awaiting availability of already overworked and limited interviewing staff.

For a few months this summer, even cases which had successfully gone through the entire tedious process, including interview and official APPROVAL, were put on hold, waiting many months for the printing of their approved work, travel and green cards. A long term contract USCIS had with the printing company had expired. And even though the contract’s expiry date, and need for replacement was known, long, realistically years in advance, no action on USCIS’s part to replace the contract and obtain alternative printing was taken, at least not until a court order forced USCIS to take proper action.

This change of attitude will rely on the New top management at USCIS. Their leadership will be critical to return USCIS to a culture of helping immigrants versus holding them back.

#3 Faster Processing

Less energy wasted by USCIS staff seeking excuses to delay individual cases, will result in more efficient, smoother and overall faster processing of cases.

#4 Lower Denial Rate

With restriction of immigration no longer being the guiding rule of the day, expect the cases that were previously denied due to trivial and non-material issues, or which were not given opportunity to clarify and justify misunderstandings now should receive a fairer hearing, and the approval rate should rise accordingly..

#5 Fee increase to be adjusted downwards

USCIS does not receive taxpayer dollars to pay for its operations. Instead it is self funded by the fees it charges immigrants. Originally to be effective on October 2, USCIS had requested an overhaul of its fee structure. The fees for some applications such as green cards and US citizenship went through the roof, they increased tremendously.

At the moment, this fee increase is temporarily on hold, halted by a court injunction.

The new fees requested are calculated based on what USCIS feels is needed to pay for its operations. I expect that under the Biden Administration the future, “user friendlier” USCIS, will find that since less time and energy is wasted, deliberately trying to obstruct the immigration process, that their operations will be more efficient, and less costly. Once the cost accountants do the math again, the fee increases needed may be found unnecessary, or only a smaller increase is needed.

#6 End to “Trump” or “Muslim” Travel Ban

The so-called “Muslim ban” that bans the issuance of visas to the USA from citizens of 15 countries, Chad, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen will be lifted.

#7 Public Benefits “wealth test” Dropped

The most effective stumbling block to Legal immigration, to come out of the Trump administration was the broadening of the definition of what constitutes a public benefit. This new definition has been used to make it much more difficult for an immigrant to be deemed eligible to receive a green card and permanent residency in the USA. Not only are applicants required to prove that they never received public benefits, but must also convince the officer that in the future, no matter what happened, they would not possibly, conceivably, never, ever need public benefits forever into the future. This “wealth test”, and it’s extremely complicated resulting application paperwork will be removed or at very least greatly relaxed.

How Soon for these changes to happen ?

Immigration is not a hot-button issue for President-elect Biden as it was for President Trump. After the first few popular and headline grabbing executive orders are announced, namely dropping of the “muslim ban” and :”wealth test”, and appointment of a new USCIS Director, the rest of the job to reverse  the “Trump effect” will most likely be left in the hands of the newly appointed USCIS management.

We all hope President-elect Biden chooses the new USCIS Director well. This choice will determine how fast and how well the intricate unraveling of so many changes, procedures, policies and overall mentality that the Trump administration injected into US immigration takes place.

It’s going to take time. It may take years, and perhaps more than one administration to get back to where we once were.