EP28: The Most Common Reasons the K1 or CR1 Visa is Denied
- Will they think I’m just trying to get into the US?
- My fiancé and I haven’t visited each other enough.
- Will they think I won’t get married and live illegally in the US?
- I hope they don’t ask me about his parents names because I’ll forget.
This sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Well, I was honestly worried about all of the scenarios I just mentioned and I had a genuine relationship!
Most Couples Fear Having Their Visa Denied
My husband and I met as teenagers and have been together ever since. Thinking back I laugh at how scared I was but then it reminds me that most couples also feel this worry.
Jessica is a US citizen who met Jesus while he was in the US illegally. They get engaged and decide to apply for the K1 fiancé visa. After leaving the US, Jesus finds out that he has a 3 year bar against him and he is inadmissible due to the unlawful presence of 9 months.
In the example above, Jesus will need to apply for the I-601 waiver of inadmissibility. He will need to show that his fiancé will suffer extreme hardship if he is denied the K1 visa.
K1 Visa Denial Rate Is Currently 40%
Incomplete Application or Supporting Documentation
Why would a K1 or Cr1 visa be denied?
Consular officer did not have the information need to make a decision.
- This happens all the time and you should not panic. You will be given the opportunity to provide the missing documents to continue processing your case. This will delay your approval by a few weeks to a few months.
Additional documents are needed.
- When more documents or evidence is needed, the consular officer will let you know. You will be given a letter 221(g) that will have a checkmark for the document that is needed to complete your case.
- You may be placed in administrative processing if the consular officer needs to review the documents you’ve submitted or run additional background checks. You could also be required to complete form DS-5535.
Have 1 year from refusal to submit additional docs.
- You will be given 1 year to submit the required documents but I highly recommend you submit as soon as possible to reduce the amount of time your case will be delayed.
After 1 year must reapply and pay filing fee.
- If it takes you longer than a year to respond to the request for additional documentation, you will need to reapply for the visa and pay the filing fee again!
You Don’t Qualify For The K1 or CR1 Visa
Not providing enough evidence of your relationship.
- You know your relationship is real but USCIS doesn’t. This means that you have to show proof that you’ve been communicating, you met in person and that you plan on living together inside the US. There are obviously a lot more evidence you should be including but that will be for another podcast episode!
USCIS or Consular officer believes you are already married (K1)
- This is an issue for couples applying for the K1 visa. I’ve seen some couples submit photos of engagement celebrations that look very much like a wedding! Don’t do this. It can confuse the immigration official and make them think that you may already be legally married overseas. Some people do commit this fraud but most simply don’t realize how those pictures come across.
You Are At High Risk Of Public Charge
Consular officer believes you will rely of public assistance.
- This is a common reason for visa denial and you need to convince them that you will not be on public assistance the moment you enter the US!
You must show you have sufficient financial support in the US.
- This means that your US petitioner must be a US citizen or LPR (CR1 only), has a form of income, has enough assets and is willing to sign the affidavit of support.
Complete the I-134 or I-864 affidavit of support.
- The affidavit of support is what proves to USCIS and DOS that you will not become a public charge after immigrating. It’s not guaranteed but the US government can come after the US sponsor if you ever did get on public assistance. This is especially so for the I-864 which is legally binding.
Related Post: What to do if your K1 visa is denied.
You Committed Fraud and/Or Misrepresentation
Consular officers suspects you committed fraud or lied.
- There usually is a reason why they suspect fraud. It could be a mistake on your online forms or it could be answer you gave at the visa interview. Find out why they think you are committing fraud and try to overcome this.
This is a permanent ineligibility.
- Although the Department of State says that fraud and misrepresentation is a permanent ineligibility, I’ve found that in some cases there is a waiver available.
Waiver is available (I-601) Mail directly to USCIS.
- The I-601 waiver is used to overcome many different types of inadmissibility reasons. If you are required to complete this, be sure that you know exactly what the reason for your ineligibility is before completing and submitting the I-601 waiver to USCIS.
Misrepresentation means you were not truthful so you could get the visa.
- Lying to USCIS or DOS is a huge mistake! Don’t think that you won’t get caught because this is what they do for a living! They are on the look out for immigration fraud as well as terrorism and spies. 😅
Related Post: What to do if your CR1 visa is denied.
You Accrued Unlawful Presence In The US
You have stayed in the US unlawfully after visa expired.
- Some immigrants believe that entering the US legally will help your case compared to someone who entered illegally. This may not always be the case so don’t put too much hope into this scenario helping your case in any way.
You entered the US illegally without authorization.
- This is what’s called “Entering Without Inspection (EWI)” and it means that you entered the country without anyone letting you in. This can make it extremely difficult to get approved for the K1 or CR1 visa. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible but you really have to show that you should be allowed back in. A waiver will be required and you should show that your US citizen spouse or fiancé will experience extreme hardship.
Unlawful presence greater than 180 days but less than 1 year = 3 year bar.
- Living in the US for more than 180 days but less than a year can mean a 3 year bar to entry. This means that you will not be allowed to enter the US again until you serve 3 years outside the country. There is waiver available for the the 3 year bar.
Unlawful presence greater than 1 year = 10 year bar.
- Staying in the US unauthorized for more than a year can result in a 10 year bar to entry. Not only that, it will make it more difficult for you to get the K1 or CR1 visa even with a waiver. You better have some really strong evidence of extreme hardship!
Final Thoughts On Reasons The K1 or CR1 Visa IS Denied
If you’re ready to begin the K1 or CR1 visa process and need help and guidance, check out the Migrant Academy. It’s an interactive online course platform for the spouse visa and fiancé visa.
Ayan is the founder of the Migrant Academy community, the My Path To Citizenship Blog and Podcast.
After successfully navigating the hurdles of US immigration. She now dedicates her time to helping other couples achieve their goals of starting their new life together in the US.