These days, it seems that Consular officers are suspicious of all fiancée cases, even cases with a lot of evidence of a genuine relationship. Fiancée cases are automatically under suspicion because the Consuls think that in a genuine relationship, people should marry instead of doing a fiancée petition.
Several years ago, doing the fiancée visa was an attractive option. Processing time at CIS was faster, there was less paper work involved, and it just required a single trip to Vietnam before filing the K-1 visa petition.
However, these days, marriage and fiancée petitions require the same processing time, and sponsors who make only one trip to Vietnam often find their cases denied.
The US Consulate in Vietnam has the highest number of fiancée applications of any US embassy or consulate. Due to continuing attempts at fraud, it also has the highest number of denied fiancée applications.
In every fiancée case, the question in the mind of every consular officer is, Why did they choose the fiancée petition instead of the marriage petition? The simple fact is that a marriage petition shows a stronger commitment to the relationship and a fiancée petition shows many consular officers that the couple is not a hundred per cent sure about their future. In other words, a marriage petition is more credible than a fiancée petition.
Consular officers are also aware that some fiancées find themselves abused or abandoned after they arrive in the States, and in some cases the sponsor refuses to marry them. This means they must return to Vietnam , alone and ashamed.
Moreover, the Affidavit of Support that is used in fiancée cases is not legally binding, but the one that is used in marriage cases does have force under the law.
Finally, if the fiancée case is denied by the Consulate, and the petition is returned to CIS in the States for review, it means that the couple will have to wait for at least a year for CIS to review the case and at the end of the year, the case might be denied again. In that situation, the couple would probably decide to do a marriage petition, to have a better chance of getting the case approved. So, why not do a marriage petition at the beginning?
Both fiancée and marriage petitions require sufficient evidence of a genuine relationship, such as visits by the sponsor to Vietnam, emails, photos and letters. In that way, they are the same. But marriage cases are often more convincing simply because a marriage is a legally binding situation.
Q.1. If a fiancée arrives in the US and her sponsor refuses to marry her, can she stay in the US legally by marrying another US citizen?
A.1. She would have to leave the States and wait while her husband files a marriage petition for her.
Q.2. What are the most common reasons that Fiancée cases are denied by the Consulate?
A.2. The usual reasons that the Consulate gives for denying Fiancée cases are:
· Insufficient contact either before the engagement or after the engagement,
· Not enough visits to Vietnam by the sponsor or not enough time spent by the petitioner when visiting Vietnam,
· The Fiancée’s lack of knowledge of the sponsor’s life in America
· Lack of an engagement celebration, or a celebration that had only a small number of guests
· Lack of a good reason for doing the fiancée petition instead of getting married
· The Fiancée’s lack of knowledge about when she will be married in the US, or lack of knowledge about the details of the wedding celebration
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