A K1 visa, also called a fiancé visa, is a type of nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign national permission to enter the United States and marry their fiancé who is a U.S. citizen within a 90-day period. There are various reasons why a K1 visa petition may be denied, and there are options available for the couple if the petition is denied.

Why Might A K1 Visa Petition Be Denied?

women talking to an immigration agent about denied visa

The reason why your K1 visa petition was denied may dictate the best steps to take to ensure you are able to enter the United States to marry and live with your fiancé. There are various reasons why a consular may deny a K1 visa petition, including but not limited to:

  • The petitioner does not meet the necessary requirements
  • The foreign national does not meet the necessary requirements
  • The relationship seems suspicious or fraudulent
  • The U.S. citizen does not meet the necessary income requirements
  • The couple has not met within the past two years

Both the U.S. citizen and the foreign national must not currently be married and be in good standing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the relationship seems fraudulent, meaning the consular’s office believes the marriage is simply a way for the foreign national to gain permanent residency, then the petition could be denied as well. There are also income requirements that must be met, and the couple should have met in person within the past two years.

What Are My Options If My K1 Visa Petition Is Denied?

a women reapplying for a visa on a computerThere are three primary options you can take if your K1 visa petition is denied that can still provide a pathway to living together permanently in the United States. These three options are to either appeal the decision, reapply for the K1 visa, or marry in a foreign country and apply for a CR1 visa.

Appeal The Decision

Applicants have 33 days after the USCIS consular provides a decision to appeal. You can appeal the decision with Form I-290B, notice of appeal or motion. The appeal form is $630 to submit regardless of the appeal decision. An appeal is a particularly good idea if you feel as if the decision was based on inaccurate or incomplete information that you can clarify or provide that may change the consular’s decision.

Reapply For The K1 Visa

Another option that many applicants choose is to simply reapply for the K1 visa. This may be the best option if there were mistakes made during the K1 visa process that you can fix during a second petition process. However, it is important to keep in mind that they will consider the initial decision during the second K1 visa petition, so you should only reapply if the stated reason for the denied petition can be properly addressed during a second petition.

Marry in a Foreign Country and Apply for a CR1 Visa

A third option that is often available to couples that had their K1 visa petition denied is a CR1 visa. This visa allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States as a permanent resident. However, typically the best way to obtain this visa after a K1 visa petition is denied is to marry your future spouse legally in another country. This is typically seen as a way to bypass having to prove to the consular’s office that you and your future spouse are serious about getting married, and they typically view the risk of fraud as lower with a CR1 visa than they do with a K1 visa.

How To Reduce The Risk Of A K1 Visa Petition Denial

a couple working with an immigration attorneyThe first thing you should do to reduce the risk of having your K1 visa petition denied is to ensure you and your fiancé meet all of the K1 visa requirements. The next step is to put together the most comprehensive petition possible that shows the validity of you and your fiancé’s relationship status and desire to marry.

After the submission of the K1 visa process, the couple will need to prepare for the K1 visa interview. It is important to review possible questions with your spouse to avoid any inconsistencies; poor answers can occur even to couples that are legitimate in their reasons for marriage. Of course, the best way to prepare is to work directly with an experienced immigration attorney.

Pride Immigration Can Assist You Through The K1 Visa Process

Pride Immigration has a team of immigration lawyers that can assist you and your future spouse through the K1 visa process. Whether you are interested in applying for a K1 visa for the first time or have had your petition denied and would like to consult about the next steps to take, give our professional team a call at (571) 520-6116.

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Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.

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