The Consular Interview

by Richard Bracken on October 9, 2009

Helpful AdviceProblems can arise at the Consular interview that can be fatal to attempts to obtain a visa.  In filing for a k-1 fiance for instance, determinations by a Consular official that the beneficiary is seeking the visa to enter the U.S. rather than for the sole purpose of marrying in the U.S., or that the relationship is not satisfactorily established are normally catastrophic.  Consular officials carry an enormous amount of discretionary authority.  It is very difficult, if not impossible, to challenge a negative finding even if a Congressperson or the Department of State itself disagrees with the Official’s decision.  Once denied, the petitioner is normally left with the options to wait for the recommendation of denial to make its way back to the USCIS (which takes months usually) and then attempt to rebut the finding, re-file anew, or consider marrying in the foreign country in order to seek entry with the K-3 spousal visa or permanent residence via Consular processing.  In the meantime, an enormous amount of time, effort, and money has expended.  The biggest disappointment of all, of course, is even more time spent apart. You want to get it right the first time!

Enough cannot be said about the importance of having the Beneficiary properly prepared for the interview.  For instance, he or she must be aware of what has been submitted to the government by the Petitioner in addition to being fully informed about the Petitioner’s past marriages, divorces, children, criminal history etc.  He or she must be able to demonstrate a familiarity with the U.S. citizen fiancé, have evidence of regular communication, and be able to express a sole intent to marry.  If you are not inclined to hire an immigration attorney, which I highly recommend, my Simple K1 Visa Guide has an entire section dedicated entirely to help you prepare fiance’s for the Consular appointment.  Be careful!

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