The Fiancee Visa Interview is the final hurdle of the Fiancee Visa petition process. Sometimes, despite being terribly in-Love and ABSOLUTELY CONFIDENT you did EVERYTHING perfectly, and your fiance answered each question perfectly, sometimes, anyway, the answer is “NO !! Visa Denied”
A few times each week, I hear from couples who reach out to me, well, AFTER the damage is done. They call after the interview, usually in tears, once the unpleasant words from the consular officer have struck home, and the realization that their plans for reunion, wedding, honeymoon, and starting their lives together soon, have all been crushed.
Usually there’s two categories of callers: those who did the process on their own, and were blind sided by the complexities of immigration requirements and by the unexpected intense level of suspicion and skepticism they met at the interview.
Or I speak with those who used attorneys. The attorney claimed to be knowledgeable but in reality had little hands-on experience with the immigration process in general, or with the consulate in particular. In essence this may have been the first time the attorney was faced with the situation the couple had. He was learning the process for the first time on the couple’s dime and was not himself sufficiently informed to identify the warning signals ahead and warn the couple what to expect. Hopefully he’ll have better luck with his next case.
I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve known and studied thousands of cases and immigration stories, and my appraisal is not influenced by romantic sentiment, or longings, for what an applicant “wants to happen” versus what will “most likely, actually, happen.”
I’ve got 20-20 vision when it comes to analyzing a case to figure out what went wrong. And even more important, I’ve got the experience and knowledge to know what can be done RIGHT to get a case back on track.
It’s pretty rare that a situation is totally unsalvageable. There’s no way to go back in time, to revisit the interview and get the consular officer change his mind. But there often is the opportunity to recover, regroup and reapply a second time.
I guide couples to first identify what caused suspicion, then suggest actions they can take to fix or explain the problems, add then combined with new and better evidences we re-apply.
My process has the following five steps. (Plus one extra)
1. Study “what really happened”
2. Identify Denial reasons
3. Strategy to eliminate, diminish or explain red flags
4. Take action
5. Reapply with better Evidences
The first thing I do when hired after your denial is to find out exactly what happened. Usually you assume you know what happened but typically your understandable feelings of anger and frustration colors your judgement.
I start by calmly asking questions to get to know what actually occurred. Just like detective Joe Friday from classic TV show Dragnet asking: “Just the facts ma’am”
This is the beginning of my process to re-engineer what went wrong, clean up the mess, and get you the visa.
Step 1: Study: what really happened
In making my assessment I there are four key areas I review
A. the Denial Notice
B. a Re-enactment of the interview
C. the Couple’s full story
and D. the Original application
Let’s start with
A. the Denial Notice
First I want to review any denial documentation, for example: any rejection letters that the consulate or USCIS may have issued.
On rare instances, the consular officer explains the specific reason for the denial, verbally or in writing. We start with the obvious, what did the consular officer say or what did the letter he provided state.
Unfortunately in the vast majority of cases, no solid, specific details are provided. Usually the following vague and general statement is given, and nothing else.
Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits a consular officer from issuing a visa to an alien if the consular officer has reason to believe the alien is ineligible. Based on indications your petition contains false statements, and based on information obtained during your interview process that has caused the interviewing officer to believe your relationship with the Petitioner is not a genuine relationship, but rather one entered into solely in order to provide you with an immigration benefit to which you are not entitled, we are returning the petition to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for review and revocation on fraud or material misrepresentation grounds.
Basically the above means that for some unspecified reason the consular officer’s intuition told him to deny. You don’t have any real solid facts to go on (and probably he did not have any either).
B. Re-enact interview
I will ask your fiancee to recall, word by word, gesture by gesture, what actually transpired during the consulate interview. I want to hear what questions were actually asked by the consular officer, and what answers were actually given.
Often the you have gone over in your mind so many times what was planned to say, and what your fiance thought he or she said, that the memory is colored by feelings and assumptions.
With patience we unravel and cool down the emotions, to eventually get an accurate transcript of the interview. I learn much about what the consular officer was thinking when I hear the precise questions he asked. This often reveals what he thought and what his suspicions were.
For example, perhaps the consular officer repeatedly asked questions about
The marriage proposal?
Who made the introduction?
The timeline of the courtship and any prior marriage?
The questions asked are solid clues to what is on the officer’s mind.
C. Your full story
To put the case into perspective, I then ask about the entire history of your acquaintance, courtship and relationship.
How long have you known each other
Timeline of your courtship and proposal
Respective Age differences
How much time you have spent together in-person
How did you originally meet
Was an introduction agency or matchmaker used
Did they follow IMBRA rules
All of this is in order to get a fuller understanding how the consular officer may have viewed the case.
As a couple who is in love, who is caught up in the excitement and pheromones of love and romance, it is easy to be blind to how the details of your history could be viewed by the consular officer.
To most in-love couples, whatever they did and how they did it, appears perfectly reasonable.
But often for a consular officer, who has seen and been trained to see various types of fraud, some actions could be misinterpreted by the officer to appear suspicious as a sign of underlying fraud.
For example, a gal whose fiance visa case for her Indian fiance was denied spoke with me and I provided her a consultation to get to know her and her situation. She had made two trips to India to meet her fiance.
The first trip they met, just the two of them. They went sightseeing and had a great time. I like to call this first “get to know you” and “let’s see where this is going” trip. the “Las Vegas” weekend.
