Will A K1 Visa Be Denied If I Am Applying From India?
Discrimination is wrong; no matter who it is against. So why then, in some countries you can automatically be denied a K1 fiance visa because of your nationality? Your relationship is valid and genuine and you can provide enough evidence to bury them in paperwork! This is the dilemma that many of my readers are facing in India. It’s unfortunate, but, each embassy can discriminate against applicants for any reason. Knowing this gives you the upper hand so you can avoid unnecessary delay of your application.
The K1 visa is a great option for couples who wish to marry in the United States instead of abroad. However, you need to be careful when applying from certain countries due to the high prevalence of immigration fraud. This means that if you are in India and apply for the K1 visa, the likelihood of a flat out denial is very high. Your relationship can be rock solid and stable for many years, but the US embassy in India wants to see couples get married and apply for the CR1 visa.
If someone asks me which visa they should apply for in India, I will almost always tell them to apply for the spouse visa. Why? Because there is a higher chance of approval. It doesn’t make much sense to pay the fee to apply for the K1 visa to be denied.
High Fraud Countries and Visa Denial
I previously wrote an article on “high fraud countries” and whether the USCIS had an official list. Although they don’t specifically state that they have a list, it’s obvious that it’s more difficult to get approved from certain countries. Unfortunately, this includes India. Another thing to note is that many of the countries on the high fraud list are also considered developing nations.
Why? It could be related to a low standard of living which will not only encourage residents to leave, but can make some very desperate. In some cases, fraud is so prevalent that the consulate automatically considers everyone that applies “high fraud risk”. This is unfortunate for those who are in a genuine relationship; the only reason for applying for an immigrant visa is to be with the love of their life.
How can you increase your odds of getting approved? It isn’t easy but there are a few things you can do. First, make sure that you have solid documentation for your relationship. This includes chats, emails, phone records, boarding passes and hotel receipts. Having a ton of evidence that helps to prove your relationship will set you apart from those who have little evidence.
The length of time you have dated can also be important. Interestingly, you only need to meet each other once before applying for a K1 visa and CR1 visa but you may want to consider more frequent visits.
Impossible to be Approved for K1 Visa?
I don’t like using the word impossible because I have heard of K1 visa cases in India being approved rather quickly. I’m not sure if it was a one off chance, or if the consular officer was having a good day. I wouldn’t put my future on luck though. Make sure you are really prepared and have a solid case to prove your relationship.
It’s so hard to get a K1 visa approved in India because of the number of people who attempt to defraud the immigration system. Thanks to these dishonest applicants, your case is looked at with a suspicious eye instead of being given a fair chance.
If you’re considering a K1 visa and will be interviewing the Mumbai consulate; consider another option. Instead, you can get married in India and apply for the CR1 spouse visa, increasing the odds of approval. Yes, this may not be an option for everyone but it is the quickest path to living with your partner in the US.
Children seem to complicate the process a little. Applying for their US visa is seen as a separate application but tied to the primary immigrant. In some cases, the primary immigrant’s visa is approved prior to their child’s and must then wait. This can cause some problems because the K1 visa is valid for only 6 months from the issue date. There are no options to extend this.
I also recommend not to buy your plane ticket until you have your visa in hand. There are no guarantees in this process.
Options After a K1 Visa Denial in India
Being denied a K1 visa doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your relationship. Consider it as a step back on your journey to the US to be with your partner. It is so common for a K1 visa to be denied in India that a subsequent CR1 visa is approved often. Remember, you must still prove you have a genuine marriage with the CR1 visa. Just getting married isn’t enough to get you approved.
What happens when your K1 visa is denied? The consulate will send your case back to the USCIS and they will keep it in your records. The next visa you apply for will trigger some additional questions about why you were denied. This isn’t something to be alarmed at but instead, be prepared for.
After a K1 denial, you and your fiance should plan a trip to get married in India. It doesn’t have to be a big wedding and can be done the day you land. The purpose is to officially get married so that you are eligible to apply for the CR1 visa. You then have the option of having a US wedding once the visa is approved. It’s important to note that the CR1 visa does take longer to complete but you will receive your green card once you land in the US. This saves you time and money by not having to apply for adjustment of status.
Applying for a K1 visa from India is difficult but you have the option to go with a CR1 visa instead. Don’t loose hope on your relationship, this small setback will make you strong in the end!