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.
Watching commercials on TV sponsored by jewelry stores one gets the impression that you cannot be engaged unless you shell out a lot of money for a big diamond. Well what the advertisers tell you, may be THEIR reality, but not necessarily yours, your fiancee’s or even the consular officer’s.
The consular officer needs to be confident that you are genuine. There are many ways to prove that. And certainly not everybody who has a genuine engagement buys a diamond engagement ring.
You should do what is natural for you and your fiance. If in doubt on what is natural, just ask your mom, ask your fiancee’s mom. They’ll tell you what is expected.
If it is really customary for the two of you, based on family practice and your culture to have a ring or jewelry or any other token of an engagement, then do so, Just follow normal practice and do what it takes.
However if you wouldn’t normally have a ring, if you wouldn’t normally make that a priority, then don’t bother.
The consular officer needs to feel that the two of you did what you would normally do as a NORMAL, in-love couple.
If you artificially take actions which feel strange, that you are ONLY doing because you think that this is “what immigration wants”, thats a bad idea. In practice you might just hurt your case.
The consular officer will make a final decision based on his intuition.
If he “feels”, something just is not right, something appears false, he will deny.
So if your actions seem awkward, and out of character, that will draw suspicion.
Bottom line, if you want to get down on your knee and give an engagement ring. Great just do it. If you are satisfied with an inexpensive ring, that’s fine too. And if you don’t want to give a ring regardless of cost, you don’t have to.
How you personally decide to handle the issue regarding an engagement, doesn’t really matter, providing what you DO DO, is natural and comfortable for both you your partner. Whatever that is, it will work just fine for immigration.
By Fred Wahl