She returned to India a second time, and they met far from his home, in Goa, a beautiful, warm, tropical, beach getaway off of the Arabian Sea. Soon after, she applied for the visa. 6 months later it was denied.
What was wrong with the picture?
To the couple, this second outing to Goa was very romantic, a perfectly reasonable way for them to spend more lovely time together.
But to the consular officer it was a red flag that led to their denial.
She had not met his family the first trip. For most couples this is quite normal. What stood out, was that on the second trip she once again was not introduced to and did not meet his family. She submitted the fiance visa application without ever meeting her future in-laws.
Why did that torpedo her application? Well, the consular officer knows that a fiance visa is a precursor to marriage and marriage is a joining of families. In his experience meeting with hundreds, of applicants it was consistently the norm that applicants met the future in-laws before moving to the altar.
In his experience, a dishonest person attempting fraud, such as entering into a sham marriage solely to immigrate, typically would not want his family to know what is going on and keeps them in the dark. When an engagement is kept secret, and the family is not introduced to a future marriage partner or knows nothing about the marriage plans, is often a tell tale sign of immigration fraud.
Lesson to be learned: One person’s romantic gesture might look like someone else’s criminal conspiracy.
Fortunately for VisaCoach clients, I am well aware of the many ways a consular officer’s professional skepticism can affect your case.
I am also knowledgeable of the unpublished EXTRA requirements some consulates expect “honest” couples to satisfy in order to be approved.
I guide you to avoid misunderstandings that could cause disaster and suggest what actions you can take that lead to success.
D. Original application
Next I review what documents, especially what evidences you chose to include in your application. I assess how these evidences influenced the consular officer’s decision by the story they told.
Step 2. Identify Denial reasons
I put it all together by using what you have shared with me to create a list of the likely suspicions (I call these red flags) the consular officer had.
Step 3. Strategy to eliminate, diminish or explain red flags
We go down the list of red flags together and I suggest what in my, very extensive experience may work to get you and your fiance out from under the current cloud of suspicion that surrounds your case and get you approved.
for example: if the red flag was “there wasn’t enough time spent together in-person”, I’ll suggest “making a trip”.<br? if=”” “not=”” meeting=”” the=”” family”=”” was=”” an=”” issue,=”” i’ll=”” suggest=”” “meeting=”” in-laws”.=”” <br=””> If “how fast or when the proposal happened” was an issue, I’ll help find a way to explain “why you did it your way”
If a big age difference was a problem, I’ll help explain good reasons “why the two of you are a good match regardless of age”
and so on, down the line of red flags.</br?>
The object, of course, is to develop a to do list of actions that will lead to evidences and proofs or explanations that can satisfactorily address each one of the individual red flags as positively as possible
Step 4. Take action
I advise what can be done. And provide a detailed personalized evidence checklist for material that will help win your case. You take action. Collect more evidences. Then work down your personalized checklist till you finally send me your “shoe box” of evidences and documents. When it lands on my desk, I turn off the phones, and examine each and every piece, to insure that we have left “no stone unturned”
Step 5. Reapply with better Evidences
Knowing the full story of your past and current situation, as well as what red flags the consular officer was concerned about, and now armed with a full set of persuasive evidences, and reasonable explanations I craft for you and we submit an awesome VisaCoach HIGH quality, “winning” front loaded petition.
Step 6. Success
I have added this extra step as it is the goal we are working together as a team to achieve
Convincing a consular officer to approve your visa application can be difficult, even under the best of circumstances. That’s why I hope couples come to me at the start to hire VisaCoach the first time they apply. A lot of stress, emotions, time and money can be saved by submitting a VisaCoach personally crafted “front loaded petition” that makes, a successful “first impression” and gains approval the first time around, avoiding denial and avoiding needing to reapply.
Convincing a consular officer to approve after your case has been denied, after one of his colleagues, whose opinion he respects, and who may have more seniority, has gone on record to officially deem your case fraudulent, is going to be a far more difficult challenge.
Crafting a winning case, especially when there is a previously denied cloud over it, requires creativity, experience and skill. Getting into the “head” of the consular officer and changing his mind is more “art” then science. Fortunately I, on behalf of my clients have demonstrated time and time again, that the VisaCoach method of careful evidence generation, selection and presentation can win the day.
If you are watching this video and you have been denied. I am sorry for your distress. Not all cases can be overturned. But most can.
If you are now ready to hire experienced, one on one, professional help. Book a free consultation to discuss your situation. I am always frank and honest. I won’t sugar coat your situation, if your case is hopeless, if there is nothing I can do for you, I’ll let you know. If I CAN help I’ll let you know how.
I expect if you are watching this video you have, sadly, already been denied. But if you are watching and you have not applied yet, there is still time to pursue you case the right way, and work to get success and approval the first time.
Please take my words to heart. The immigration process IS more complicated than it seems. There are many pitfalls that someone who is taking this, hopefully, once in a lifetime journey can not even imagine.
I charge very little to guide a couple safely from start to finish. Don’t cheap out. Don’t risk your happiness. Hiring VisaCoach is a small price to pay for you and your fiance to be able to sleep soundly at night, knowing you did the right thing, and that you did all you could to ensure your love, gets safely and reliably to the USA to start your life’s together.
By Fred Wahl