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 Each has their own “sub rosa” (meaning secret and unpublished) guidelines for what a bona fide couple is expected to have done during their courtship and what proofs and evidences they should reasonably have.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