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.
If it is common practice to rush to engagement and elope after only a few weeks, then your short relationship is consistent with the norm, and therefore looks reasonable,
If common practice is to have long courtships followed by long engagements, then your short relationship is NOT consistent with the norm:
It’s Time to slow down.
Each situation is different, each consular officer applies his own experience and judgement.
My general “rules of thumb” are:
Under 6 months: attracts extra skepticism
1 – 3 years: sweet spot
Over 3 years: attracts extra skepticism.
By Fred Wahl