The thought of a visa denial is very distressing for many bi-national couples. The following article will briefly discuss visa denials generally and provide information about forestalling a denial.
The United States visa process for the fiancee or wife of an American Citizen is rather complex as there are multiple government agencies and officials that process different portions of the visa application package. Even after a visa is issued, the alien fiancee or spouse must still pass through a Customs and Border Protection inspection at a port of entry in the United States of America.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is the first adjudicator of virtually every family based visa petition. USCIS will evaluate a couple’s documentation as well as their factual situation in order to determine if they meet the general legal requirements. USCIS also takes measures in order to ensure that the petitioner is eligible to petition for the benefits being sought. During USCIS’s adjudication, steps will also be taken in order to make certain that the petition complies with the provisions of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) as well as the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act (AWCPA). In most situations, the success of a USCIS petition will hinge upon the documentation presented to the reviewing officer.
In the vast majority of family based cases the next phase of the process involves the United States National Visa Center (NVC). This phase could be problematic for those couples seeking a K3 marriage visa as recent NVC protocols call for the “administrative closure” of certain K3 visa applications. Even though this is not an actual denial, it has the same impact as a denial because the application will not be adjudicated. Luckily, a bi-national married couple can still seek immigrant visa benefits.
In most family based cases, the final phase of the process occurs at the United States Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over the foreign fiancee or spouse. In Thailand, the Consular Section of the US Embassy in Bangkok adjudicates nearly all family based immigrant visa applications for Thai nationals. Consular Officers will scrutinize the facts of the visa application in order to determine if the prospective Beneficiary should be admitted to the United States of America. In a K-1 visa case, the adjudicating officer will likely scrutinize the bona fides of the relationship as well as the applicant’s subjective intent to marry in the USA. However, the authenticity of a spousal visa application is investigated as well, but these issues can be especially acute during the visa application process for a fiancee.
After a visa interview, it is possible that the application will be denied outright, but this is not usually the case. The issuance of a 221(g) denial, which is essentially a request for further documentation, is a more common method of visa refusal. In many cases, when the documentary deficiency is dealt with the visa is issued shortly thereafter.
Benjamin Hart is an attorney from the United States. He currently acts as Managing Director of Integrity Legal (Thailand) Co. Ltd. Contact Integrity Legal at 1-877-231-7533, +66 (0)2-266-3698, or firstname.lastname@example.org. See Integrity Legal on the web at: US Visa Denial Thailand or K1 visa.