How to prove your relationship at the K1 Visa interview
Establishing the bona fides of the relationship between two parties is one of the most important aspects in the fiance visa application. The majority of denials issued at the US Embassy stage of the process are based on the consular’s conclusion that both parties do not have a genuine relationship. Also, lack of supporting evidence may result in determination that the alien fiance pursues obtaining immigration benefits and the marriage is not a primary purpose of going to the United States. It is important to understand this aspect beforehand and accumulate all necessary evidence accordingly. The United States Embassy does not offer an appeal process, thus it is crucial that quality evidence is presented to USCIS during the initial filing and to the United States Embassy during the actual fiance visa interview.
With development of technology the methods of communication between couples have changed accordingly. Nowadays it is quite rare that both parties correspond using letters or greeting cards. Even calling cards become obsolete. The primary methods of correspondence that our clients typically utilize are as follows: emails, chat, Skype calls and chat, text messaging, facebook messaging, online accounts for calling internationally. These methods of communication are great for the purposes of the fiance visa application as it is relatively easy to retrieve and print out records of ongoing communication all the way from initiation of the relationship. However, the same technology can be used by the government officials to conduct further research in order to ensure that the genuine relationship between both parties exists. Below we will review methods of social media correspondence and advise you as to any potential red flags that these methods can raise in the eyes of the government officials. FACEBOOK. Many people utilize facebook for the purposes of daily communication. It is a quite convenient method, however, there are several important aspects that you need to pay attention to: First, your relationship status. It would be advisable that both of your profiles indicate your relationship status as “in a relationship”or “engaged”. Listing your status as single or not placing any relationship status at all can raise concerns about your relationship. Secondly, review your status updates. It is important that all information in your application and social profile is consistent and would not raise any doubts regarding your serious intent to marry. Also, if in the course of the whole process you do not mention in your social profile your fiance and an upcoming marriage – it may seem quite strange to say the least. Third and the most important: photos with your fiance. If you or your fiance use facebook it is critical that you have photos of both of you together. Having plenty of pictures, but none of them with your spouse-to-be may look very suspicious. Also, having pictures showing you with the ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend could be quite a solid reason for concern. CHAT, EMAIL and TEXTS. Typically, couples have a substantial record of emails, chats and text messages. Undoubtedly, this type evidence is perfect as it clearly shows words of love and affection to one another. However, it critical to understand a few major points:
√ If you indicate on the application that you have initially met (online or physically) on such and such date it is recommended to provide evidence of correspondence that covers the whole duration of your relationship. It is not necessary to provide USCIS with every single email or text message, however, you must ensure that there are no time gaps in the provided compilation of your correspondence. For instance, if you provide a set of emails covering the month of September and the next set covers December – it is not a good indicator to the adjudicating officer. If you have terminated your correspondence for a certain period of time – this must be clearly explained on a separate sheet of paper.
√ Your breakups or arguments. Whereas many couples experience disagreements and can even split for a certain period of time it is relevant that you make it clear that both of you have eventually reunited. Submitting evidence that indicates your disagreement or even a breakup, but does not contain any further correspondence showing your reunion – can definitely endanger the successful outcome of your case.
√ If your correspondence contains any information that can be potentially misconstrued it would be advisable to exclude these particular records. However, if this particular piece of information is relevant to your application please provide clarification to avoid any possible misunderstanding on a part of the USCIS or the Embassy.
√ You must carefully review all evidence you submit. Make sure that you exclude any out-of-context information that may be misinterpreted by the officer. Also, it is crucial not to over-document the case and submit only quality evidence that most clearly shows your romantic relationship.
Social media and modern methods of communication present a convenient tool for the purposes of daily correspondence and maintaining records of it. But at the same time your not well maintained social profiles or some certain records of correspondence could present a basis for concern about the veracity of your relationship. Some applications filed without proper representation or professional assistance receive denials at the Embassy stage of the process. This is especially tragic as the US Embassy does not offer an appeal for the fiance visa process. Both parties applying for a dual intent fiance visa must realize that the government officials can use electronic methods to conduct further research to ensure that your relationship is legitimate and bona fide. In my next article I will overview the role of search engines in conducting such research. Always remember that in the fiance visa process your relationship is at stake and worries/delays are definitely not worth the money saved on proper professional assistance and representation. Please feel free to contact our office with any further questions you may have about the process.
Written by Joel Turney